Rogue Community College
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Applying to College

Frequently asked questions about applying to college

When should I start thinking about applying for college?

  • The process for applying for and being accepted into a college of your choosing begins in middle school. Academic preparation in middle school leads to future academic success in high school -- the key to achieving entrance to the college of your dreams. Once you are in high school, planning your course load and academic achievement become increasingly important. The actual process of researching colleges, taking college entrance exams, and applying for college can begin as early as junior year.

Is there a minimum grade point average to get into college?
  • Most students worry about not being good enough to get into college. The truth is there are many options for college and each present a different set of requirements. For instance, students choosing to pursue a certificate or degree at an Oregon two-year community college complete a placement assessment prior to college enrollment. Whereas, a minimum grade point average is needed to be accepted to a four-year university but it varies by institution. For example, the minimum grade point average (GPA) needed to be eligible for Portland State University (PSU) is 3.00; the minimum grade point average needed to be eligible for Oregon State University (OSU) is also 3.0. If you are planning to apply for entrance to a competitive major or limited enrollment program, these may have unique requirements which must be met prior to admission. Check with your institution for program specific requirements.

Are there high school course requirements for admission to college?
  • College includes professional/technical certificate programs, 2-year and four-year degree programs. As such, there is no single academic path that all students should follow. An ideal four-year preparatory program includes:
    1. English—4 years. All four years should be in preparatory composition and literature with emphasis on and frequent practice in writing expository prose.
    2. Mathematics—3 years. Must include first-year algebra and two additional years of college-preparatory mathematics, including Algebra II (or equivalent) or higher. An advanced mathematics course is highly recommended in your senior year. One year of either algebra or geometry taken prior to ninth grade are acceptable.
    3. Science—3 years. Must include a year each in two fields of college-preparatory science such as biology, chemistry, physics, or earth and physical science. One year of laboratory science is recommended.
    4. Social Studies—3 years. Complete three years of social studies from such areas as global studies, history, or social studies electives.
    5. Second language—2 years. Check your college for multiple ways to fulfill this requirement.

    Students who want to be accepted into the nation’s top tier universities should plan to take the most rigorous secondary school curricula available to them. While students who want to demonstrate a well rounded high school experience may choose to include the arts, computer science, independent study and up to four years of a foreign language.

"I can't afford to go to college."
  • Yes you can!!! College is the best investment in your future that you can make. There are many financial aid options that can help you pay for college. Apply for scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study. Here are some other options to make college more affordable:
  1. Consider starting at a community college then transferring to a 4-year university. Tuition at a community college can be half the cost of a 4-year university.
  2. Live at home and/or commute.
  3. Work part-time while in college.
  4. If you are considering the military, look into all the programs that are available to help pay for college and living expenses.

How do I find out about the requirements for my college?
  • There are many resources available to assist you. You can:
    1. Visit the college in which you are interested. Many colleges have Preview Days or may also accommodate you on an individual basis.
    2. Research the admission requirements in your college’s catalog or on their website. While there, research the requirements for your major.
    3. Attend events sponsored by your college at your local high school or attend regional college fairs hosted at RCC campuses every year.
    4. Talk to your college counselor or TRiO ETS Transition Specialist.

Will volunteer work and extracurricular activities help me to get into college?
  • The good news is that colleges pay attention to your life both inside and outside the classroom. Obviously your academics come first, but your activities reveal a great deal about you, such as:
    1. How you've made a meaningful contribution to something.
    2. What your non-academic interests are.
    3. Whether you can manage your time and priorities.
    4. What diversity you’d bring to the student body.
  • Colleges are not interested in seeing you get involved in everything; they just want to see that you have a range of interests and can demonstrate a long-term commitment.
  • It’s good to get involved in extracurricular activities early. Check out opportunities at your school, through your church or community.

What is a Major and what role does it play in high school?
  • A major is associated with college and is a primary focus of study. A minor is your secondary focus of study. For example, you could major in Economics and minor in Spanish. It is helpful to start thinking about your career interests and goals as early as your freshman year. By the end of your sophomore year, you will want to identify majors you are interested in that match your career goals. You can then begin to research majors and colleges to determine whether there are additional courses or activities you will want to undertake prior to graduation from high school.

Oregon public universities, colleges, and private universities

Federal funds have been allocated for the TRiO Educational Talent Search program. 100% of this project is financed through a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.