Mission Viejo High School

School campus

College Application Process

How Do I Get Into a College?

  • In the state of California, higher education opportunities can be realized by attending one of the 110 community colleges, 33 public universities (CSU and UC), 75 private/independent universities and many more technical, trade, and art schools.
  • To be eligible to attend a community college, one must be 18 years of age or possess a high school diploma.
  • Eligibility requirements for the California State University and University of California public systems require completion of the minimum a-g course sequence with grades of C or higher and submission of ACT or SAT college admission tests results.
  • Private/Independent university eligibility requirements vary from institution to institution, but follow closely with the University of California a-g course sequence.
  • To learn more about each individual institution, it is recommended that students log onto the prospective school websites, or visit the MVHS Guidance Office and Career Center to explore majors and schools in California and nationwide.

Anatomy of College Application

College Application

Universities prefer that admissions applications be completed online. You can access CSU and UC applications through their prospective websites. To complete an admissions application to private universities, you will need to go directly to the school website or through common app. Websites can be found through a search online.

College Application Fee

Application fees will vary per institution, and will be due upon submission of your application. Some universities offer fee waivers for those who qualify.

High School Transcript

To complete your CSU or UC application, you will need an unofficial copy of your high school transcript for self-reporting your classes and grades. Once you have been accepted to a CSU or UC campus, that particular campus will prompt you to have an OFFICIAL transcript sent from SVUSD directly to them upon graduation from high school. If you are applying to a private university, however, an OFFICIAL transcript will be required as part of the application process. To review the most up to date information to order your high school transcript please SVUSD's website

College Admissions Exams/Tests

As part of the application process, students will be required to submit the results of college admissions exams: ACT or SAT for UC/CSU and some private universities. For more information regarding these exams, please see College Testing Information on the MVHS Guidance Website.

College Essay or Personal Statement

Private/Independent Universities as well as University of California will require a college essay as part of their application process. The college essay is written in response to a prompt(s) given to the student in the application. A college essay will not be required for applications to the California State University.

Letters of Recommendation

Most private university and scholarship applications will require letters of recommendation. Some will specify who the recommender should be (teachers, counselors, employers, coaches, community and church leaders); others simply indicate how many recommendations are required. Letters of recommendation give evaluators and selection committees alternate information about you the person. Keep in mind that these individuals will already have objective information - your grades, classes and test scores - they want to know about your character and who you are outside of the classroom, more appropriately, how others see you!!

College Testing Information

Who Requires What?

CSU (California State University) - The results of either the ACT or the SAT

UC (University of California) - The results of either the ACT w/writing or the SAT w/writing.

Private/Independent Universities - Most private/independent universities will accept the results of either the ACT or the SAT. It is recommended that students visit the website of the private/independent universities they are interested in to determine if the university will require the results of the SAT II Subject Tests.

To Register for the SAT or SAT II please log onto www.collegeboard.org

SAT: It is recommended that students take the SAT during the spring semester of grade 11, or the fall semester of grade 12.

SAT II Subject Tests: Some universities highly recommend or require subject tests. Please visit the website of your specific university to verify.

SAT Test Dates

To Register for the ACT please log onto www.act.org

ACT: It is recommended that students take the ACT during the spring of grade 11 or during the fall of grade 12

ACT Test Dates

Letter of Recommendation Packet

LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION INSTRUCTIONS AND FORMS

All request MUST include a COMPLETE packet:
Optional (but highly recommended):
  • College Essay (rough draft ok)
  • Parent Brag Letter
Transcript Information:
https://www.svusd.org/schools/high-schools/mission...

 

 

*Cal State and UC do not Require Letters of Recommendation*

Community College

Taking Community College Courses in High School

  • Students can apply to take courses at any community college while enrolled in high school.
  • All students interested in taking a course will need to talk to their counselor.
  • Students are able to take courses to meet Foreign Language, Visual Performing Art requirements or for personal enrichment.
  • Students are unable to take core courses at the community college.
  • A max of 10 credits per semester will be issued per class on the high school transcript for a college class.

If a student is choosing to take a course to clear the Visual Performing Arts (VAPA) requirement for college or languages, students must complete the Request for High School Credit form, in order to have the course(s) put on the high school transcript.

Who can attend a Community College?

  • A community college is a good choice for anyone who may want to attend a four-year university later but who is not yet academically, personally or economically ready to begin study at a university straight out of high school.
  • To be eligible to attend a community college, one must be 18 years of age, or possess a high school diploma.
  • In the California Community Colleges, you can work toward an associate (two-year) degree in hundreds of academic and technical fields (which will enable you to transfer to a college or university to complete a baccalaureate degree); or, you can complete a one - or two-year training or certificate program in a choice of occupational fields, various health professions, and/or high-technology job fields.
Local Community College Links

Saddleback College www.saddleback.edu

Irvine Valley College www.ivc.edu

Orange Coast College www.orangecoastcollege.edu

Santiago Canyon College www.sccollege.edu

College Tips

Specifically for Parents:

• What Every Parent Should Tell Their Son or Daughter When They Apply to College

http://www.prepgurus.com/blog/2015/9/15/what-every-parent-should-tell-their-senior-about-college-admissions

College Admissions News:

• Colleges cope differently with ACT headache

http://www.examiner.com/article/colleges-cope-differently-with-act-headache

• UC System Plans to Increase State Resident Student Admissions

http://www.examiner.com/article/u-of-california-system-plans-to-increase-state-resident-student-admissions

College Counseling Info:

• What is demonstrated interest and why is it important?

http://www.examiner.com/article/what-is-demonstrated-interest-and-why-is-it-important

• The Importance of the High School Resume

https://www.teenlife.com/blogs/importance-high-school-resume

• Here’s Why You Should Only Apply to Colleges You Actually Want To Go To

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/how-many-colleges-should-you-apply-to

• E.D. II: The Not-So-Early Decision

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/education/edlife/ed-ii-the-not-so-early-decision.html?_r=0

Application Tips:

• How to Make Your Extracurriculars Look Best on Your College Applications

http://www.hercampus.com/high-school/how-make-your-extracurriculars-look-best-your-college-applications

• Countdown to College: Don’t make these applications mistakes

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/education/article41179293.html

• Your Early Decision College Application Checklist

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elizabeth-dankoski/your-early-decision-early_b_8399094.html

• College Essay Tips

http://www.thecollegesolution.com/college-essay-tips-for-parents-and-students/

College Visits:

• Don’t skip the college visit

http://www.examiner.com/article/don-t-skip-the-college-visit

• November is the perfect month for college visits

http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/life/2015/10/22/november-perfect-month-college-visits/74212172/

Gap Year Info:

• How I Took a Year Off Before Starting College, and Why You Should Too

http://www.teenvogue.com/story/benefits-gap-year-before-college

• 5 tips for taking a gap year before college

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/college-finance/taking-gap-year-before-college-1.aspx

Financial Aid:

• 4 Steps for Getting the Best Financial Aid

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2015/10/25/credit-dotcom-financial-aid-steps/74263220/

• 7 Steps to Filing the FAFSA

http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2015/10/25/college-planning-7-steps-to-filing-the-fafsa

UC/CSU Application Info

UC Application Process

  • Obtain an unofficial copy of your high school transcript from the Guidance Office to be used to self-report your classes and grades on your UC application.
  • Complete application, college essay and application fee online.
  • Send your SAT and/or ACT scores to all UC campuses to which you've applied.
  • Send official transcripts ONLY when you are directed to do so. UC will determine your grade point average based on the classes and grades you self report during the application process.
  • The UC campus which you commit to attend will prompt you to send an official transcript upon graduation from high school.
  • UC does not require letters of recommendation.

CSU Application Process

  • Obtain an unofficial copy of your high school transcript from the Guidance Office to be used to self-report your classes and grades on your CSU application.
  • Complete application and application fee online.
  • Send your SAT and/or ACT scores to all CSU campuses to which you've applied.
  • Send official transcripts ONLY when you are directed to do so. CSU will determine your grade point average based on the classes and grades you self report during the application process.
  • The CSU campus which you commit to attend will prompt you to send an official transcript upon graduation from high school.
  • CSU does not require letters of recommendation or a college essay.