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09/08/2019

What else should I do to get into college?

QUESTION
What else should I do to get into college?
Hi, so it’s summer and I’ve been freaking out since I am soon to become a junior in the fall and a year away from the whole application process.So, I was just wodnering what I should do in my junior year to create a better impression on the UC’s in California.

So far I have had:

Freshman Year:
First Semester-
Honors English-A
Honors Bio-A
Honors Geometry-B+
Spanish 1-B+
P.E.-A
G.P.A-4.3, in top 10% of my high school out of 1006 kids

Second Semester
Honors English-A
Honors Geometry-A
Honors Bio-A
Spanish 1-A
P.E.-A
G.P.A 4.4, 10% IN RANK

Sophmore:
First Semester:
Honors English 2-A
Honors Algebra 2-A
AP World History-A
Chemistry(regular b/c honors not offered)-A
P.E.-A
Spanish 2-A

G.P.A-4.6, rank is 6 out of 1006 for valedictorian

Second Semester:
All A’s except one B+ in Chem and I was like 0.1% away and the teacher did not want to bump it.
G.P.A 4.5 and rank 7 out of 1006
AP Score for AP World History: 4

Classes for Junior Year:
AP Language
AP U.S. History
AP Physics
Honors College Math
Honors Spanish 3
Digital Art A/B

Awards:
I have gotten 3 Presidential Achievement Awards in Academic Excellence,And I have always been on the Superintedent honor roll.
Background:
I am first generation college student and the first to graduate from high school
I am from a low income family that makes less than 40K per year
Also, I have met economic obstacles
I am bilingual

Outside of School:
I am a huge fan of volunteering and helping other low income children who are going through a situation like me, so I volunteer
* as a tutor in the local library for low income/bilingual children
* I am also a summer volunteer as a reading tutor also for younger children
* I am volunteering in the library (I love books:) )
* I am also planning to volunteer in the local hospital (as soon as school starts b/c I need a letter of recommendation and transcript from my school)
*I have volunteered for the summer school office for my house principal
Hours: 200+ counting, I just need to enter it into my school record, but I have been keeping track

->Honestly volunteering has been my passion and I did not know that other extracurriculars were necessary because I was not aware of the fact that I need it, but I will try to join the Leo Club (student volunteer organization). I also love to read as a hobby and I love to write:)
->I know I am not that competitive, but I really do hope to make it to some place where I can do a pre-med because it has been my lifelong passion to become a doctor and do humanitarian services
-> I am also taking classes for the SAT’s and ACT’s (I didn’t know about these tests before, but now i do)
*By taking practice tests, my ACT has been a 30 for the first time without practice and that is just at home over the summer
*SAT wise I am trying to reach the 2000 mark, but I am practicing everyday

I have written all of this b/c i just need some help on what else should I do b/c my parents are unaware of the whole system,so please help and tell me if I am on the right track.Please help!Thank you:)

ANSWER
If you are a California resident, I think you have a pretty good shot at most of the UCs, provided you continue to do well in school and get decent scores on your SATs/ACTs. If you are out of state, admission is more competitive. Also get to know your teachers so they will give you good recommendations.

You seem to be on the right track. Your volunteerism is great, don’t feel like you need to pad your resume with random things you don’t care about. Do what you love. If there is a club for volunteerism, that sounds perfect for you.

Here is an article that explains the application process and what the admissions committee looks for at a liberal arts college: http://www.reed.edu/reed_magazine/spring… It is not quite the same as the UCs because they have so many more candidates to evaluate, so scores count more and personal qualities/interviews/essays count less.

You could try looking at www.collegeboard.com and www.collegeconfidential.com for more information about applying to colleges, and specifically UCs. Also talk with your high school guidance counselor about what you should be doing now to prepare for college.