Fresno Unified offering incoming seniors college application help

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) —

Fresno Unified is upping the ante when it comes to preparing students for higher education.

As seniors prepare themselves for the start of the school year, Fresno Unified district officials are making sure they’re prepared for college.

“Let’s make sure students are informed,” Vincent Harris with the district said. “Much like the notion of life, you always want to know what are your options. This project was really about giving students the full spectrum of options.”

In an effort to boost enrollment at CSU and UC campuses, a district-wide initiative launched last year. In addition to training counselors on CSU and UC’s, each eligible senior, based on coursework, SAT and ACT test scores and university requirements received an “I am ready” packet.

“There’s about 3,500 students, and we noticed only a few hundred were applying to a CSU and UC that their academic profile fit,” Harris explained.

Each individualized packet had information about campuses that matched the student’s academic profile. A pocket guide on private universities and financial aid were also included so students are informed of their options.

Fresno Unified says most low-income students didn’t realize that their application fees are waived for up to four colleges.

“At the end of the day, how do we make sure our students recognize they’re eligible for a certain set of colleges based on academic profiles, and, two, what can we do to help make sure that they applied?” Harris said.

The first year’s outcome was a 50 percent increase in the number of students applying to UC and CSU campuses other than Fresno State.

“Last year, that number was about 382, this year that number was about 578,” he said.

District wide, of the roughly 3,600 graduating seniors, 2,300 apply to CSU’s and just under 900 apply to a UC.

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