Public Affairs

One-Stop Website Now Online for All California Universities

Site Will Provide Advice on Academic Counseling, Financial Aid Information, On-line Applications, and More for Every College in the State

Students seeking career and academic advisement and other information on any college in California now have only one place they need to look. The website, accessible at www.colleges.edu, will offer academic and career advice, financial aid information, campus tours, academic preparation guides, on-line applications, and other important facts about every public and private higher educational institution in California. The site is free of charge and is accessible anytime from anywhere.

"Seeking the right college is one of the most critical decisions in one's life," Governor Davis said. "This important, new, on-line service will improve access to information students need to make decisions and make a process that can seem daunting much easier."

The joint website is an initiative by the California Education Round Table and involved the collaboration of numerous institutions throughout the state. Participants include the following: California State University, University of California, California Community Colleges, Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, the California Department of Education, and the California Postsecondary Education Commission.

To support the project, the legislature has appropriated more than $2.1 million, and the state Department of Education has requested an additional $1.1 million for it in 2001/02.

The site includes the following features:

  • College exploration - Allows students to explore every college in the state to determine which best matches the needs and preferences of a particular student.
  • Admissions Requirements - Explains the academic curriculum, required courses, minimum grade point averages and necessary standardized test scores for every university in the state.
  • Financial Aid - Provides an understanding of financial aid eligibility, a calculation of estimated financial aid package, and an on-line financial aid application transferable to the appropriate organizations.
  • Career Planning - Assists students in exploring career opportunities, planning academic preparation for selected careers, and obtaining job placements before, during and after college.
  • Direct Communication - Allows students to establish direct e-mail communications with specific offices at every university in the state.

In the future these additional capabilities will be available:

  • Portfolio - Assists students in the development of an academic portfolio so they can track their academic progress from middle school on; ensures that are taking the right courses; and develops a complete academic portfolio for presentation for any college in the state upon graduation from high school.
  • On-line Applications - Allows students to transfer application data and to use institutions' on-line admissions systems.

The project is being developed and maintained by XAP Corporation, a Los Angeles- headquartered firm, which has developed similar systems for the CSU, and independent college associations in California, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Illinois and Massachusetts, and for universities in other countries.

This is the latest in a series of statewide initiatives to promote access to higher education. Recently, Governor Davis and the legislature expanded the Cal Grants financial aid program. When fully implemented, the new program represents a $1.2 billion commitment that will double the number of new grant recipients and may eventually reach a third of all California high school students and provide a major increase in grant support for community college transfer students.

In addition, a new Governor's Scholars Program rewards merit by providing $1,000 to ninth, tenth and eleventh graders who score in the top five percent on the Statewide Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) examinations. Also, the new Governor's Distinguished Math and Science Scholars Program awards $2,500 individual scholarships to Governor's Scholars who achieve the highest scores on Advanced Placement (AP) calculus and science exams.

November 13, 2000