Private, secular CA colleges

Mills will be closing its undergraduate instruction (no new frosh after fall 2021, most likely will stop conferring degrees after 2023):

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Oh damn. Didn’t realise. Thanks for clarifying.

@ucbalumnus Wow! Thank you for your thorough post. I had not considered the 3rd bullet point re: overreach because of the UC-specific GPA. Fascinating.

Regarding 2nd bullet point, we actually have UC Merced on our list to visit! Good point re: the considering CSUs other than the highly impacted ones (campuses and/or majors).

Thanks for the Wiki link. I crossed the Wiki list against Jeffrey Selingo’s Buyers vs. Sellers list and it appears that Occidental, University of the Pacific and Whittier College are ones to learn more about. thanks again to @oneofthosemoms and @myos1634 who also mentioned these.


Here is a UC-recalculated HS GPA calculator: GPA Calculator for the University of California – RogerHub . Most HS GPAs listed on UC web sites are the weighted-capped version, unless otherwise specified.

CSU-recalculated HS GPA is the same as the UC weighted-capped HS GPA, except that a semester college course is counted like two semesters of high school courses (and grades) for CSU, but one for UC.

Minimum HS course requirements for UC and CSU are listed at . For the most competitive UC campuses and majors, going beyond the minimum is a good idea. Courses which fulfill the a-g categories for California public and private high schools and some online programs and community colleges are listed at University of California A-G Course List .

@cosmo5311 @ucbalumnus It looks like UC Berkeley will start a 1 year residence program at Mills: Quick Take here: UC Berkeley Starting First-Year Program on Mills Campus and full announcement here: Berkeley launches one-year residential program at Mills College | Berkeley News

So basically UCB is renting Mills college space to offer a “bridge” program?

UCB has a long history of renting unused Mills dorm space to alleviate housing shortages. Seems that it is now adding a “residential college” program there with some common frosh level courses offered there to make it more attractive (versus students living there having to take a bus commute for all courses).

Probably was in the plans before the Mills closure announcement. The Mills future non-college will have more empty dorms to rent out in the future…


The arrangement makes sense actually.


Thank you @ucbalumnus. Two follow up questions:

  1. Capped Weighted GPA: I understand that no more than 4 points would be allowed for 10th grade (and summer between 9th & 10th grade). If a student took 4 AP classes (or 8 AP semesters) in 11th grade, will the student receive all 8 points for the 11th grade semesters?

  2. Fully weighted GPA (no cap): Is there a matrix to see which campuses/majors use the fully weighted GPA in addition to the capped weighted GPA in their holistic review?

Thank you in advance!

  1. Yes, up to 8 points, no more than 4 from 10th grade, are added to recalculate weighted-capped HS GPA.
  2. All recalculated HS GPAs (unweighted, weighted-capped, fully weighted) should be visible to all UC admissions readers, so they could all (at least theoretically) have an effect.

Look up which courses at your high school are weighted by the UC/CSU system in ucbalumnus’ A-G Course List link. People are often surprised when honors courses at their high school are not weighted by the UC/CSU system. Also, the UC GPA includes any courses taken the summer before 10th grade as well as the summer after 11th grade.

If your son decides he is open to going out of state, you might look at some of the schools in the Western Undergraduate Exchange program.

Thanks for that reminder re: WUE resource!

There are lots of great options so what are your daughter’s stats, your budget and what is she looking for in her college experience?

that way we can help you narrow it down.

My Son is in 9th grade so this quest is early. I have friends with students that are graduating this year. Some of them had hired college advisers/consultants, which is outside of our budget. :blush:

You don’t need consultants, you have the CollegeConfidential community (well, the adults :D, because 11th graders on “chance me” threads are going to be of limited usefulness :rofl: :grin: )

If he is in the 9th grade, the FIRST thing you need to do is think “budget”.
(Not Glamorous but it can be done without his knowing at this point and without the unknowables of a child growing, changing, etc.)
First: if you have a college fund for him, can you add to it starting now?
Optimal: add now on a college savings account (529?) what you expect to spend on his college each month when he’s in college, so that your family gets used to living without that amount and figures out “best practices” that save money, with the added benefit it’ll be useful to him if he moves cross-country or to equip him with dorm essentials or a laptop or offer a book stipend or complete a partial scholarship…
If that’s not possible right now (covid, uncertainty, etc.), try saving $50/mo which will help anyway.
Financing college will come from 1° savings (yours and his) 2° current income (yours, current when he’s in college) and 3° future earnings ie., loans that he’ll pay back when he graduates, in the far far future. He’ll be allowed to borrow 27K (this may change but it’s a good number to keep in mind) for ALL FOUR years, TOTAL. 5.5K for freshman year.
With that knowledge, start thinking about costs, etc, etc.
If you already did all that, congratulations, you’re well ahead of most parents!
If you haven’t, 9th grade is the right time to start.
For most students, the #1 criterion for choosing a college is financial. The earlier you figure out finances, the more choices he’ll have. Don"t let him get attached to a dream school :slight_smile: because that dream school may not reciprocate the love… or not be affordable.
This only applies if you’re not a millionnaire who will be able to spend 250-300K on college without problem. :grin:

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This bears repeating and emphasizing.

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that perspective helps -
there is a CA Colleges forum here you might want to peruse.

I agree that most people don’t need a consultant and that budget is a critical first step. Most colleges have very accessible admissions staff that can answer most of your access and budget questions. Most colleges also publish a document called the Common Data Set which reflects a ton of info on the school, admissions, cost etc. Just Google College X Common Data Set and you’ll find them.

There is a LOT of misplaced hype/pressure on this topic. Yes, elite schools like Stanford and UCB are crazy competitive and require a good plan and a stellar student - honestly they are targeting the top few percent of HS grads and, by definition, aren’t realistic targets for most students. As a decent (As and Bs) student and California resident, you have lots of solid and affordable college options. Even someone who barely graduated HS can attend a CC for a few years and use TAG to transfer to most majors at most UCs.

Privates tend to award merit aid only to high stat applicants. They don’t do much for B students and for most, their tuition is out of teach.

I have one student at a WUE school (Ft Lewis in Durango CO). And another son who graduated from Chico a few years ago. We were full pay at both schools - a little less than $8k/yr in tuition and $12k/yr for off campus apartment By contrast, CCs are close to free and most communities have a commutable one. (most CA residents also have a CSU in commuting distance) You can get a very solid education following that path. Yes, you sacrifice the dorm experience but, that’s a luxury not practical for everyone.

As a lifelong Californian I had to reset my college perceptions - SLO, CPP, Chico and Sonoma, for example have all upped their games a ton since I graduated and they all do a great job educating. At the same time, most of the UCs have grown huge and impersonal (an environment that’s great for some but, not all thrive there).

At this stage, (in addition to the budget question), it might be helpful to tour 3 schools near you - a large one, a small one and one in between. That can start winnowing down where to focus. Talk to current students and get their take.

Enjoy the ride.

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@MYOS1634 @ucbalumnus @ncalrent Y’all and the CollegeConfidential community are AMAZING!

I had the conver$ation with S24 after he read Jeffrey Selingo’s Who Gets In and Why and the 1st part of Ron Lieber’s The Price You Pay for College (he stopped right before the parent guilt chapter :sweat_smile:). Budget-wise, we have been saving via 529s and are working toward a CSU or mid-to-lower tier UC budget for both S24 and S27.

The CSU closest to us is Cal Poly SLO and we have visited there pre-covid. Knowing how competitive it is to get admitted there, we need to expand options. We plan to tour UC Merced.
According to our public HS counseling dept, students have historically opted not to apply/go there, because students like living along the coast and would rather go to the local community college.

I’m not sure if this was previously posted any where on College Confidential, but I found the Wall Street Journal 2/23/21 video to be interesting How Public Universities Became So Expensive.

CPSLO is also selective enough that many students who apply do not get admitted, or do not apply because they know that they will not get admitted.

If CPSLO is the closest CSU to you, then, unless possibly you live at the northern end of its “commute range” (which would be the southern end of CSUMB’s “commute range”), you do not have a lower-cost-by-commuting CSU option that is not too difficult to get admitted to. I.e. your students either need to get into CPSLO, or they need to be residential students (higher cost) somewhere when they go to a four year school (starting at a community college can reduce costs for the first two years, if that is reasonable academically for the student and major).

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A post was merged into an existing topic: Good private college fits for my DD22: Insights much appreciated!