November 30th is the deadline for students to apply for UC campuses by submitting an application online. At the Preuss School UCSD, every student applies to UC San Diego, and students apply to schools across the UC and CSU systems. But those applications don’t just happen. Here, seniors submit their UC application with their advisory teacher, who has mentored them from sixth through twelfth grades and met them multiple times weekly to discuss getting through high school and on to college. That advisory teacher knows every student’s transcript and many aspects of their lives. Each student started taking college-prep courses in sixth grade and did a trial run of a UC application in the junior year.
Preuss asks all students to demonstrate motivation to attend Preuss through a lengthy application, then enters applicants into a lottery system after screening to ensure that applicants are both low income and the first in their family to go to college. Preuss then provides a careful system of scaffolds to ensure that every student takes college-prep coursework, benefits from extended learning opportunities (including 23 extra school days), and is monitored closely by advisory teachers toward success. CREATE’s research shows that this combination of rigorous curriculum supported by academic and social scaffolds pays off — the students who enter the lottery but don’t get in to Preuss enroll in college approximately half as often as those who attend Preuss.