Parents’ Perspective on the College Campus Tour of UCSB

Click here to see a video from the tour!

On Monday, November 7th, 63 El Rancho High School students and 11 parents participated in a day-long adventure to UC Santa Barbara for a college campus tour, sponsored by Generation 1st Degree-Pico Rivera. The day started with a walking tour of the campus where students and parents got to see campus life while building up an appetite for lunch. Boxed lunches were enjoyed by the campus’ beautiful lagoon, followed by a presentation on college admissions. After a short break, parents and students parted ways to attend presentations created specifically for each group. ERHS students sat in with a student panel made up of ERHS alum now attending UCSB. The UCSB student panel shared highlights and stories on their experience, and ERHS students had an opportunity to ask their most pressing questions.

Before the campus tour, parents who attended expressed interest in learning about campus life, safety, and tuition costs, and also expressed concerns about how their child would do on their own. G1DPR worked with UCSB to create a special workshop for ERHS parents that addressed these topics. It was an opportunity to remove any worry from their minds by asking UCSB staff about any questions or concerns. We were able to interview a few parents after the tour, and here is what they had to say:

How has this tour changed the way you think or feel about your child going away to college?

It has changed my mind. I see the ability to see her on her own. She seems to adapt very well.
-Jose Cruz
Learning the services that UCSB offers gave me much peace because the focus of the staff is not only to educate, but also to enforce the health and safety of the students.
Juana Cruz

Positively, it was a very good experience. They are going to mature more and they will learn how to make decisions for themselves; and know that if they work hard they will achieve what they want.
-Angelica Leggis

Now that you’ve completed the tour, do you feel more comfortable sending you child away to college, and if so, tell us why? For example, are your fears gone?

I am very comfortable. Seeing her adapt today gives me security.
-Jose Cruz
When my son told me he wanted to attend a University far from home, I did not like the idea at all. But now that I know the services, which are more accessible than I thought, I am not hesitant for him to go to college.
Juana Cruz

Yes, because we received so much information on all the programs and the help is available for them. We also learned how they can be involved in many activities, and that there are opportunities to work at the university.
-Angelica Leggis

Would you recommend other parents to attend college campus tours with their child, and if yes, please explain why?

Yes. This allows parents to see the lifestyle in a different way.

-Jose Cruz

Yes, as a parent, one also has questions. It is especially good to know the university that your son will be attending.
Juana Cruz

It is highly recommendable, since it gives us an idea as to what our children experience so we can understand it more and give them our support.
-Angelica Leggis

We want to thank UC Santa Barbara for being wonderful hosts to our El Ranch families.

Click here to see the video and read more about the day’s event as featured on UCSB’s news site!


Undermatching: Encouraging Latino Students to Apply to “Selective” Universities


We have so many amazing and talented children living right here in Pico Rivera. I’ve always been so impressed with the level of high achieving students in our community. Yet, one thing gives me and my husband Gilbert great pause. It’s the lack of Latino college bound students applying and attending prestigious “selective” universities throughout the nation.

Attending a selective university such as Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania or Dartmouth College in New Hampshire can have an astronomical effect on the future of your child’s professional career and personal growth. The networking, job opportunities and life experiences are endless, and can provide your child with a well-rounded background that is invaluable to their future.

You might be asking yourself, “why should my child attend a university that’s far away and expensive, when there are perfectly good colleges around Pico Rivera?” The reason? While many continue to see a local public university as the most affordable option for their family, we now know that due to all of the funding changes at the federal and state level, it’s not as reasonably priced as it used to be.

Selective universities are a terrific option for low-income, high achieving students because many of the best-endowed private colleges are more generous with their financial aid. This means that if your child applies and is selected — even if the school is outside of California — they might be able to obtain a college degree from a prestigious university with little to no debt.

Unfortunately, research shows that every year, tens of thousands of high academic students from lower-income backgrounds do not apply to our country’s leading institutions.

In fact, only “8 percent of high-achieving, low-income students are “achievement typical” in their application patterns, meaning they applied to institutions that closely matched their abilities, including at least one selective safety school,” according to a research study led by Stanford University’s Caroline M. Hoxby and Harvard Kennedy School ‘s Christopher Avery.

If our students attend a top college or university, their earning potential greatly increases.   This has a trickle down affect on us all, and will not only assist them, but also improve the education of our entire community to become a stronger, and more skilled workforce. Let’s do our part to support our children in their efforts to reach their academic goals, and encourage them to look beyond Pico Rivera and in many cases, California, to find their new path.

To learn more about the challenges of undermatching (when students of high academic potential do apply to selective universities), please click on the top studies and articles about the subject below.