Private & Independent colleges differ from the UC & CSU's significantly in their admissions application processes. Generally speaking, they will have the same subject requirements as the UC/CSU's "a-g" subject pattern. However, students should check the home website of the college in question to be certain. Where the UC & CSU systems do not require letters of recommendation, or even transcripts with their applications - most colleges in the Private/Independent sector will require essays, letters of recommendations and transcripts at the time of application. Most will also want "mid-year" transcript updates after the fall semester senior grades post.
Who Wants What Test? Most private/independent schools require the SAT or ACT tests. Many of them may require SAT Subject Tests as well. You should check directly with the websites of the colleges you are interested in to find out for sure.
College Web Search There are many reliable college internet search engines. They are the best place to research private, independent and out of state schools. The most reputable sites have been hyperlinked to __________page.
AICCU (Association of Independent CA Colleges and Universities) is the advocacy organization for all California's Private & Independent Colleges and Universities. Their website AICCUMentor™ offers total access to information and admissions applications for degree-granting independent colleges and universities within California. www.aiccu.org
Early Action/Decision If you are applying to a private school, especially the very competitive ones – consider the “Early Action/Decision” process.The dates are very early (September or October). So you need to be ready to act quickly. Go to www.collegeboard.com/parents/apply/college-applications/21342.html to find additional information about how these programs work.
CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE® is required by many private schools (in addition to the FAFSA) in order to register for Financial Aid. These deadlines are often quite early (October or November) - so check to determine if your schools will require the Profile. For more information on the CSS/Financial Aide PROFILE click on the following hyperlink: http://profileonline.collegeboard.com/index.jsp
The Common Application has been in existence for more than 35 years and is accepted by nearly 400 independent colleges and universities. Many schools accept it as the sole application document, while others may still require a supplemental form of their own to complete the application process. The concept is simple: Students complete one Common Application form online and may submit it to multiple participating universities and colleges. The procedure simplifies the college application process and eliminates duplication of effort. In fact, it has become the preferred method of submitting “Early Decision/Action” applications to many Ivy League schools. To order a Common Application you may call 1-800-253-7746 or, preferably, complete online at: www.commonapp.org Many member institutions have their supplements linked to this website and will also accept the common application itself online! If a school has signed the Common Application agreement, then they have agreed to accept and process this application equally to their own form. If you have any doubts about whether a school you’re interested in accepts the Common Application you may check the aforementioned website. It should be noted that the CSU & UC systems do not subscribe to the Common Application.
College Rankings The U.S. News & World Report conducts what is perhaps the most widely respected ranking of colleges annually. Their website contains voluminous information that has been gleaned from virtually every accredited school in the country. In addition to ranking the top National universities they also rank colleges by categories as varied as: public, private, region, major, specialties, tuition, size, gender, most transfer students, largest/smallest class size, # of campus commuters, hottest/coldest weather, largest /smallest freshman classes, most national merit scholars, early action deadlines, early decision deadlines, acceptance rates, best marching bands, and those with no football team. The indicators the U.S. News & World Report uses fall into seven broad categories: academic reputation; retention of students; faculty resources; student selectivity; financial resources; alumni giving; and, for national universities and liberal arts colleges only, “graduation rate performance,” which is the difference between the proportion of students expected to graduate and the proportion that actually do. To view the U.S. News & World Report rankings for both Public & Private Schools click here.