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General College Information

College Admission Requirements I: The Right Classes!

Most colleges and universities have a certain set of classes you must take to be eligible for admission.  The most common pattern is the A-G requirements used by the CSU and UC system.  While private schools may vary, following this pattern will ensure you are well are your way.

A-G Chart CSU / UC System    GWHS A-G Course List


 

College Admission Requirements II: Admission Testing!

There are two options for college admission testing, the SAT and the ACT.  While most people tend to be more familiar with the SAT, both tests are viewed equally by colleges and universities.  To determine which test may be best for you, we recommend taking a practice test or two that can help you make a decision.  Wilson offers the PSAT every October for 10th and 11th graders and the PSAT 9 for freshmen in February.  A practice ACT is typically offered in January.      

 

When should you take your admissions tests?  Generally, we recommend taking the official test during the spring of junior year.  This gives you more time in classes that will expose you to content that will be on the test.  While you can always test earlier, especially if you are taking prep classes, the deadline will be November of your senior year  - while many schools will also take December scores, you are safer getting it done by November.

 

What about SAT Subject Tests? SAT subject tests are hour long​, multiple-choice exams that assess a student’s knowledge in a specific subject. These test are less commonly completed by students than the ACT or SAT, despite the fact that some schools require them, though not the CSU or UC systems. Other colleges strongly recommend them, and some schools have no preference at all.  Subject tests should be viewed not as an opportunity to provide depth and variety to your profile if you feel you can do well.

 

See the ACT SAT PSAT section of our website for more details and registration links!

 

The Early Assessment Program (EAP)  is another test program that can help you prepare for college.  The EAP uses your SBAC scores from junior year to determine if you have met college readiness standards in English and Math for the CSU system.  The results of the SBAC test taken in the spring of your junior year will either exempt you from the CSU placement tests or provide information that you will need for a college level course of study, including summer school remediation!  Click on the above link for more information.

College Admission Requirements III: GPA Matters!

Maybe you took all the right classes... but how did you do in those classes?  GPA has a big impact on how competitive an applicant you can be.  If you earned D grades in any A-G classes, you'll have to repeat them.  The CSU and UC will not recognize D grades as meeting the requirements; independent schools might, but they really impact your cumulative GPA.  Keep in mind that there are many different GPA's that are used for colleges, financial aid, and even scholarships.  On a very basic level, your GPA is made up using the following formula:

A= 4 points, B= 3 points, C= 2 points, D= 1 point and F= 0 points; add up the number of points you have and divide by the number of classes you counted.  What about honors?  Great question! 

Here is a quick reference breaking down the different GPA's that are often used:

Cumulative Unweighted GPA (found on your transcript): Every class listed on your transcript using the basic formula above with NO additional points for honors or AP classes.  This GPA can never be higher than 4.0.

Cumulative Weighted GPA (found on your transcript): Every class listed on your transcript; an extra point will be given for every honors or AP class where a C or higher is earned.  While this GPA can often go above a 4.0, the GPA scale used is still considered to be a 4.0 scale. 

A-G College Admission GPA, often referred to as a "recalculated GPA": This GPA is NOT found on your transcript; you will need to calculate it for yourself.  CSU and UC campuses use this GPA to evaluate students for college admission.  It includes only the grades earned in A-G classes beginning the summer after freshmen year.  AP classes will always earn an extra point (as long as they are passed with a C or better) but not many honors classes are given an extra point for this GPA.  To see what Wilson offers that is A-G approved as well as which classes earn the extra point, see our official A-G course list.  Keep in mind that colleges will limit extra points to a maximum of eight semesters, including no more than four semesters taken in the 10th grade year.

REPEATED COURSES: If you earn a grade of D or lower in a class and choose to repeat it for grade improvement, the higher grade earned will be used to calculate your GPA provided the courses are the same.  Example, if you earn a D in Algebra 2 and then take Algebra 2 again over summer school and earn an A, the A would be used in your GPA calculation, not the D.  However, if you earned an F in English 2 Honors and then took English 2 over summer school and got a B, BOTH the F and B would be calculated in your GPA since they are not the same course.  

Confusing?  Don't worry, that's why you have a counselor!


 

College Search Websites

Below are a sample of the different search engines and websites devoted to helping you choose the best school for you.  Always be aware that some sites are geared towards schools that have paid to advertise, but generally they provide pretty accurate information.  It is always best to double check information on the actual school website.

 

California Colleges: This is an awesome comprehensive all in one search site and we definitely recommend starting here.  We are proud to be partners with California Colleges which means that if you probably already have an account created for you on this site.  See you counselor if you don't remember the training workshop you attended and we can help recover your login information.  If your signed consent form is on file, you will also be able to access your transcript information on this site.    

 

CollegeBoard School Match Assistant:This is a great site that allows you to begin with over 3,000 schools across the country and narrow down based on factors important to you.  Really great for looking at details such as price, especially for in state versus out of state tuition!  

 

Exploring Majors, Assist.org: Do you know what major or area you are interested in but you aren't sure which of the Cal State or UC schools offer that program?  Check out this website!  You can click on Majors and choose from the drop down lists or you can select a specific Cal State or UC campus to see programs they offer.  Remember, the more research you do early on, the better prepared you will be to make decisions about your life after Wilson.

 

My Plan: This search does not allow you to get as specific, but it does provide different options and has a cleaner look to it.  Loads of additional planning information is also available here. 

 

Major and Career Descriptions: Not sure what you want to do after high school?  Check out this great resource provided by CollegeBoard.  Here you can search by major categories or by career categories to see what options you might want to pursue.  It may not have everything, but it is a really easy way to start researching different paths for after high school.

 

Cappex: This a pretty inclusive site that allows you not only to research various schools, but they have a calculator that will determine your odds of getting into a specific college, based on numbers alone of course.  That are also a lot of student reviews and worksheets.

 

College Confidential: This site is mostly dedicated to student blogs and posted information.  It is interesting but remember that opinions may vary greatly!

 

College Week Live:  The world’s biggest virtual college fair, with more than 200 colleges and universities from around the world exhibiting and more than 25,000 attendees. The event revolutionizes college admissions, making the process easier and more cost-effective by bringing together students, parents, counselors and colleges online to interact, transcending time and distance. CollegeWeekLive occurs yearly in November and March and is completely free to attendees and has discussions and archives available at all times.

College Athletics

Interested in playing a sport when you get to college? It is not as easy as you might think; read through the following information to be sure you meet eligibility requirements.

NCAA Student Athlete Guide and Eligibility Requirements

NCAA Eligibility Center

NCAA Recruiting Chart

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