Monday, September 22, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. If I am thinking of going to college, do I have to wait until I am a senior to start planning and applying?

No, if you are considering attending college after high school graduation, it is best to start planning as soon as possible. You will want to start to visit colleges and find out more information. Your guidance counselor should help you to identify your personal goals through your Student Education Occupation Planning (SEOP) each year. Make sure to ask your guidance counselor for more information about college. You should also consider contacting the university’s outreach coordinators for more information about college –sometimes its best to go directly to the source. By contacting the university or college you are considering, you can request more information about what classes, majors, and programs are available. You can often search for the university/college on the internet and find out more information in the “prospective student” or "future students" sections.

2. What if I don’t know what I want to study or major in once in college?

As a college student, you will be required to take general courses which will meet your graduation requirements. The purpose of these classes is to allow you the opportunity to explore different fields in education and become well rounded. Take your first year as a college student to explore your options but make sure to talk to an academic advisor so that you receive guidance on what direction you should take. You may also want to find out if your college/university offers career exploration, advising and testing so you can use this resource to assist you in determining your major and/or minor.

3. What type of grades do I need to go to college?

It is always a great idea to do the best you can academically while in school. However, due to life circumstances, this is not always a possibility. Everyone can go to college; the only difference will be the type of institution each student will qualify for and be admitted to. If you know what college/university you are interested in attending, find out what their admission requirements are and what you need to do to meet them. Your counselor can help you with this process if you need assistance.

4. Can I still go to college if English is my second language and I still need improvement in my writing and speaking skills?

Utah colleges offer a variety of courses that can help students who need to improve their English. Ask about these classes when researching the school or when looking through the school Language programs.

5. Can I still go to college if I am undocumented?

Yes, there is no law that prohibits an undocumented student from attending college. The main factor to consider is the price of tuition. Please read the guide book for detailed information about your options.

6. What is HB 144 and how does it help undocumented students?

House Bill 144 (HB 144) is a Utah law that allows undocumented students who meet certain requirements to receive in-state tuition when paying for college/university. HB 144 does not grant undocumented students scholarships to pay tuition but rather allows them to pay the same tuition rate that a Utah Resident pays.

7. What type of grades do I need to get scholarships?

Certain scholarships will ask for a specific GPA to apply so it is always essential to read all the requirements. Most scholarships take other factors into account such as: school involvement, leadership positions, community service participation, awards and recognitions, and personal obstacles you have had to overcome. It is very important that you try your best throughout high school but if life circumstances have impacted your grades in a negative matter, use the personal statement as an opportunity to explain what has happened and why your grades have dropped in performance.

8. How can I access scholarship information?

Ask your counselor or college advisor at your school for a list of scholarships that are available for the academic year. A lot of times you can find a posting of available scholarships in the Counseling Center/Guidance Center. In addition you should contact the colleges you are applying to in order to find out specific scholarships for that institution. There are also many scholarship search engines which allow you to set up an account for free. These websites look for scholarships you qualify for and notify you as soon as possible.

Information from Denise Castaneda's Utah College Guide Book

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