Yvette Strickland

Yvette was an honor student and played varsity basketball in high school. She can’t afford to go directly to a university, and wants to transfer from a community college.

  • Primary Goal: Transfer to a four-year with a STEM major and play basketball in college.
  • Main Challenges: GPA not quite high enough for a scholarship, and parents’ income doesn’t qualify for aid.
  • Occupation: Part-time referee for a local basketball league
  • Age: 17

I was an honor student in high school but I don’t know how to set myself up for similar success in college.

Yvette has completed a number of high school AP courses and wants to become a research scientist. She also played varsity basketball in high school and hopes to continue playing in college. While her GPA is close to 4.0, it is not high enough for her to get scholarships to her first-choice university. In addition, her parents make just enough income that they don’t think she would qualify for financial aid. Yvette decided to attend the local community college for her first two years and transfer to a four-year university later. She is still 17 and hopes to finish community college in two years. She would also like to get credit for the AP courses she completed in high school.

Back in March, a local college representative came to her campus and offered assessment tests in math and English for interested students. Yvette was placed in English 100 and Math 30. At the time, Yvette didn’t know what the course levels meant, so she just accepted the placement levels. During the summer, she visited the college to make an appointment with the college counselor. Due to summer hours she had to wait three weeks for an available appointment with a counselor—the day before registration started. Yvette completed the application online and waited for her acceptance letter to be emailed to her.

Three weeks later, Yvette met with a counselor who was very nice and discussed her career goals and possible majors. Even though Yvette was pretty set on her major, the counselor only created a one-semester plan and told Yvette to come back later during the semester to create a comprehensive educational plan. Yvette also learned that Math 30 is a remedial math course, meaning that she would be delayed in her coursework by one semester because there are numerous math and science courses required for STEM majors. The counselor also informed her that not all her AP scores were high enough to qualify for college credit. Yvette had already done some research and knew that the UC campus she wanted to transfer to would accept the scores for college credit, but was told that the community college had its own rules.

The counselor also mentioned that because Yvette had not completed orientation, she would not qualify for priority registration. Even if she were to complete the orientation that day, the results would not be posted in time for her to get priority registration for the first week of registration. Nonetheless, Yvette completed the online orientation that night.

A few days later, Yvette received an email notification with her registration date. When she went to register, some of the more time-convenient classes were already booked. She was persistent and registered for all of her classes but ended up with an inconvenient schedule that would make it hard to keep her part-time job as a referee for the local basketball league.

That day, Yvette visited the college and learned where her classes were going to be and got her bearings around the campus. She also visited the athletic department but due to summer hours, most everyone was off that day. She was told to come back the week before the semester started to find the coaches.