San Diego Area Parents

<p>I'm trying to help a friend of my son and could really use assistance bringing me up to speed on San Diego area community colleges and 4 year universities.</p>

<p>This young lady's situation is very complicated. After graduation, she will be moving to he father's home in California. Tons of family there, and if all works out, she is planning on staying. Has been living with Grandmother. Though mother has custody, she offers little support. She will be first generation college in her family.</p>

<p>Father and young lady are working on establishing residency and working through possible VA benefits. Very low income. GPA by graduation is 3.0 perhaps a bit more and ACT of 24 if all goes well (the GPA is 9-12th grade with all classes computed...I have discovered the California computes GPA differently and I'm still trying to get a handle on this).</p>

<p>What she is asking of me is assistance with college search and selection. Unfortunately, I have very limited knowledge of the area/Cali school system. If anyone is will to offer a few schools to start with...or insight into the Cali schools, I'd be most appreciative.</p>

<p>San Diego county (which is pretty large in area) has one UC Uni (UCSD), two Cal States (SDSU and Cal State San Marcos), and a number of community colleges scattered around. Those are all public but in addition to those publics San Diego has some private colleges including USD (University of San Diego - not to be confused with UCSD or SDSU), Pt. Loma Nazarene, and perhaps some others.</p>

<p>The UCs calculate GPA based on 10/11 grade. I'm not sure about the Cal States. </p>

<p>She can access each college's website and check to see the stats of the accepted students for the most recent year to get an idea of how competetive her scores are. Search for the 'Common Data Set' on the website. It'll usually show the 25th and 75th percentiles so she can see whether it's a match, reach, or safety. She can also go to the financial aid section of each college to get an idea of what the cost to her will be. Given a very low income family she might find she'll have few costs - especially if she commutes although even that might not be necessary.</p>

<p>Also - she should get out and tour the campuses - the sooner the better. It might help her understand more about them.</p>

<p>As far as general rankings an selectivity it's: UCSD > SDSU > CSUSM > Community colleges (the CCs aren't selective at all - anyone can attend them).</p>

<p>Here is a look at ALL CA campuses.</p>

<p></a> - Home</p>

<p>A path might be CC for 2 years followed by 2 years at a CSU or UC, the second 2 years would totally depend on how the 2 years went at the CC.</p>

<p>This website is valuable for exploring majors and requirements, esp for transferring out of a CC to a 4 year.</p>

<p>Welcome</a> to ASSIST</p>

<p>Since money is a major issue, I'd suggest that nailing down residency requirements is crucial. I'm not sure if VA benefits would alter that.</p>

<p>Community colleges have guaranteed transfer plans -- but course selection is very important, and she should meet with a counselor at the transfer center at the CC. </p>

<p>There are a number of Community colleges in the San Diego are depending on where she'll be living. </p>

<p>I would guess that the San Diego State might be tough to get into as a freshman, and UCSD not at all practical. I don't know about CS San Marcos. My guess is the CC is likely to be the option that gives her the most transfer options and a higher chance of getting into the courses she actually needs to complete her general ed requirements. The classes are also a lot smaller, which might be another help.</p>

<p>Is there any possibility she'd consider moving to California to finish her senior year? There are advantages to being a California high school graduate.</p>

<p>Yes, I think establishing residency will be key if she wants to attend any of the CCs, state, or UC schools. Her best bet might be to assume she'll go the CC route and then transfer to a Cal State school. SDSU is hard to get into (which is hard to believe but it's true; it's not that it's a great school, it's just that so many kids apply there) but there are other Cal State schools nearby like Fullerton.</p>

<p>There are several main CC systems: San Diego Community College District is the largest with 3 colleges (City, Miramar, and Mesa) in the district. There's also Grossmont District to the East of San Diego which has Grossmont and Cuyamaca College. To the south, there's Southwestern, and to the north, there's Palomar and Miracosta, which, btw, has a great reputation as far as CCs go. The budget crisis has sharply impacted available classes and new students (and high school students) are having a hard time getting classes they want-just something to keep in mind.</p>

<p>California CCs are some of the cheapest in the country at $26 a unit. With a low income, your son's friend is likely to receive a Pell Grant or other aid to pay for the CC.</p>

<p>Thank you Cali parents. This gives us a place to start. Moving to California to finish her senior year is not an option. Mom says absolutely not...</p>

<p>During her last visit to California, she visited SDSU. She fell in love. Unfortunately, her grades and test scores probably will not cut it. I will show her the schools you have offered as suggestions. She will continue to work on residency and VA benefits with her father. She is waiting on ACT results, which will give us a better picture of possible fit.</p>

<p>Really appreciate you assistance. If anyone has any additional suggestions...I'm all ears!</p>

<p>Any chance she will be under 18? Typically, the residence of the parent with whom an unmarried/unpartnered minor (under the age of 18) lives is the residence of the unmarried/unpartnered minor. That would obviate the need to have been in the state for 1 year.</p>

<p>Yeah, SDSU is crazy competitive. I graduated from there almost 25 years ago and it hasn't changed that much. It's not a great education but it's a great city and a fun place to be and the instate cost is still reasonable; thus, selectivity is very high. :-( Our neighbor across the street-quite poor with good grades and a few college courses-did not get in. She'll be at Mesa College.</p>

<p>ellemenope-she is approaching 18. Problem is her mom has custody and is not being very cooperative. It's a bad situation. She has assured her mother that she will graduate here before moving. She is working on shared custody now...we will see.</p>

<p>I am still struggling with figuring out her GPA the Cali way. Though a good kid, she has never had the support at home. Great improvements last year. So, I guess we need to be looking at "great schools for the 3.0 student". I'm a bit of a fish out of water when it comes to the San Diego area.</p>

<p>Seekingknowledge It may be a lost cause, but perhaps if the girl and her mother understood the financial implications of graduating from a California high school, it might make a difference?<br>
Cal Grant Community College grants:" California Community College students who meet all the Cal Grant eligibility requirements, have at least a 2.4 community college GPA, and meet the awards additional requirements (listed below) are guaranteed a Cal Grant to attend a four-year college.
To qualify, students also must have graduated from a California high school after June 30, 2000, have been a California resident at the time they graduated and be under the age of 28 as of December 31 of the year in which they first receive an award."</p>

<p>It looks like she could even transfer for spring semester of her senior year (would she be 18 then?) and meet this standard. </p>

<p>Getting or not getting a Cal Grant could make the difference for a low-income student who would like to transfer to a four-year college, and possibly live away at college and graduate without (much) debt -- that's something that the federal Pell grants just won't do.</p>

<p>I hate to uproot a kid in her senior year of high school...</p>

<p>Me too, but I hate it even more when a low-income kid ends up without decent college options for financial reasons, particularly when in states like California and Florida they could be avoided.</p>

<p>Please don't knock SDSU. I can understand why the child would want to go to SDSU. The average admitted student had a 3.7 gpa unweighted in 2011. This student would have difficulty being admitted because of her GPA. She needs to go to Grossmont or Mesa Community Colleges first and then transfer to State.</p>

<p>I also graduated from SDSU, 25 years ago, with a BS and a MS and my coursework was difficult and competitive. When I work with colleagues, they often asked where I went to school and how I know my specialty so well. It's a compliment to SDSU; AZTEC for Life!</p>