HSSRP Frequently Asked Questions

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2017 High School Summer Research Program

Frequently Asked Questions

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FAQ Navigation

HSSRP Program: Program Details | Costs | Housing/Meals | Transportation
HSSRP Application: Eligibility/Enrollment | Transcript | Letter of Recommendation | GPA/SAT Scores | Online Application Details

Online Application

Eligibility/Enrollment

Q:  What grade level can apply to the program?

A:  We are only accepting applications from rising seniors.  This means the applicant must be a junior/ 11th grader during the application period.

Q:  Who is considered a domestic student?

A:  A U.S. citizen, permanent resident, refugee or asylee who currently lives and studies outside the U.S. is considered a domestic applicant with foreign credentials who may still apply.

Q:  Are international students accepted to the program?

A:  No, we do not accept applications from international students for HSSRP. Please refer to the ESC international student program: Explore Engineering.

Q:  Can I apply if I am not a Los Angeles or Californian resident?

A:  Yes!  There is an on-campus housing options for students who live too far away to commute.

Q:  Do I need to get an enrollment key to get the application for the 2017 High School Summer Research Program?

A:  No. The HSSRP application will be open to all students on December 1, 2016, and no enrollment key will be required, but you must click “Enroll me in this course”.

Q:  I’ve tried to apply for the 2017 HSSRP, but the website tells me that I’m not eligible to take the questionnaire. Can you please direct me to the next step in order for me to sign up for the program?

A:  This error message usually happens when a students has forgotten to follow step #2, Click on “Enroll me in this course” in the right-hand column of the CCLE website.

Transcript

Q:  Is there an official envelope from the program that our transcript senders must use to insert their hard copies? What would make it “official” and “sealed”?

A:  There is no official HSSRP envelope. Usually each high school has its own envelopes printed with school logo and letterhead. What makes a transcript “official” and “sealed” is usually the transcript sender signing along the back flap after the envelope has been sealed shut or using an official school stamp along the sealed envelope.

Q:  If my school is already sending an “official” copy of my transcript, why do I need to upload an “unofficial” pdf version of the transcript?

A:  We like to start reviewing complete application ASAP due to the large amount of applications we receive and the very short turnover time we have to read and make decisions. We cannot review an application if we do not have at least an “unofficial” transcript. Waiting for the “official” transcript simply delays the review process and reduces the chance of admission.

Q:  My transcript request has been delayed because my school has not submitted first semester grades yet. Is there any other option if I cannot get my official transcript mailed by the application deadline?

A:  Submit your current transcript immediately so that your application is complete by the deadline. When your first semester grades have been entered into your records you can send us a second transcript with the most recent grades to replace the original submission. If we do not have an official transcript on file at the time of the application deadline, then your application will be considered incomplete.

Q:  My school’s policies will not permit a PDF of my transcript. Is it possible for the office to fax my unofficial transcript to you?

A:  No, you cannot fax us any “Unofficial” transcripts. The purpose of uploading these documents is so that we have a digital copy we can begin to review before receiving “official” hard copies. The easiest thing for you to do is to scan the paper copy of the “unofficial” transcript. You can then save that scanned version as a pdf file and upload to our online application website.

Q:  Has my official transcript come in the mail?

A:  Please wait an adequate amount of time ( ~2 weeks) before emailing us about the status of your transcript.  There are many factors affecting the delivery time of your transcript that we do not have control over!
We have an application tracking page for you to check if your transcript has been received and processed.

Letter of Recommendation

Q:  Should I have my teacher mail in an “official” copy of my LOR or should I or my teacher upload a pdf version of the LOR?

A:  All LORs should be emailed in pdf format to the HSSRP email () either by the student or teacher. Teachers who do not allow students to handle letters of recommendation (LORs) must email the LOR on behalf of the student. We cannot review an application if we do not have the 3 letters of recommendations emailed as pdfs. Please do NOT mail in letters of recommendation. Due to the large amount of applications we receive and the very short turnover time we have to read and make decisions, we like to start reviewing complete application ASAP. All emailed documents are confidential and will only be reviewed by the HSSRP staff. 

Please remind your reference to follow the formatting guidelines found here:  Letter of Recommendation Information Page 

Q:  Why hasn’t my teacher received a confirmation email after sending in their letter of recommendation?

A:  Confirmation emails are automatically generated by the HSSRP email (hssrp@seas.ucla.edu).  Email confirmations are  generated based on the formatting of the subject line, which is included in the Letters of Recommendation Information Page.  LORs received not in this format will not be recognized by the generator (but they are still processed) and will have to be tracked solely using the public tracking page.  Please wait at least five business days before contacting us about missing items from the tracker page so we have adequate time to process the letters.  As the applications deadline nears, we can receive up to 300 letters in a day.

Q:  Is it okay for me to submit a LOR from teacher from a previous semester, or are only current teachers accepted?

A:  The LOR can be from any professional adult who knows the applicant well, like an AVID, math, science, or MESA teacher, counselor, administrator, employer or supervisor.

Q:  Is there a specific format or guidelines that the LOR has to meet?

A:  No. The LOR can be written in any such way so that the writer feels that it best demonstrates their thoughts about you. To help you choose who to ask and also to give them an idea of what we are looking for, please refer to the question below.

Q:  What exactly are you looking for in the letter of recommendation? My teacher is unsure as to what you want her/him to talk about, so could you clarify what you are looking for in the letter?

A:  The ideal person to ask to complete your letter of recommendations would be someone who can write about your academic, work, leadership, and/or project-based experience. The ideal reference would also be someone who can speak to your academic potential and your interest in learning more about engineering, science, and/or technology. In general, we are hoping the letters of recommendation demonstrate the applicant has the characteristics and qualities we are looking for in a HSSRP student. The HSSRP program is looking for high performing students who have a genuine interest in engineering. Students who have performed very well in math, science, and computer programming courses tend to have the inquisitive problem solving qualities of typical engineers. Also students who have engaged in creative engineering type activities such as robotics, MESA, engineering summer programs, etc. have the hands on, collaborative, project based experiences essential to engineering. Most importantly, HSSRP is an independent research program where students need to be resourceful self-starters who can solve new problems independently.

GPA/SAT, ACT, PSAT Scores

Q:  My school does not weigh our GPA, so I would like to know whether to give all honor courses an additional point or to only put additional points for classes (mainly AP/IB) approved on the UC A-G course site. Should I only including A-G courses in the GPA calculation?

A:  For unweighted GPA, we are only interested in A-G approved courses. Please use the UC Application A-G course guidelines and UC Admission GPA calculation instructions.

Q:  I am out of state and my school does not calculate weighted GPA’s, and I don’t know what the “A-G” signifies.

A:  The UC System application requires high school classes to be listed for application and admission, which have been arranged into areas of study called “A-G” courses. You can read more about this on the UC admissions website. You can calculate your GPA using the instructions linked here. Since you are an out of state student and your school does not automatically do this for you, then you can go ahead and just use your standard GPA. We can look at your transcript and identify the equivalent “A-G” courses.

Q:  I have taken the SAT II but not the SAT.  What should I do?

A:  Enter your SAT II scores as is in the online application.   For the regular SAT exam portion, enter 0’s and we will know that you haven’t taken it yet.

Q:  I have taken the SAT II and the PSAT, but not the SAT.  What should I do?

A:  We only allow applicants to submit one set of scores.  If you feel like you have a strong Math II score, we would recommend submitting that score over your PSAT scores.

Q:  I have not yet taken the SAT or PSAT. Will it affect admission into the program if I do not enter any scores on the application?

A:  Entering your scores on the SAT or PSAT is strictly optional, and does not affect admission into the program.

Q:  I was wondering if we have not taken the SAT, but have taken the PSAT, can I still enter those scores as my SAT scores?

A:  Yes, you can upload your PSAT scores if you have not yet taken the SAT.  Please do not upload your PSAT scores if you have your SAT scores.

Q:  What do I do if I want to include my ACT scores?

A:  You can upload your ACT scores to the Supplemental Materials upload if you feel like they will add to your application. The inclusion of ACT scores is optional.

Q:  Does College Board have to send in my official test scores?

A:  No, we are not listed under the list of College Board recipients so an online upload of your scores is all that is required. It must be an official College Board screenshot or pdf scan of your official College Board score report.

Online Application Details

Q:  I found an error in the application, what should I do?

A:  Please email us () immediately with a detailed description of the error! DO NOT press the “Need Help” button on CCLE, as that directs you to an entirely different department from HSSRP.

Q:  How do I answer “Will you be the first in your family to attain a bachelor’s degree from a 4 year university?”?

A:  This question refers to the first generation to earn a Bachelor’s Degree. So if your parents did not obtain a 4 year university degree, you would answer “yes”. If you have an older sibling who has graduated but your parents have not, you would still answer “yes” as you are still part of the first generation in your family.

Q:  The application asks for the most advanced class I have taken in math/science. Do I enter the current class I am in?

A:  Those questions refer to the most advanced class you have completed. So if you are currently in Calculus BC, you would not enter it. Instead you would enter the last math class you have completed and the grade assigned to that class (in this example, Calculus AB). If your high school’s semester has ended before you submit your application, you should include the grades you received from that semester as well. For example, if you finished a semester of Calculus BC on December 2, then your most advanced class would be Calculus BC, first semester.

Q:  I’m not sure which supplemental application materials need to be mailed in and which materials should be uploaded online. Is the official transcript the only material that needs to be mailed?

A:  Your official transcript is the only supplemental application material that must be mailed in as a hard copy. If you have taken college courses please also have an official transcript sent from the college as well.  Your Application Fee Form and payment must also be mailed in. The other supplemental application materials: personal statement, record of extra-curricular activities, letter of recommendation, PSAT/SAT/ACT scores and unofficial transcripts must be uploaded online

Note: You will need to mail in a hard copy of your official transcript AND upload an unofficial transcript online.

Q:  I did not format my response correctly on the online application. Is there a way to fix this even after I have submitted the questionnaire?

A:  Unfortunately, once applications are submitted, they cannot be changed by students. The only solution is to email  and ask to have your entire application deleted so that you can complete a brand new one. 

Note: Please DO NOT submit duplicate applications until after you have notified us at 

Q:  I forgot to include something in my Supplemental Materials Upload but I have already submitted it, how do I fix it?

A:  You may edit your submissions freely until the application deadline.  Please make sure to click the “Submit” button after you are satisfied with what you have uploaded.

Q: Do I have to mail the Application Fee Form and Official Transcript together?

A:  No. The Application Fee Form and Official Transcripts can be mailed separately.

Q:  How do I confirm my application has been submitted?

A:  After you submit the application online you will be redirected to a page stating “Thank you for submitting your application! You can go here to check how your application is doing in a week or so after we have had a chance to process it”. This is your confirmation for the questionnaire. For your online uploads, you can view yourself what uploads you’ve submitted. For the LORs, your teacher will receive an email confirmation that it has been received and you will have to confirm with your teacher, or you can check it on our public online tracking page.

Q:  When will I know if I am accepted into the program?

A:  We will start notifying admitted applicants on March 31, 2017, on a rolling basis. Applicants will be notified within two months of completing the application if they were accepted into the program or if they were placed on the wait-list. If you do not hear from us regarding your admission or waitlisting, then you have not been admitted.

Q:  How do I make a decision about other summer programs versus HSSRP?

A:  Our program is highly competitive. We recommend you accept other program offers if you have not heard from us by the end of April. You can contact William Herrera before you accept another program offer, but there is no guarantee you will receive a definitive response.

Program

Program Details

Q:  When does the program run?

A:  The 8-week summer program begins on June 26 and ends on August 18, 2017.

Q:  What if my high school starts before the end of the program (August 18, 2017)?

A:  This is not a problem; we have dealt with this successfully in the past. We will work with your school and principal in obtaining an independent study contract. This will allow you to complete the HSSRP program, preventing you from being marked absent at school. It also guarantees you as a student will complete all school work and will not fall behind.

Q:  What will I be doing on a daily basis during the 8 weeks?

A:  Students are expected to be doing research in lab every day from approximately 8am-5pm. Students will be pulled out of lab periodically for HSSRP meetings for approximately 20% of each work week. Lab research projects vary depending on the individual labs and their research interests. Students will have their choice of what Department is the most interesting to them. HSSRP students will be assigned to specific labs. Their projects and research will be decided by the professors and graduate students.

Q:  What type of research will I be doing?

A:  The type of research will depend on the faculty member’s research lab and department. Each department has very diverse research topics and usually each faculty member has several different research projects going on concurrently within their labs. We highly recommend you visit the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science website to get an idea of all the amazing research going on at the school. Specifically, we have a compilation of the HSSEAS faculty’s research as well as past projects that our students have completed.

Q:  What is a normal work week for HSSRP participants?

A:  Students are expected to work 40 hours a week, which averages out to an 8am-5pm daily work schedule. However, specific lab hours are set by faculty advisers and daily lab supervisors, and cannot be pre-determined. Keep in mind HSSRP may schedule mandatory morning meetings, as early as 8am. In addition, on average, late evening meetings are scheduled once a week, ending as late as 9pm. Commuters must plan accordingly.

Q:  Does HSSRP have any weekend commitments?

A:  No, HSSRP does not have any weekend commitments other than studying, completing assignments, and learning as much as possible about your research project.

Q:  Are we allowed to take a break or vacation during the program?

A:  No, HSSRP is an extremely competitive program and we expect a full 8 week commitment from students.

Q:  Can we take just one day off for a long weekend family trip?

A:  No, there are always more than 50 highly qualified students on the waitlist who can commit every day and would like to take the spot.

Q:  What do we do if we have high school registration or senior portrait appointments?

A:  We urge you to try to change the appointment to minimize lost HSSRP program time. But if necessary, and with written permission from your high school along with a set appointment time, the HSSRP director can approve a 1-day absence from HSSRP.

Q:  Do I have to bring a laptop?

A:  A laptop will be helpful, but it is not required as there will be computer labs available for participants to do their work.

Costs

Q:  Is there an application fee?

A:  Yes, the application fee is $25, nonrefundable. If you are accepted into the program, the $25 will go towards your program fees.

Q:  How much does the program cost?

A: Tuition for the 8 week program is:
Early Applicant: $4500
Regular Applicant: $4750
Late Applicant: $5000

Q:  How much does HSSRP resident hall housing cost?

A:  If you are a California high school student and choose to live in on-campus housing, then the housing cost is $3500 for the 8 week program.

Q:  What is the cost if I attend high school outside of California?

A:  If you are an out of state high school student and choose to live in on-campus housing, then the housing cost is $4500 for the 8 week program. This out of state fee does NOT include any form of transportation to or from UCLA.

Q:  What waivers are available if I cannot afford the program fees?

A:  Thanks to the Nicholas Endowment and Henry Samueli Foundation funding, HSSRP is able to waive fees for low income students who can demonstrate financial need. If you currently qualify for free/reduced lunch, WIC, TANF, SSI/SSP, MediCal, Healthy Families, etc. and can provide current proof of eligibility, then we encourage you to apply for a fee waiver. As long as you provide the appropriate documentation confirming that you are eligible for low-income programs, you can qualify for the application waiver as well as one of the two below:

  • Transportation stipend for commuters
  • Housing fee waiver for students who cannot commute to campus everyday.
    Note: You must be currently be receiving assistance from the above programs; previous assistance in the past will not make you eligible for a fee waiver.

Q:  If I don’t live near UCLA and cannot afford the cost of living on campus, should I still apply?

A:  Yes. The goal of our program is to reach all under represented students interested in pursuing a career in engineering; these groups include females, minorities, first-generation, and low-income students. We have both low-income housing fee-waiver options and transportation stipends available for those who qualify. There is also an Application Fee Waiver when applying to our program. If you are a student interested in pursuing a career in engineering, we highly recommend you apply.

Q:  In case of an out of state student, is it possible to get a scholarship and/or a stipend?

A:  Yes, a few housing fee waivers are available for low income, out of state students.

Q:  What is included in the on-campus housing fee?

A:  The cost of the program, a triple-bed dorm room (which will be shared with HSSRP participants), and meal plan of 15 meals a week (breakfast and dinner) in the dorm dinning hall. 

Note: Lunch time meals are not included in the plan, as students will be away from the dorms during lunch time hours. Students should plan accordingly to accommodate for lunch meals. The Engineering buildings have many adjacent eateries where student will be able to purchase lunch.

Housing/Meals

Q:  Is there housing available?

A:  Yes. Students have the option of living on campus at UCLA Resident Halls with other program participants.

Q:  Is food provided?

A:  Students who live on campus will have 15 meals provided in the dining hall (2 meals/day). Commuting students will need to provide their own lunch and transportation  costs and low income students can apply for a stipend to cover food/transportation costs. The stipend acts as a reimbursement, and the students will have to pay the costs upfront initially.

Q:  What type of supervision is available for the students staying in the UCLA Residence Hall?

A:  There will be a Residential Director and Residential Mentors to supervise all HSSRP Students, which is approximately 1 supervisor for every 10 HSSRP students. The residential team is responsible for nightly curfew checks and morning wake up calls for the entirety of the program. The residential team will also provide evening and weekend social activities for the on-campus HSSRP students.

Q:  Are housing students allowed off campus during the weekend?

A:  Housing students are ONLY allowed to leave campus during the weekend, if the HSSRP director receives written consent from parents and approves the off-campus request. However, students are highly encouraged to stay on campus during the weekend, as mentors will be setting up social activities for the participants to partake in during that time.

Transportation

Q:  If I plan on commuting, will parking, gas, and transportation cost be covered by the HSSRP Program?

A:  No, students are responsible for funding their own transportation costs. Low income students can apply for a stipend to cover food/transportation costs.

Q:  What is the cost of parking?

A:  Last year, the parking permit cost was $231 for commuting students and $288 for residence hall students. These costs change every year, so please refer to the UCLA Parking Services website.

Q:  What are the public transportation options available for commuting to UCLA?

A:  You will find options for public transportation available through the following website: UCLA Transportation Services.

Q:  When will low income students receive their transportation stipend?

A:  All low income student transportation stipends will be given out upon completion of the program. So if you plan on using the stipend to cover food/transportation fee, you must initially pay out of pocket.


If your question is not listed, please email .