Thursday, May 28, 2009

05.28.2009 - CSU’s New Campus-wide Impaction Rules and How it will Effect You

May 2009 Newsletter

For the first time in California State University (CSU) history, many of the 23 campuses will not be able to offer admission to eligible California residents. State budget cuts have forced the CSU system to operate for several years with considerably less funding while frosh applications have increased by 20 percent and transfers by 36 percent. So far, only six campuses have declared “Impaction” status: Cal Poly SLO, CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona, San Diego State, and Sonoma State; however, many others have considered new and more rigorous admissions criteria for the incoming 2009 and 2010 classes.

Most of the six CSU campuses listed above will give priority to high school students who live in the same county as the university as long as they meet eligibility requirements and apply within the appropriate deadlines. Until just a few years ago, this policy, which has always been in place, had not impacted admissions because most CSU campuses were able to accommodate their applicant pools. But now that the CSU’s have more applicants than they can admit, they are enforcing new admission standards.

After the CSU’s admit their regional applicants, they will consider students from other areas within California. Transfers and military veterans will receive special consideration and placement. The out-of-area applicants with the highest GPAs and SAT scores will be admitted in the next wave of reviews.

Even if your preferred CSU campus is not currently impacted, some of their majors may be. Students whose majors are impacted may be admitted in a “pre-major” status, which allows them to take lower division courses in their major before they apply to the impacted major. Students who attend colleges that don’t offer “pre-major” status may not be permitted to take lower division courses in that major, which will delay their graduation date. By keeping their GPA’s as high as possible, these students can increase their odds of getting into their preferred majors.

Students who are set on attending a particular CSU can enroll in a community college nearby the University campus. By doing so, they establish residency in the area and have the opportunity to improve their grades at the college level. This is one of the easiest ways to get into any of the impacted CSUs.

For more information about individual CSUs, call their admissions offices to get the latest news about their 2009-2010 application season. Apply early to improve your chances of getting in to your top colleges!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Can student projects help solve our economic crisis? College advisor has a solution: ProjectMERIT!

While President Obama has inherited an economic disaster, everyone from nonprofits to corporations are pressuring him to finance their programs. Americans are hopeful that he will lead us out of this recession and they’re sitting tight waiting for him to solve our problems. When Americans think that the problem is too big to for them to fix, and they put blame on others, they become complacent. Our founding fathers developed this great nation with people who worked together to create a better place to live. With thousands of issues that need to be fixed, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and stop complaining. And more importantly, it’s time for our youth to step up to the plate and go to bat for their future.

By giving students the opportunity to take on special projects, they can fix many of the problems without spending the billions of dollars proposed by the current administration. When these students reach out to their communities for support and volunteer their time, they can raise funds to finance just about any endeavor. This is exactly what Susan Tatsui-D’Arcy, a college advisor and author of Beat the College Admissions Game: Do a Project!, is doing. She guides college-bound students to do a project to improve their chances of getting into top universities in the country. Here’s how she’s doing it.

With so many students with 4.0 GPAs and perfect SAT scores not getting into their first choice colleges, Tatsui-D’Arcy recommends that they do projects. Students who do independent projects dazzle admissions officers with their leadership skills, passion, and drive. When these high school seniors write their personal statements and application essays, they can enthusiastically describe how they started their project and what obstacles they overcame to achieve their goals. That’s much more impressive than simply discussing dreams of doing something important someday or volunteering at a non-profit organization.

Students select projects and work closely with Tatsui-D’Arcy. Peter Livingston engineered a brake-lighting system to warn drivers that the car in front of them is slamming on its brake, not just tapping on it. Jaclyn D’Arcy founded Kids 4 Hydrogen to promote hydrogen fuel cells. Rebecca Kassel successfully passed a law in California (SB966) to reduce the amount of prescription drugs that enter our water systems. In an effort to end gang violence, Harry Weston organized a Tru-School Hip Hop Concert and entertained at-risk students at juvenile halls. The students complete their projects during 9th through 12th grade, and many continue on in college.

Tatsui-D’Arcy says that the projects not only help the students get into their top colleges, it also makes the students more confident and responsible. They realize that their efforts accomplished something that needed to be fixed, and they learned that with good organization and tenacity, they could do anything. So, Tatsui-D’Arcy helps students select their projects based on their personal interests and desire to make a difference. She has lists of special projects and brainstorms with the students until they find the perfect fit. By working with students online across the United States and in her Santa Cruz office, Tatsui-D’Arcy’s think-tank program: ProjectMERIT, is changing America --- one project at a time!

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