Planning for College
Steps for Seniors In Planning For College
- Pursue and maintain a rigorous course of study during your senior year. The colleges will look at senior grades closely. Colleges prefer to see an upward swing in grades. For the marginal student it may make the difference as to whether or not you are accepted. (The best predictor of success in college is grades in high school while pursuing a rigorous program of study.)
- Use your legal name and the SAME name on all tests, apps, transcripts, etc. - no nicknames. If your family is low income, see Mrs. Charles IMMEDIATELY. You may qualify for fee waivers for testing and college applications.
- If you are applying to a University of California or California State University campus, you should have the ACT or the SAT Reasoning Test taken by December (October for impacted campuses). For UC, the ACT must include writing.
- ALL COLLEGE APPLICATIONS ARE DONE THROUGH NAVIANCE. If you have not already completed your prospective college list (“Colleges I am Thinking About”), do so right away. Do not move your colleges to “Colleges I am applying to” until you are SURE you are going to apply there. Apply to the University of California and California State University (through links on Naviance) whether you have your test results back or not. Cal State applications open October 1st and close November 30th; UC apps must be submitted between Nov. 1st and 30th, although you can begin working on the application August 1. Common App also opened August 1. As you progress through the college application process, keep your Naviance page updated.
- Check on Naviance for a listing of college speakers at lunch or during classes; you also sign up for these speakers on Naviance. You must sign up no later than 8 A.M. the day BEFORE the speaker is scheduled. Write the date & time in your planner; you will not receive a reminder pass. Be sure to ASK (Do not tell) your teacher the DAY BEFORE for permission to attend if it is during class. The college representatives are an excellent source of information; they are also advocates for you in the admissions process. A handout with suggested questions is in 200B.
- Visit the campus of the college or colleges you are interested in applying to in order to obtain firsthand information about the programs available. It is important to get the "feel" of a particular college. You will have a day free from school on October 14th (if you are not on Kairos) so that you can visit campuses. Make arrangements now so that you use the day well.
- Obtain and read the catalogs from the colleges you are interested in. Many of these catalogs are available for borrowing from the Guidance Room (200B). Virtually all of them are on-line; link to them easily through Naviance.
- Counselors will be in the RRC every day at lunch in Oct. and Nov. to help you fill out your college applications. Community College application/assessment procedures begin later.
- Private school applications are available through Naviance links as well. You are strongly encouraged to use the Common Application for many colleges, such as LMU, USD, Santa Clara, NYU, and the Claremont colleges. It is available through a link on Naviance.
- Helpful handouts available in 200B are "College Interviews,” "Writing Your Essay,” etc. Pick up any or all of these.
- Your counselor will have your unofficial transcripts and a Transcript Release Form for you within the next couple of weeks. You may get your transcript once you have submitted your Transcript Release Form and $15 to your counselor. Class ranks and GPAs will be available on your Naviance profile page. Please use the class rank when applying for the SAT if you are updating the Student Descriptive Questionnaire. If you have taken the SAT previously, you do not need to fill out the Student Descriptive Questionnaire again, but you may (and should) alter any items that need updating, such as class rank.
- Frequently discuss your career plans, college choice, and financing of college with your counselor. Counselors may be able to help students avoid some of the problems that may occur in the college admission process.
- Discuss your ideas and involve your parents when planning for college. Ideally, planning for college should be a collaborative effort - among student, parents, and school.
To download a PDF of the “Steps for Seniors in Planning for College”, please click here.
To request a teacher or counselor recommendation, follow these steps:
AT LEAST TWO WEEKS BEFORE THE DUE DATE, complete St. Lucy’s “Request for Recommendation” paper form. You can either download one from our website or pick one up in 200B.
Fill it out completely for the college with the earliest deadline. Be sure you have done everything indicated on the form (e.g., completed your brag sheet on Naviance. Athletic resumes are not sufficient). It is critical that you do a thorough job on the brag sheet, as we rely heavily on that to write our recommendation letters.
Take it to the teacher or counselor personally. Do not leave it on a desk or send it with a friend.
If the teacher says yes, clarify with her/him if you want that one recommendation to go to one or several of your colleges as you submit the applications. If you do not choose this option, the teacher will send it only to the one you are now requesting.
If this is a recommendation that must be mailed, be sure to attach a stamped, addressed envelope to the request.
If the teacher says yes, then go on Naviance and request the recommendation:
A. Log on to http://Connections.Naviance.com/slphs
B. Click on My Colleges.
C. Near the bottom, click on the Add/Cancel Requests link next to the Teacher
Recommendations section. When you submit a recommendation request, an automatic E-mail will be sent to the teacher notifying her/him of the request. Always thank the teacher, and be sure to let all of your recommenders know when you are admitted. If you should later add a college, please repeat the entire process.
When requesting a letter of recommendation from a teacher or counselor, please abide by the following deadlines. If you do not, we cannot guarantee that your recommendation will be done on time.
If your college’s deadline is:
October 15, request your recommendation no later than October 1
November 1, request your recommendation no later than October 16
November 15, request your recommendation no later than October 30
November 30, request your recommendation no later than November 5
December 1, request your recommendation no later than November 5
December 10, request your recommendation no later than November 19
December 15, request your recommendation no later than December 1
Any date from December 18 to January 6 December 4:
January 10, request your recommendation no later than December 11
January 15, request your recommendation no later than December 18
January 31, request your recommendation no later than January 14
February 1, request your recommendation no later than January 15
February 15, request your recommendation no later than February 1
March 1, request your recommendation no later than February 11
Ms. Charles and Ms. Leiva
ALL need‐based financial aid, including work‐study and loans, is obtained by completing the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in January of senior year. Families are cautioned to access this form on the website www.fafsa.gov and NEVER at fafsa.com.
Some private colleges may also require the CSS Profile, found on the College Board website (www.collegeboard.com).
Students can best research scholarships late junior year or very early senior year at www.fastweb.com. Fastweb has the largest scholarship database in the nation and is totally free. Students may also search for scholarships on Naviance or College Board.
State of California Grants
Cal Grant A: Assists low and middle income students with tuition/fee costs. Grant winners are selected on the basis of financial need and grade point average.
Cal Grant B: Provides a living allowance for very low-income students.
Cal Grant C: Helps vocational students with tuition and training costs. Recipients must be enrolled in a vocational program at a community college, independent college or vocational school, in a program of study from four months to two years in length. Cal grants do not have to be repaid.
Pell Grant, the largest federal aid program, is a direct grant for low-income students funded and administered by the federal government. This aid is not repaid.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG)
SEOG is a federal government fund administered by the college for students with financial need. SEOG is not repaid.
Academic Competitiveness Grant
ACG is a federal grant for students of low income who excel in a college prep curriculum. It also does not have to be repaid.
College work-study is a federally supported program offering students an opportunity to earn financial aid through work. The student is responsible for applying earnings to college expenses.
Perkins Loans are long-term, low interest loans funded by the federal government and administered by the Financial Aid Office. They must begin to be repaid nine months after graduating or leaving college.
Parent Loans For Undergraduate Students - (Plus Loans)
PLUS loans do not require proof of financial need; borrowers must begin repayment within 60 days of the last disbursement of the school year. Students are encouraged NOT to take out “alternative loans,” which do not have the safeguards that are built into the government loans.
Direct Loans are long-term, low interest loans designed to provide students with additional funds for college. They must begin to be repaid six months after graduating or leaving college. Direct loans are available with and without federal subsidy of interest.