“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Grade Level Updates:
Seniors: Congratulations! This Monday marks May 1st, the deadline for students to accept an offer of admission and make tuition deposit at many colleges and universities.
*Update your Naviance college list by indicating the decision you received from each school and marking the one school you will attend.
*Bring a copy of your acceptance letter/email, with your assigned student ID number written on it, to the Counseling Office. We will not send a final transcript to a college on your behalf unless we have that acceptance letter.*Second semester grades do count, and low grades can lead to a senior being rescinded by their college. All acceptances are provisional until the college receives your final grades. KEEP YOUR SECOND SEMESTER GRADES STRONG! Carefully read your acceptance letter to understand their expectations.
Juniors: College applications are approaching quickly!
*The UC system has announced a slight modification to the personal insight questions. UC's personal insight questions will remain the same for fall 2018 applicants with some slightly modified wording for questions 6 & 8 for freshman applicants and question 7 for transfer applicants. The modifications came as a result of counselor and adviser feedback and campuses desire to provide more focus and clarity for students. These changes are effective June 2017.
Freshman applicants: Personal insight questions
Answer any 4 of the following 8 questions:
Keep in mind
Questions & Guidance
Remember, the personal questions are just that — personal. Which means you should use our guidance for each question just as a suggestion in case you need help. The important thing is expressing who you are, what matters to you and what you want to share with UC.
1. Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes or contributed to group efforts over time.
Things to consider: A leadership role can mean more than just a title. It can mean being a mentor to others, acting as the person in charge of a specific task, or taking the lead role in organizing an event or project. Think about what you accomplished and what you learned from the experience. What were your responsibilities?
Did you lead a team? How did your experience change your perspective on leading others? Did you help to resolve an important dispute at your school, church, in your community or an organization? And your leadership role doesn’t necessarily have to be limited to school activities. For example, do you help out or take care of your family?
2. Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.
Things to consider: What does creativity mean to you? Do you have a creative skill that is important to you? What have you been able to do with that skill? If you used creativity to solve a problem, what was your solution? What are the steps you took to solve the problem?
How does your creativity influence your decisions inside or outside the classroom? Does your creativity relate to your major or a future career?
3. What would you say is your greatest talent or skill? How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?
Things to consider: If there’s a talent or skill that you’re proud of, this is the time to share it. You don’t necessarily have to be recognized or have received awards for your talent (although if you did and you want to talk about it, feel free to do so). Why is this talent or skill meaningful to you?
Does the talent come naturally or have you worked hard to develop this skill or talent? Does your talent or skill allow you opportunities in or outside the classroom? If so, what are they and how do they fit into your schedule?
4. Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.
Things to consider: An educational opportunity can be anything that has added value to your educational experience and better prepared you for college. For example, participation in an honors or academic enrichment program, or enrollment in an academy that’s geared toward an occupation or a major, or taking advanced courses that interest you — just to name a few.
If you choose to write about educational barriers you’ve faced, how did you overcome or strive to overcome them? What personal characteristics or skills did you call on to overcome this challenge? How did overcoming this barrier help shape who are you today?
5. Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge. How has this challenge affected your academic achievement?
Things to consider: A challenge could be personal, or something you have faced in your community or school. Why was the challenge significant to you? This is a good opportunity to talk about any obstacles you’ve faced and what you’ve learned from the experience. Did you have support from someone else or did you handle it alone?
If you’re currently working your way through a challenge, what are you doing now, and does that affect different aspects of your life? For example, ask yourself, “How has my life changed at home, at my school, with my friends or with my family?”
6. Think about an academic subject that inspires you. Describe how you have furthered this interest inside and/or outside of the classroom.
Things to consider: Many students have a passion for one specific academic subject area, something that they just can’t get enough of. If that applies to you, what have you done to further that interest? Discuss how your interest in the subject developed and describe any experience you have had inside and outside the classroom — such as volunteer work, internships, employment, summer programs, participation in student organizations and/or clubs — and what you have gained from your involvement.
Has your interest in the subject influenced you in choosing a major and/or future career? Have you been able to pursue coursework at a higher level in this subject (honors, AP, IB, college or university work)? Are you inspired to pursue this subject further at UC, and how might you do that?
Why were you inspired to act? What did you learn from your effort? How did your actions benefit others, the wider community or both? Did you work alone or with others to initiate change in your community?
8. Beyond what has already been shared in your application, what do you believe makes you stand out as a strong candidate for admissions to the University of California?
Things to consider: If there’s anything you want us to know about you, but didn’t find a question or place in the application to tell us, now’s your chance. What have you not shared with us that will highlight a skill, talent, challenge or opportunity that you think will help us know you better?
From your point of view, what do you feel makes you an excellent choice for UC? Don’t be afraid to brag a little.
For the questions, FAQ's, instructions, and worksheets for freshman and transfer applicants, please go to ucal.us/personalquestions.
Sophomores & Freshmen: Try to find your balance! When choosing classes don’t take on too much and be sure to make time for co-curricular activities. Have you committed to membership in any clubs or activities? Getting involved in clubs, sports, work or volunteering to help others can help you learn more about yourself and can be fun! The College Board states, “Most college applications ask about your activities. That’s because the things you do in your free time reveal a lot about you — in ways that grades and test scores can’t.”
May 1st-12th AP Testing
May 13th Prom
May 26th Luau and Senior Awards
May 30th-June 1st Semester Finals
June 2nd Graduation and Grad Night