Secondary Division Application Items

1. Letter of Interest

I have only one course choice. Do I still have to list alternate classes on my application?

Each course you request represents a commitment on your part. If you would rather not come to the program than attend a course other than your first choice, you should request your first choice only.

Will I improve my chances of being placed in my first choice class if I don’t list alternates?

No, it won’t affect your placement. We always start by attempting to place each student in his or her first choice and only look at the alternates if the class is filled or if a student’s application is not competitive for his or her first choice.

Please write a cover letter to accompany your application, explaining your reasons for choosing each of the courses listed on your Application Information Form. In your (the student’s) own words, include information about your interest in the subject(s), what you hope to learn, and related experience, if any. In this letter and on your Application Information Form, please only list courses in which you are actually interested in enrolling.

  • relevant extracurricular activities
  • involvement in your community
  • achievements or accolades

Your letter may also include any special circumstances, such as transportation or scheduling needs.

If you are applying for two courses, include your petition in your letter. Specify your desired course schedule, and explain your plan for managing the increased time commitment.

Please do not send certificates or awards.

2. Application Information Form

Please complete the online Application Information Form. Registering with our website allows you to check on the status of your application(s). Once you have submitted the online form, print and sign the Statement of Commitment and mail it with the rest of your application documents.

If you do not want to apply online, you can download the Application Information Form or the complete Secondary Division catalog (PDF format).

3. Teacher Recommendation Form

Give the Teacher Recommendation Form (download and print) along with an envelope to a current teacher in an academic subject (e.g., mathematics, science, language arts). Your teacher should complete the form, seal it in the envelope, sign his or her name across the sealed flap, and then return the envelope to you.

If you are applying for Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II/Trigonometry, Precalculus, or AP Calculus, this form must be completed by your current math teacher.

4. Copy of Report Card

Submit a legible photocopy of your first semester (or most recent) report card for the current (’13–’14) school year. Only submit final grades, not progress reports. If you need assistance obtaining a copy, ask in your school office.

5. Copy of Achievement Test Scores

Include a legible photocopy of your most recent California Standards Test (CST) or other standardized achievement test scores (e.g., Stanford Achievement Test, Iowa Test of Basic Skills, or other school-administered test that gives national percentile scores in math and reading).  The test must have been taken within the past three years (i.e., 2013, 2012, or 2011).

If you have not taken a standardized achievement test in the past three years, include a signed note with a school stamp from an administrative staff person at your school indicating so.

6. Academic product or essay

Please submit an academic product that meets the criteria of one of the three options below. This work should be one of which you are especially proud and which was completed since September 2013. While the work may have been done for a school assignment, it need not have been. The product you submit need not be in the same subject area as that to which you are applying, but keep in mind that the written component must develop your own original thinking beyond restating facts. If your product is more than one page, staple the pages together but do not staple them to the application or put them in a folder.

Option A

Submit an essay or story of at least 500 words that shows your original thought and that is long enough for you to develop your ideas. A social studies or science report is inappropriate unless it consists mostly of your own analysis.

Option B

If you’d like to submit a piece of academic work that deviates from a traditional essay or story format (e.g., art, poetry, computer programs, and science experiments), you must also submit a clear, well-developed explanation of your work. Your written explanation should be at least 500 words and must be long enough to clearly demonstrate your thinking as you developed this product.

Option C

Write a well-developed typewritten essay of no more than 1,500 words on one of the topics below. Take time to consider the topic in depth and organize your answer. Be sure to title your essay.

  1. Benjamin Franklin is attributed as writing: “They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” The quote is often used to frame the two values of freedom and security as conflicting with one another. Do you think Franklin meant to say that one of these is more important? Do you agree or disagree? From your own observations and experiences with civil rights and/or public safety, use excellent examples to support your argument.
  2. Think about a fictional character of a story that you know well. Imagine what would happen if the real you of the present day switched places with the fictional character in the midst of their story. Would either of you find certain things more or less challenging than they originally were for your counter- part? Be sure to organize your thoughts by comparing and contrasting the experiences you and this character would have, both before and after the switch.

7. Processing Fee

Include a $50 processing fee, payable by check or money order only. This fee is non-refundable. It covers only the cost of application processing and does not apply toward tuition or materials fees.

Make check or money order payable to “UC Regents.”  Write “SD” and the student’s first and last name on the memo line.

8. Copy of PSAT/SAT Scores

Do I have to have a high score on the PSAT or SAT to come to ATDP?

This year we are encouraging students to submit their PSAT and/or SAT scores if they have them; however, these are not required for admissions and will not affect students’ placement decisions.

If available, include a legible copy of your College Board PSAT and/or SAT scores. These scores will be used for research purposes only, and they will not affect placement decisions.

9. Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid, please submit both parents’ most recent Federal Tax Return AND ALL SCHEDULES (i.e., the complete tax return) for each applicant. For preliminary consideration and to avoid delay in submitting your application, you may submit your 2012 return if your 2013 return is not yet available. We will ask for your 2013 return at a later date, if required.

Do not send original documents.

If there are special circumstances, submit a letter of explanation and photocopies of any supporting documents (e.g., unemployment forms). If the $50 processing fee poses a financial hardship, submit a letter of explanation and supporting documents listed above.

Send your complete application materials no later than Wednesday, February 26. We will not consider financial aid requests for applications that are completed after the deadline. An invoice for fees due and the amount of financial aid awarded (if any) will be included in the student’s acceptance packet, which will be mailed on Thursday, March 27, 2014.