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Advice For Educators: The College App and FAFSA

Navigating the college application process can be difficult for all students.

Navigating the college application process can be difficult for all students. The applications, the costs, testing, maintaining good grades, and planning take considerable effort, especially if students wait until the last minute to start. Students who haven’t done a lot of preparation, may now be feeling a bit frazzled. This is when we ask students to take it one-step at a time, take a deep breath, and prioritize their next activities. The Academy’s instruction focuses on the basics to help students manage the process and build upon their knowledge. This starts with simple activities that break down the applications and move them from overwhelmed to intentional action. Here are a few suggestions below:

Cal State Applications:

The Cal State Application requires less time and writing to complete. However, students still need guidance to ensure application understanding and accuracy. Three areas the Academy emphasizes:

  • What is an impacted college and how it could affect their choices.
  • The value and application to EOP for low-income and first generation students.
  • Thorough and careful student input in the Academic History section. This is an area where many students make mistakes.

UC Applications:

  • Provide students with a list of the 8 Personal Insight Questions. Before selecting the four they will eventually submit, have them brainstorm examples for each question.
  • Once complete, students can review through their examples. Which questions help an admissions officer understand their personality? Their background? Interests? Achievements? Which four examples will be unique from each other, so admissions gets a comprehensive view of the student?
  • Once the 4 Questions have been confirmed, then the students will expand on their brainstorm.


  • Encourage students to enroll early.
  • Remind students of the required documents and provide examples of what they will need to complete.
  • The FAFSA application is lengthy. Direct students to block out time to complete.
  • Encourage students to use the Help prompts or seek advice when they have questions. Mistakes can lead to the loss of thousands of dollars.

To learn more about the Academy, email AcademyInfo@RealityChangers.org to schedule a Free Info Session.