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Tips for Undergrad Applicants

The following is a series of "tips" from our staff to you, as the student. These tips come from our experience working with students throughout the application and admission cycle.

Remember to contact admissions@sjsu.edu with any questions before you are in danger of missing a deadline or requirement. It is a lot easier for us to help you when you get to us early!

ADMISSIONS TIP #1 Apply to more than one school.

Seriously. Apply to your local CSU in addition to SJSU (and maybe a couple of other schools, too). Even if SJSU is your local school, you should have a backup plan just in case something doesn't work out the way you planned (you are not accepted in to the major of your choice at SJSU, for example).

TIP #2: You are responsible for your own admission journey

Our commitment as a university is to provide information to you as the student. If you allow a parent, guardian, family member, or significant other to take responsibility for your journey through the application and admission process, you are still accountable for their actions (or inactions). If you miss a deadline or do not read the materials we provide thoroughly to ensure that all conditions and deadlines are met, then you are the person who will feel the negative consequences. While we appreciate and encourage the involvement of your support system, we have to hold only the student accountable - it is the only way we can be fair to all of our students.

TIP #3: SJSU processes are unique.

It is entirely possible that our deadlines, document requirements, and conditions of admission differ from other CSUs, UCs and any other university. Assuming that our deadline for test scores is the same as any other university is not a strategy for success, for example. If you miss our deadline, then we will have to withdraw your application.

TIP #4: Use your legal name on every document you submit.

This rule includes Financial Aid documents, transcripts and test scores (and any other documentation you send to SJSU). This practice will ensure that we match incoming documents to your file quickly and accurately. Once you have your SJSU ID, be sure to include this nine-digit number on any documentation you send to us, as well. It is just one more way for us to accurately match your paperwork to your file.

TIP #5: If you don't think you can make one of our deadlines - contact us immediately!

Do not wait until after the deadline - that will be too late for us to help you.

Contacting us by email is better than trying to reach us by phone on almost all occasions. When you contact us by email, then we both have a trail of our conversation including the date and time it took place. This documentation will help us both move forward in any situation faster than a phone conversation which cannot be reviewed or documented once the phone call is over.

If you do call us, please make sure you take notes of the following: When did I call? With whom did I speak? What is that person's title and department?

TRANSFERS ONLY! TIP #6: Complete your four basic skills as early as possible.

If you are admitted, you will not be given a registration appointment until we have a transcript showing passing grades for the four basic skills. This means that even if you have attended the mandatory Transfer Orientation, you will not be given a registration appointment until we have proof that you have passed the four basic skills courses.

Beware! A grade of C- or lower in any of the four basic skills courses does not fulfill admission requirements at SJSU (C- is not good enough for us).

TIP #7: Please don't send documents until we request them.

We have processes in place to evaluate applications that require specific documents to be sent at specific times. Trying to predict when we will request a document and which document we will request in advance will only cause extra work for you and for us. It is a far better practice to monitor your MySJSU account for new messages and to do items and then respond quickly to any requests.

FROSH ONLY! TIP #8: Take your ELM and/or EPT as early as possible, unless you are exempt.

The results of your ELM and EPT are necessary for us to review before we can advise you on a possible class schedule your first semester here. This is why we require you to take the exam at least six weeks prior to the deadline to submit scores. When we have your test scores in time, then we can work up a possible schedule of classes for you to enroll in your first (and second) semester here. You will be able to register for classes the second day of your mandatory orientation session while you have access to an advisor.

If you do not take the required placement exams by the deadline stated in your admission materials, you will not be allowed to register for classes. This means that you will have to re-apply for a future term. No one wants that.