UC to California high school students: College is attainable

Two senior UC Santa Cruz officials will visit Harbor High School Thursday, October 18 as part of Achieve UC, a state-wide program to show high school students how they can achieve a University of California education.

Richard Hughey, vice provost and dean of undergraduate education, and Michelle Whittingham, associate vice chancellor of enrollment management, will explain UC's application requirements and emphasize that there is a place at UC for any qualified California high school student who wants to attend.

UC President Mark Yudof and senior officials from each UC campus including most chancellors will visit local high schools beginning October 18 as part of Achieve UC.

The idea: Inspire students to aim for college, and arm them with the information they need to get there. The message: "You do your job – study hard, apply yourself, take the SAT and the courses you need to qualify – and we’ll do ours. We’ll make sure there’s a place for you at UC, and provide the financial assistance to help you get here."

“I’ve visited high schools up and down the state, and it’s always exciting to see students learn about the financial support that exists and discover that a University of California education is attainable,” Yudof said. “If they push themselves, work hard and dream big, we’ll make sure the doors of opportunity are open to them. We want their talents, their passion and their perspectives.”

Achieve UC builds on other programs the University of California has in high schools across the state to help put students on a path to college.

Each year, thousands of students who apply to the University of California get in. This year, 40 percent of UC freshman are the first in their families to go to college. More than half come from homes where English is not the primary language. Four out of 10 come from low-income families.

Achieve UC is the first coordinated effort to connect high school students with leaders across the UC system, and is expected to reach some 10,000 freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Students will meet with UC advisors who can help them assess their preparation for college.

They will learn about scholarships designed to make college affordable to all Californians – opportunities such as the Blue and Gold Opportunity Plan, which covers the full cost of tuition for students whose families earn $80,000 a year or less. Additional scholarships and funds are available to help pay for books, for housing, and many other expenses.