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Frequently Asked Questions

List of 8 frequently asked questions.

  • What is the difference between Early Decision and Early Action?

    Early Decision is a binding agreement between the family and the college that states the student will enroll at that college if he/she is accepted. Students apply early (usually November 1) and hear back from the colleges on their decision in early to mid-December. Students can only apply to one school via the Early Decision process. Early Action is when a student applies under an early deadline and hears back from the college early, but it is not a binding contract. Students accepted under Early Action are free to still enroll at a different college. Students can apply to multiple schools via the Early Action process.
  • What’s better, an A in a regular course or a B in an AP?

    We get this question often and the general rule of thumb is that the B in an AP would trump the A in a regular course. The most important thing to the majority of colleges is the rigor of the coursework that the student has taken. They want to see that the student has challenged her- or himself and that they can be successful. Students should challenge themselves appropriately, however, and not take on what’s too much to handle.
  • Does freshman year count?

    Yes! There is a common misconception out there that freshman-year grades do not matter, but this is simply not true. Every college will see the applicant’s freshman-year grades. Although the public universities in California do not use freshman-year grades in their GPA calculations, they will still ask to see them.
  • What should students in Grades 9-10 be doing in preparation for college?

    With increase talks about college in the Upper School, parents and students may feel pressure to get a head start on college counseling. The best thing we can do for our students in Grades 9-10 is to allow time for growth and discovery, so they can find their passions and learn how to balance being a scholar, athlete, artist, community member and teenager. 
    Students should take courses that are challenging and appropriate for them and work to their fullest potential in each class. Participation in classroom discussions, team-oriented thinking in group projects, respectful commenting in class and a desire to strive for knowledge versus grades are all examples of building a strong, positive presence in the classroom. We find that when students primarily focus on learning rather than grade achievement, the course becomes more enjoyable, which often translates to desired results concerning grades.
    For non-academic activities, we encourage students to explore as much as possible to help find their interests and passions. By Grade 10, students may begin to realize which activities and initiatives are most important to them, and they can start to delve deeper into these passions by taking on important contributing roles. Many LJCDS students participate in a variety of activities simultaneously, such as a sport, theater group and community service projects. 
    Although official standardized testing generally takes place in the Grade 11, some preparation takes place in Grade 10. Depending on the courses a student takes, he or she might be ready to take an SAT subject test at the end of the school year. Students should consult with their subject teachers and/or college counselor to see if this pertains to them. Taking a practice SAT or ACT the summer after 10th grade can also help a student understand which exam will be better for them, and they can start preparing for the exams.
  • We are trying to plan our summer plans. What looks better for a college?

    The answer to this question is always, “Choose the option that the student has a genuine interest in.” A student will always put more effort in and be more successful when doing the things they love. There is no one activity that looks better than the others. The college wants to get to know the individual, so stick to what you love and show off your strengths.
  • When should I take the SAT or ACT? Should I take both? How many times should I take it?

    For most students, it is best to take the ACT or SAT for the first time in the late winter/early spring of junior year. While students can take both exams, it is only necessary to take one. They are very different exams, and students are oftentimes better at one over the other, so knowing your strengths can help determine which test to do. Our students take the PSAT exams in October of junior year followed by an optional mock ACT in November, which helps us determine which exam you should stick to. If a student has done some test preparation, he or she should not have to take the exam more than twice.
  • Do you provide help for students interested in playing sports at the collegiate level?

    Yes, Teri Bamford, Coach and Athletic Liaison for College Counseling, is available to offer guidance to students who wish to play sports at the collegiate level. She can be reached at 858-453-3440, x233 or tbamford@ljcds.org.

    LJCDS has also partnered with SportsForce, whose mission is to maximize college recruiting offers and scholarship opportunities for student-athletes. Founded by former NCAA college coaches and players, they personally guide student-athletes in finding their best-fit college. Sportsforce evaluates and only partners with qualified student-athletes and families to successfully execute a personalized and comprehensive college recruiting game plan.

    Create your online student-athlete profile to highlight your athletic and academic accomplishments. Your online profile allows you to showcase your skills to college coaches as you begin building relationships with target schools and coaches.
  • How do I request a transcript?

    Please fill out the Transcript Request Form. Requests may take up to three business days to process.

La Jolla Country Day School

9490 Genesee Avenue
La Jolla, CA 92037

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