By Annie Cui,
Students and parents gathered in the Brunelle Performance Hall on Sept. 28 to attend the University of California workshop. Future college students and parents learned about the UC system and had an opportunity to ask questions to a UC Davis admissions officer.
In the crowd, there were many parents listening and some even taking notes during the presentation. Most of the students present were seniors who will be applying to UC’s this November, but since the workshop was open to everyone for free, a few underclassmen listened in as well.
The first half of the workshop comprised of an admissions officer going over the basics of the UC’s and the application: the different campuses, transfer admissions, financial aid, programs offered and more.
The second half was when the audience was able to ask questions to the admissions officer. Some of the questions and topics that were discussed were about waitlists, honor programs, majors and tuition.
Senior Ace Gimenez decided to attend not only for tips on how to apply to UC’s, but also for a possible inside scoop on how to answer the personal insight questions.
One of the ideas emphasized during the beginning of the workshop is that personal insight questions should be specific and that because UC’s have to read tens of thousands of applications, fluff writing in essays is more than unnecessary.
“They elaborated more in-depth on a lot of the things I already knew. I definitely learned more attending it than before, so I would recommend it to someone to come to it for them to learn about college applications,” Gimenez said.
In addition to building on to his preexisting knowledge of the application, the workshop gave Gimenez additional hope for his future.
“[The admissions officer] was talking about how some students get into a certain UC even if their GPA is a 3.0 or below, and I got really excited about that because now I have a higher chance,” Gimenez said.
One of the points discussed in the workshop was that all of the 14 factors reviewed in an application, such as GPA, special talents and test scores, are all weighted equally.
Also, applicants are judged in the context of where they come from and compared with someone with a similar background. Therefore, a Davis High student would not be directly compared to an applicant from a rural area since their opportunities are so different.
From the workshop, Gimenez learned that UC’s look for diversity rather than students who all have 5.0 GPA’s and perfect SAT scores.
Although the workshop was meant to guide people through the process, for some students the workshop added onto their stress as the reality of college applications and the deadlines became real.
“It was very helpful but the stress comes from me being concerned about meeting the requirements and […] keeping up my senior grades. They said […] we want to make sure you don’t get senioritis, but I already have senioritis,” senior Victoria Nishikawa said.
Despite the stressful wake-up call, Nishikawa still recommends these workshops as guides for students.
Davis High will have its next college application workshop on Oct. 5 for California State Universities and Oct. 12 for financial aid.