The Final Countdown for Cal State and UC college apps


Andres Flor

COLLEGE APPLICATION PROCESS – The UC portal is a typical sight for students applying to the Universities of California. This is where students submit their test scores, academic history, and personal insight essays. “You’re already a great person! All you have to do now is put it on paper,” Heber Marquez, an English teacher, said.

Andres Flores, Features Editor

The deadline for college applications is inching closer every day. Students are wondering how to make their applications stand out while searching for scholarships. It is a stressful time. 

“Honestly [college apps] have been stressful because deciding what to write is hard,” Brittany Lupercio, a senior, said.

Applying to Cal States and UCs are two different processes. This doesn’t even take into account private colleges which have their own requirements. However, the process is usually similar: applicants list their academic history (grades, SAT score, AP test, and classes), apply for financial aid, and, if required, write a personal statement. 

The personal statement can make or break a college application; it is the piece of the application where the individual comes through and it’s, arguably, the most important part of making any application stand out.

“BE YOU!!! You’re already a great person! All you gotta do now is put it on paper,” Herber Marquez, an English teacher, said. The best way to make the personal statement section of college applications stand out is to talk about personal experiences. No one person is the same and applicants should capitalize on their differences in order to have the best application that they can possibly have.

“For [Personal Insight Questions] and college essays in general, make sure you get an editor,” Kim Perfecto, a science teacher, said. An editor can give an applicant’s essays a push in the right direction, making it go from an average essay to a great one. 

The UC essays have a limit of 350 words and in order to make every word count, it is recommended to have a teacher or trusted adult look over them. Their insight and experience can help make or break an essay. “Colleges are really investing thousands of dollars on you so they want to know what you can bring to the college,” Perfecto said. 

Applicants are a potential investment to the colleges that they are applying to, and colleges have thousands of applicants every year. A personal insight question should highlight an applicant’s strengths and accomplishments, acting as a resume as to why they would be a great asset to the particular school that they are applying to. 

“I have been looking [scholarships] up online and [have] been completing the ones that don’t seem sketchy,” Lupercio said. Scholarships make all the difference and are also a very important part of the college application process. 

Colleges offer financial aid if applicants apply, but it is best that they also apply for scholarships and grants while trying to stay away from loans. Student loans are forever and the less applicants rely on them, the less they’re likely loans are to burden them in the future. 

“The college center knows all the amazing scholarships! But I always suggest students look into smaller ones… often times they are easier to get than the big ones and money starts adding up quickly if you apply to a lot of them,” Perfecto said.

The college center is a great resource for students and should be taken advantage of. They provide students with all the info that they need. “I’d highly recommend they check out the MACES college center IG page (@maces_collegecenter). They have tons of scholarships on their Linktree,” Marquez said.

UC apps are due on November 30 and Cal State apps are due on December 4, which gives students a little over a week to finalize what they have.