By John Raftrey And Lori McCormick
E-mail John Raftrey And Lori McCormick
About this blog: We are writing this blog to give practical advice to students and parents, to reflect on issues affecting college admissions, and to provide a platform for a robust community discussion on post-secondary choices. We occasionally f... (More)
About this blog: We are writing this blog to give practical advice to students and parents, to reflect on issues affecting college admissions, and to provide a platform for a robust community discussion on post-secondary choices. We occasionally feature "guest? bloggers and invite other college counselors to join the blog team. We are members of the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) and the Western Association for College Admissions Counseling (WACAC).
Lori McCormick: I began my college advising career in 2006 at Notre Dame de Namur in Transfer Admissions. Since then, I have worked at San Jose State in the Career Center, for a local independent college advising firm, and for BUILD a college access program for underrepresented youth. I graduated with a BA in Sociology from UCSB and a MA in Psychology with a concentration in Career Counseling from Antioch University. I am an active volunteer with The Parent?s Club of the Peninsula (PAMP), the Palo Alto Community Child Care (PACCC) and I am a seasonal application reader for the Maisin Scholar Award
. I reside in Palo Alto with my husband and two sons.
John Raftrey: I have been advising students for the last three admission cycles. I regularly attend conferences, tour colleges, and keep up with the changing landscape of college admissions. I'll share what I learn and throw in a few opinions along the way. I moved to Palo Alto in 1991. My three sons are all veterans of PAUSD and graduated from Paly. I graduated from the University of Michigan, earned an MBA at Columbia University and hold a certificate in College Counseling from UC San Diego. In my past life I worked in TV news and high tech marketing. (Hide)
View all posts from John Raftrey And Lori McCormick
(Written by John Raftrey)
1) Double check all your spelling. Do not misspell your parent's occupation as one of my students did.
2) Match your classes with your transcript. Exactly. If you don't see your class in the drop down menu, ask your school counselor where to put the class.
3) The Essay is a tell essay. "I saved my grandmother from drowning." The Common App is a show essay, "My heart was pounding as I dove into the frigid surf."
4) The essay is graded on your ability to illustrate that you have the following attributes: Initiative, motivation, leadership, persistence, service to others, special potential and substantial experience with other cultures. Make sure you include as many of the points as you can, even if it makes for a choppy essay. The UC essay is not graded on writing style.
5) Students who need help on their application can call the UC Application Center at (800) 207-1710
Nov. 1-23: Monday-Friday 8am-10pm PST
Nov. 24-26: 8am-11pm PST
Nov. 27 (Thanksgiving Day): Closed
Nov. 28-30: 8am-Midnight PST
6) UC FAQ's UC FAQ's
7) The UC application does not indicate which answers are mandatory. If you don't want to answer a question leave it blank. If the application lets you move to the next page it is not mandatory. If it says there is an error on the page, then it is mandatory.
8) For UCSD colleges check the General Education requirements closely. They are all a little different. Also check the location of each dorm. Some are near the center of campus, some are farther from the center. Do not list them randomly!
9) Check out the SAT subject test recommendations for each school. There is still time to take the December test and get it to the UC's on time.
UC Subject Tests
10) For a look at what happens to your application at Berkeley, check out this article, Confessions of an Applications Reader. It is a bit disheartening, but shows that there is a very random factor in deciding who gets in and who doesn't. Confessions of an Applications Reader