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«April 2014»

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graduation.xsWhether it’s university, community college, or trade school, helping your children navigate the next chapter of their lives is a great adventure and sometimes can be a great challenge. Included here are resources to help you and your child explore the resources and options.

College Search Best Sites

 California Community Colleges


Be sure to check with your high school college center for more information!

A website specifically for the needs of transitional age youth, SF4TAY.org. Created by TAY for TAY, this will be a comprehensive one-stop shop for all services SF has to offer our most vulnerable 16-24 year olds.
 Read more.

What are the most generous colleges and universities in the country?

US News & World Report attempts to answer that question every year when it rolls out its lists of institutions that self report that they meet 100% of each student’s financial need. Read more. 

Transferring to a University of California

Here are some websites which will inform you regarding the transfer process from community colleges to the UC's.
 Assist A broad look at transferring from a community college. 
• How to Transfer to a UC.
 Transfer Admission Guarantees (UCs)
Transfer Alliance Project. Cal doesn't have the Transfer Admission Guarantees, but this is the closest thing to it. The students involved in this program have an 80% admit rate to Cal. The lay out of the site isn't the greatest, but if you're interested you should give them a call to ask for more info. UCLA has a similar program.
 The Transfer Center at Cal. They have a great program called the Starting Point Mentorship Program (community college students get paired up with a current Cal student, that transferred from a community college, and are able to ask all the questions they want- a tremendous opportunity).  

 ACT test & registration dates

• SAT: Most students take the SAT for the first time during the spring of their junior year and a second time during the fall of their senior year.  Don't forget to send your scores after you applied and accepted to collges! 

Mentors: Talking to Your Teen
from KnowHow2Go

It may not always be easy to talk with your teen. But it's important that you support your teen throughout the college planning process. Help him or her organize the process, meet deadlines and talk with the right people. Click here for a few tips to consider. (Offer in Spanish too)

AP (Advance Placement) Classes are they worth it?

AP can change your life. Through college-level AP courses, you enter a universe of knowledge that might otherwise remain unexplored in high school; through AP Exams, you have the opportunity to earn credit or advanced standing at most of the nation's colleges and universities. By taking AP classes in high school you can save a lot of money by not taking the same courses in college.

The College Boards website can answer all your questions. What AP classes are there?  What if my high school doesn't offer an AP class I want to take?  How much are the AP exams?  When are the AP exams?


The College Visit — does it do any good? 
by Steven Winn, Chronicle Arts and Culture Critic

teens1From a distance it looks like some stylized military exercise, or maybe an elaborate hazing rite devised for fraternity and sorority pledges. On college campuses across the country, large ... Read more on SFGate.com 

SFkids Tips: 
1) Make college tour appointments early as they fill up.  Make a schedule of the schools you want to tour and make a plan and timeline to tour. 
2) Visit as many schools as possible to get a feel of what your teen likes and doesn't like.

Online Options
 The Top Online College Courses and Classes-- Is a free and comprehensive resource that is a collection of open college course that spans videos, audio lectures, and notes given by professors at Harvard, Princeton and MIT. 
• Most Affordable Online Colleges & Universities - The site provides a comprehensive and informative resource that allows you to search for colleges and their respective tuition. This type of information is very valuable to today's students who are not only dealing with a more competitive higher ed environment, but also with the rising costs associated with them.

Concurrent/Dual Enrollment Programs
In partnership with San Francisco Unified School District, the AASP provide high school students with the opportunity to earn high school credits to complete high school graduation requirements

Target Audience:  All high school juniors (11th grade) and seniors (12th grade) are eligible to apply for City College of San Francisco (AASP) high school Transitional Studies classes.

Gateway To College
The program gives students the opportunity to earn a high school diploma while earning college credits and achieving college success. Students simultaneously accumulate high school and college credits, earning their high school diploma while progressing toward an associate degree or certificate.  For more information, visit our website.

Target Audience: San Francisco residents who have dropped out of school or are at risk of doing so, and are in the 16-20 year old range. Read more...

Cheap Textbooks?
Purchasing textbooks can be expensive.  We have a few cost saving tips:

- Purchase a used book on Amazon.com, Craigslist or an online resource.
- Rent textbooks from Chegg.com
- Purchase used textbooks from the school book store or post text wanted on the school bulletin boards or dorms.
- Search for new, used, rental & e textbooks at Barnes & Noble. 


Looking for Financial Aid for College?

Here's a list of web resources for financial aid and scholarships:

You can afford to send your kids to college! 
Financial aid is available from colleges and universities, the state and federal governments, businesses, and other organizations. 

• Families looking at college for next year, 2013-2014, are reminded that you need to fill out the FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. File it no matter what colleges you're applying to -- California public, out-of-state public, private or out of state. It can't be submitted until Jan. 1, 2013, but it's a big project and you should be starting early. In California, the deadline is March 2, 2013, to qualify for state assistance. 

Check out the FAFSA4caster.  You can use FAFSA4caster to learn about the financial aid process and get an early estimate of your eligibility for federal student aid.

What is federal student aid?  
 CalGrants: College seniors with at least a 2.0 grade point average can apply for grants to attend a qualifying California university, college, or technical school. 
California Chafee Grant Program provides $5,000 annually to foster youth for career and technical training or college courses.
What is a 529 College Savings Plan? The Beehive offers clear information about strategies for saving for college.
What is an Education Savings Account (ESA)?  It is an account in which you may purchase investments such as stocks and bonds. As long as you use that money for valid education purposes, you will not have to pay federal taxes on it.
Another way you can save for college is to open a UGMA or UTMA account. These options allow parents, grandparents, etc. a flexible way to give assets to a minor (child under 18) to use for college expenses.

SFKids Feature

Don't know the first thing about getting into college? Where to start in five steps: a guide for students and parents. By Caroline Grannan

Learn about the University of California's "A-G coursework" requirements – the high-school classes UC requires for admission. That list is viewed as the gold standard. The California State University standards are . . . (click here to read the whole article.)

College AdmissionsTesting Information 

• California Colleges answers questions on what courses to take in high school, visiting campus,
Understanding College Admissions Tests, by GreatSchools.net staff
 The ACT Test: The ACT® test assesses high school students' general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work.
 The College Board: Among its best-known programs are the SAT®, the PSAT/NMSQT®, and the Advanced Placement Program® (AP®).
FairTest, The National Center for Fair & Open Testing: They work to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluations of students, teachers, and schools are fair, open, valid, and educationally beneficial. They offer information for K­–12 schools as well as university level.


California College Search

• The San Francisco Unified School District has a page on their website with a list of local colleges and universities.
 Sallie Mae: The nation’s leading provider of student loans.
 University of California: information pages on admissions, applications, and an online counselor to help in the process.
 CSU Mentor: The California State University information page for campus information, admissions, applications etc.
 California Community Colleges: Bay Area colleges and universities, (916) 324-8593
 City College of San Francisco is a great two-year community college. Many students transfer from City College and go to San Francisco State or UC Berkeley.

Trade and Technical Schools 
 San Francisco Technical Schools: a great listing of local colleges and institutes.

 California Vocational and Technical Schools

•  Also check out the San Francisco Unified School District's School-to-Career Page. The SFUSD works with educators, businesses and community partners to provide all students a relevant education that includes awareness of and access to career opportunities, and preparation for post-secondary education and lifelong learning. The School-to-Career department coordinates Career Technical Education in the SFUSD.

Local Resources

• The San Francisco College Access Center provides culturally relevant, comprehensive college preparation information and assistance. Although open to the community, the program targets students who are from low-income families and who are the first of their families to attend post-secondary education programs. Services include academic planning, financial aid and college application assistance, SAT prep, scholarship search, and much more. They are located at the Main Library, 100 Larkin Street.

High School and Beyond Career and Education Planner from the SF Public Library is a great resource to explore interests in a variety of careers, and find training for those careers. There are several trade school and vocational weblinks. Get resources on how to package your skills, market yourself, and find a job.

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