Antelope Valley School District

Senior Guide




The College Entrance Board (CEEB) code for KHS is 052491. Please remember to use this number on your applications for college admissions tests.




1.       Undergraduate – a student of a university or college who has not yet completed a Bachelor’s Degree.

2.       Undergraduate Major – the subject in which one specializes in order to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree.

3.       Impacted/Oversubscribed Programs – The University of California and California State Universities designate programs and campuses to be impacted when more applications are received in the initial filing period than the space available, you must meet supplementary admissions criteria if applying to an impacted program or campus. Students must exceed the minimum academic eligibility index in order to be competitive applicants to impacted campuses/programs. It is important for all students to take as challenging an academic program as possible each semester and to perform at their highest level in order to increase their chances of gaining admission to the college of their choice.




It is not possible to major in medicine or law as an undergraduate.

1.       Students who plan to become attorneys should choose majors in college that facilitate reading, writing, thinking, reasoning and analysis. Consider a major that you enjoy and can do well in (GPA is important in applying for law school). The major selected should be one that you could use in coordination with the law degree after graduation. Admission to law school is based upon the score on the LSAT, college GPA, letters of recommendation, volunteer and extra-curricular activities (especially in the legal area) and the student’s personal qualities,

2.       Students who plan to become medical doctors should choose majors that they enjoy and do well in. Many students choose majors, which facilitate the understanding or scientific concepts and overlap the core classes that are required for admission to medical schools. Students may choose to major in the humanities or social sciences as long as they take the core classes. Core classes are Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biological and/or Zoological Sciences, Calculus, Physics and English. Admission to Medical School is bases upon the score on the MCAT, college GPA, and volunteer and extra-curricular activities (especially in the health field) and the student’s personal qualities.




The Antelope Valley Union High School District uses Naviance for electronically submitting official transcripts to colleges and universities upon graduation.  For         information on how to arrange for the submission of your mid-year and final transcripts, go to your Naviance Family Connection account ( There is no charge for this service.  Unofficial transcripts can also be downloaded to your desktop through your Naviance Family Connection account.  For official transcripts needed for scholarship purposes, see Mrs. Pflieger in the College/Career Center.






         The ACT or SAT I (Reasoning Test) are required for admission to almost all four-year colleges and universities. Some schools, (especially UC’s and CSU’s with impacted majors), require a number of SAT Subject Tests for certain majors.  Be sure to check their website for all required exams.  Community Colleges usually require an English and math assessment, (which is given at the school) prior to enrollment.


SAT I: Reasoning Test

        The SAT I is a multiple-choice test that measures the student’s verbal and mathematical aptitudes. The scores for each section range from 200 to 800. There is also a writing portion and an optional essay portion of this exam.  Colleges want to know not only how well you write, but also how well you express and then back up a point of view. You will have 35 minutes for the writing portion, which will count for approximately 30 percent of the score for the writing section and 50 minutes to write the essay portion.  The essay will be scored as a first draft, not as a polished piece of writing. There are 58 student-produced response questions/tasks in the Math Sections of the SAT I, 38 with a calculator and 20 without. The timed portion of the test (with essay) is 3 hours and 50 minutes.  The SAT I can be taken as many times as the student wants. It is recommended that student take the SAT I no more than 3 times. Some private colleges tend to average scores from multiple testings. Unless the student does something to improve his scores (such as a prep class, preparation books, or computer software), research shows that scores do not change significantly.


        For most students, the SAT I should be taken in the spring semester of the 11th grade. The SAT I can be taken again in the October, November, or December testings during the senior year. The student should prepare prior to taking or retaking the SAT I. The College/Career Center has computer software and preparation books to help students prepare for the PSAT, SAT I, ACT, SAT SUBJECT TESTS, and ASVAB. Studies indicate that students who take rigorous academic programs perform the best on the college admissions test. The Question and Answer Service is available for the November, January, and May tests for an additional fee.



        The SAT Subject Tests are administered separately and are given in six of the same dates as the SAT I.

        The SAT Subject Tests is not given in March. Since testing is only scheduled for the morning, it is not possible to take both the SAT I and SAT Subject Tests on the same day. The tests measure the student’s achievement in single academic areas: Literature, American History and Social Studies, World History, Mathematics (Levels I and II - II being the only one accepted for entrance at a UC), Biology E/M, Chemistry, Physics, *Chinese, English Proficiency, *French, *German, Hebrew, Italian, *Japanese, *Korean, Latin and Spanish).   (*Listening versions of these SAT Subject Tests are only available for the November test at some centers. Please check before you register). Scores range from 200 to 800 for each test. Students generally take two tests at a seating, however, up to three tests may be taken per seating. If you plan to apply to UC campuses for certain majors or selective private schools, you should verify if SAT Subject Tests are required by the school and/or major (check online at the university websites) and haven’t already taken the exams, take the exams you are prepared for at the beginning of your Senior year. Additionally, subject exams still may be used to satisfy "a-g" subject requirements.  It is possible to take the SAT Subject Tests prior to the SAT I. Therefore, students might opt to take the Foreign Language SAT Subject Tests after completion of the 3rd year of language in the 10th grade at the June testing. It is not mandatory to take both SAT Subject Tests at one sitting. The SAT Subject Tests can be taken again in October, November or December of the senior year.


        Note: Score choice is an option that allows students to review their SAT Subject Tests scores before deciding whether to make any or all of them a part of the student’s score record. If you are a senior, it is not recommended that you use score choice due to a possible delay in the reporting of your scores to the college.


The ACT consists of tests in four academic areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning.  It is highly recommended to take the ACT with the ‘Writing’ component.  Scores are reported on a scale 1-36 for each area, plus a composite of all scores. There is no penalty for incorrect answers. (There is a penalty for incorrect answers on the SAT I and SAT Subject Tests). Students should utilize preparation materials before taking the ACT.  The ACT should be taken in the spring semester of the 11th grade and can be taken again in September, October, or December the testings during the senior year. Most East Coast schools prefer the ACT over the SAT, but may accept either as an entrance criterion.  Since most California schools accept either, students are recommended to take both exams.  It is always a good idea to check the specific test requirements for admission to the particular college(s) you are considering.  Check the College/Career Center for the college’s catalog (or visit the college’s website) under ‘Admissions’ for that information.





AP (Advanced Placement)  

AP tests are given in May for college level courses taken at high school or equivalent in certain subject areas.  College credit and grades can be earned.  This is at the discretion of the college or university.  Information can be found at


TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)

TOEFL is given to determine the English proficiency of people whose native language is not English.  Many colleges include TOEFL as an admissions requirement for students who have not completed three years of high school in an English speaking country.)


University of California - Entry Level Writing Requirement

UC undergraduates must demonstrate proficiency in writing.  One method is to achieve a passing score on the UC Analytical Writing Placement Exam given every spring.  You must take the exam unless you score a 3 or higher on the AP English test OR a minimum score on the ACT writing Test or the writing portion of the SAT I Reasoning Test.  (Required minimum scores will be posted at


California State University – English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry Level Mathematics Test (ELM)

The EPT and ELM are no longer required for new students. A score of 550 or above on the critical reading section of the SAT Reasoning (24 or higher on the ACT) can possibly exempt you from an Early-start program.  A score of 550 or above on the math section of the SAT Reasoning test (22 or higher on the ACT) can possibly exempt you from an Early-start program.


California Community Colleges

Colleges vary in their testing requirements.  Most require new students to take math and English placement tests before enrolling.  Tests are usually given April through August for September entrance.  For info on all California Community Colleges, log on to:


For help in saving time and money with entrance exams, check out these sites:

         Early Assessment Program (EAP)

         Diagnostic Writing Service (can also be linked from

         Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Program

         Math Success Website




ACT (No Writing)        $50.50 if application is postmarked by the regular deadline.

ACT (Plus Writing)       $67.00 if application is postmarked by the regular deadline.

         An additional       $30.00 if application is postmarked by the late deadline.

     SAT I (No Essay)         $47.50 if application is postmarked by the regular deadline.

            (Essay)          $64.50 if application is postmarked by the regular deadline. RECOMMENDED     

                                  $29.00 additional if application is postmarked by the late deadline.

                                 $51.00 additional if registering to be on the “waitlist”.  You must register                                 for the waitlist online and print out your ticket no later than two weeks    

                                       prior to the test date.




                 $26.00 Registration fee if postmarked by the regular deadline PLUS one of the following:                              $26.00 Language Test with Listening

                  $22.00 All other additional subject tests.

                 $29.00 additional if application is postmarked by the late deadline.

                             $51.00 if registering to be on the “waitlist”.  You must register for the waitlist                            online and print out your ticket no later than five days prior to the test                                          date. No waitlist is available for Language with Listening Subject Tests.                                All other Subject Tests are available for waitlist applicants.





Online registration is preferred by both the ACT and SAT testing agencies. Go to or to register.  Be sure to print out your admission ticket and take it with you on test day, as well as a school or government photo I.D.  Paper registerstration (by mail) is necessary if you need to pay with a check (or money order) or cannot upload a digital photo. An admission ticket for the SAT I or SAT Subject Tests (if application is postmarked by the regular deadline) will be mailed to you before the test. Remember, the CEEB code for KHS is 052491.

Testing materials and exact dates can be found in the KHS College/Career Center.


The months for SAT I and SAT Subject Tests are as follows:



Test Months     Test

August         SAT I & SAT Subject Tests October        SAT I & SAT Subject Tests

November    SAT I & SAT Subject Tests

December     SAT I & SAT Subject Tests                                                                                           

Test Months     Test                    

March        SAT Only

May           SAT I & SAT Subject Tests

June           SAT I & SAT Subject Tests



            Log on to for the closest test sites and exact dates (or go to the KHS             College/Career Center for the list of test sites for SAT Program. You are entitled to four prepaid reports             of your scores. List four colleges that you are interested in, e.g.: CSUN, UCSB. Each time that you have             your test score sent, the college receives your most recent score and all previous scores to six SAT I             and six SAT Subject tests administrations. If you don’t request that copies of your scores are sent to             colleges within nine days from the time you took the test, you will have to pay $11.25 for each score             report that is sent beyond those nine days.



            The ACT months for testing are as follows:


                      September           October           December           February           April           June           July




            Fee Waivers for eligible students may be obtained in College/Career Center.  Fee Waivers are limited.             Students may receive up to two SAT I, two SAT Subject Tests, and two ACT Fee Waivers during             their Junior and Senior years. On-line registration for the SAT’s and ACT will ask for a fee waiver             code (found on the issued fee waiver obtained in the College/Career Center). Proof of financial    eligibility for waivers is required. Bring a copy of your current “Free or Reduced Lunch”    acceptance        letter as verification when requesting a waiver.





1.          You may submit your college applications even if you have not completed all your SAT I or SAT         Subject Tests or ACT tests. However, you have to send your scores when you take the tests.

2.          Know your “SSID” (Statewide Student Identifier). It can be found on your transcript.

3.          If you plan to apply to a competitive four-year college, it is suggested that you apply to at least three         (but no more than 5) colleges.

4.          A $55 + application fee is required for most colleges to which you apply. CSU’s charge $55 each         campus and UC’s charge $70 each. Both systems offer students an opportunity to apply for a fee         waiver during the application processBe sure to enter the correct information, as these universities         determine eligibility based on what is entered at that time and do not offer a ‘second’ chance!         Application fee waivers for colleges/universities (other than the CSU’s or UC’s) are available to         eligible students may also be available in the College/Career Center of your high school.

5.          Private Universities, the University of California and some out-of-state colleges require an essay with the admission application. Carefully follow the instructions printed on the application. Check the essay tips section of the outline.

6.          Remember that meeting or exceeding minimum admissions requirements will not guarantee         admission to a campus or major/program. Students should try to “back up” their college choices by         also applying to less competitive campuses.

7.          Keep a file with photocopies of all correspondence sent to a college, (application, letter of         recommendation, etc.) and received from the college. Get a certificate of mailing from the post    office so that you have proof that the application or form was sent. Make a checklist and record dates            on which correspondence was received, date due, and date mailed. Pay close attention to all         deadlines. Deadlines are strictly enforced!

8.          “Intent to Register” - by mid-May, most universities require students to commit to enrolling at their         institution.  This deadline is FIRM and must be met.



      B.  HOW MUCH IS THE TUITION/FEES? (Approximate)

      1.     University of California:  $13,900 per year.

      2.     California State Universities:  $7,216 per year.

      3.     Community Colleges $46.00 per unit, per semester.

      4.     Private Colleges and Out-of State Colleges: $10,000 - $60,000 per year.

      5.     Books cost and supplies: $1,500 - $2,455 a year.




       If you plan to live on campus, you must arrange for your own housing by following the instructions in the admissions information. Many times this process simply involves checking “YES” for housing on the application. On other occasions, it involves writing the housing authorities. Become familiar with the housing procedure for the colleges to which you apply. THIS IS URGENT – DO NOT DELAY! Dorms and food plans range in cost from $3,096 - $14,000.




       These procedures are described later in the timeline for financial aid and scholarship research. Grants and scholarships are free – they need not be repaid. Loans are the only form of financial aid that must be repaid, mostly after graduation from college depending on the type of loan. Financial aid is also available for students for vocational education. The vocational course of study can range from 6 months to 2 years in length. The College/Career Center has computer software programs, a list of websites, and reference books on scholarship and financial aid.


1.          Visit the College/Career Center for information.

2.       Visit a college. You don’t have to go far to get a good idea of what a small liberal arts college is like.    Go to UCLA or USC for a taste of a big university. Visit Cal Tech, CSUN, Pepperdine or Pierce. Even if you plan to go far away for college, visiting local colleges will help you decide what it is you want for a college or university. Take advantage of Junior Days or Open House Programs. 

3.       Visit the “College Information Wall” in the College/Career Center frequently.

4.       Make list of the colleges that you are considering. Do comparisons.

5.       Use your Naviance account to check on college scholarships, request college recommendations, and search for colleges to compare.

6.       If you plan to apply to private colleges or for scholarships, get at least 3 Questionnaires for Admission/ Scholarship Recommendation from your counselors to give to your teachers. These forms should be returned to your counselor.  Your counselor will use these questionnaires in order to complete the recommendations and/or secondary school report(s) which are due early in the fall semester of your senior year.





1.       Beware of “SENIORITIS”. Symptoms are complete relaxation coupled with a sharp loss of interest in schoolwork and followed by a drastic drop in grades. Remember that school does not end until graduation. Admission to college is provisional and may be revoked if your grades take a sudden slump.

2.       Make sure you are taking the correct courses for the college and major of your choice. For example, pre-med students would need to take physics, chemistry, and biology. UC applicants must take 11 of the 15 units required before their senior year of high school.

3.       Take a strong academic program each semester. A minimum of four academic subjects should be taken each year. This could include courses at the community college or a CSU to get a head start on college general education requirements. Colleges expect your senior year to be academically challenging and that you will take the most rigorous course work that you are capable of doing.

4.       Visit the College/Career Center for the schedule of college representatives planning to visit our school. Sign up to meet with those that interest you.

5.       Visit the College/Career Center frequently to get information and handouts to help you prepare for college, learn about scholarships and to research financial aid/scholarships.    

6.       Be sure to read all the directions and questions on any college or scholarship applications carefully before you begin. Type, if possible. If not, print neatly in black ink. Avoid spelling errors and erasures. Think about your answers before you begin to write. Make several photocopies of the blank application before you begin. Allow yourself sufficient time to complete the application. Xerox and save the completed application.










            These schools generally offer trade or technical skills and do not offer degrees beyond the associates             (although there are some exceptions).  Instead, they award certificates upon program completion.  The             focus is not on achieving a broad bachelor’s degree, but is more on skills required to obtain a vocational/             technical position.  These institutions of higher education offer a great payback for a minimal time             investment.  Often, students return to school later in life after being in their careers at a voc-tech school.

                                Admissions Criteria:  Generally not competitive




Community Colleges


            These institutions are designed to provide the first two years of college.  They can award the associate’s             degree, have very low tuition, and are generally located within most urban areas of the state.  They also             provide a substantial amount of vocational training.  Classes are small and tuition costs are low. 

                        Admissions Criteria:  High School diploma or 18 years old.




  These requirements can be quite variable. Usually, the more prestigious private schools have rigid and high         standard requirements similar to The University of California system.  Some of the smaller colleges are more         flexible.

              Admissions Criteria:  Vary





University of CALifornia and California State University


  Subject Requirements –


  UC and CSUs require first-time freshman applicants to complete, with a grade of C or better in each course,         the following comprehensive pattern of college preparatory study totaling 15 units.  A “unit” is one-year study in high school. (Remember – only a-g approved courses count!)  For a list of your school’s “a-g”        courses, go to  (Be sure to include every school you have attended since 9th grade)


a)       History/Social Science -   2 years required.  Two years of history/social science, including one               year of U.S. history, or one-half year of U.S. history & one-half years of civics or American                 government, and one year of World history cultures, and geography.


b)      English – 4 year required.  Four years of college prep. English that includes frequent and                      regular writing, and reading of classic and modern literature.  Not more than 2 semesters of                  9th grade English can be used to meet this requirement.


c)       Math – 3 years required. 4 years recommended. 3 years of college preparatory math that                                  include topics covered in elementary and advanced algebra and two and three-dimensional                               geometry.  Approved integrated math courses may be used to fulfill part or all of this requirement,

                    as may math courses taken in the 6th & 8th grades that your high school accepts as equivalent                            to its own courses.


d)      Laboratory Science - 2 years required; 3 recommended.  Two years of laboratory science                      providing fundamental knowledge in at least 2 of these 3 disciplines: biology, chemistry, and               physics.                       


e)       Language other than English - 2 years required; 3 years recommended.  Two years of the same             language other than English.  Courses should emphasize speaking and understanding, and                    include instruction in composition, vocabulary, reading, and grammar.  Courses in language                 other than English taken in the 7th and 8th grade may be used to fulfill part of this requirement               if your high school accepts them as equivalent to its own courses.


f)       Visual & Performing Arts - 1 year, including dance, drama/theater, music, and/or visual art.


g)      College Preparatory Elective - 1 year from additional “a–f” courses beyond those used to                      satisfy the requirement above, or courses that have been approved solely for the use as “g”                   electives.



                                      CHOOSING A COLLEGE


Choosing a college or university is an important and complicated decision. Students can use catalogs, reference materials, and compute software if the College/Career Center to help make college selections. A great many factors contribute to the process, but basically it consists of matching your personality with that of a college. Several factors, which contribute to the School’s personality, atmosphere, and curriculum, are:


Geographic Location

How far is it from home?

Nature of surrounding community/campus town.


Majors or programs available at the college

Does the school have your desired major and a wide range of majors in case you change your major?

*The average college student will change his/her major 3.5 times before graduation.


Enrollment size of the college


Large Schools (15,000 or more students)


            Advantages                                                                              Disadvantages

Many majors                                                                            Sometimes impersonal

Many activities                                                                         Some large classes

Major sports                                                                             Sometimes housing difficulties

Excellent facilities                                                                   


Small Schools (500 – 5,400 students)                                      


            Advantages                                                                              Disadvantages

Small classes                                                                            Fewer majors/courses

Personal attention                                                                     Smaller libraries

Friendly atmosphere                                                                 Loss of privacy

More participation in student activities




What your family and you can afford to pay for your education tuition, fees, books, on-campus housing costs, and other personal expenses. Would it be feasible to commute from home?


            Advantages                                                                              Disadvantages

Saves money in living expenses                                    Amount of time and money spent commuting

Miss exposure to learning from campus community


Admission requirements

How important is GPA?

How important are admissions tests (SAT I, ACT, SAT Subject Tests)?

How selective is the college or university?

Recommendations, extra-curricular activities required?

Academic reputation

Living arrangements (e.g. co-ed dorms, off-campus housing).



To search for campus information, use your Family Connections account with Naviance.  You can also check out these websites:






California has a three-tiered system of state-financed universities and colleges.  Many consider this system to

be the nation’s best public higher education network.  Here’s a snapshot:

Text Box: University of California (UC)	   California State University (CSU)	Community Colleges (CC)	

Top 9% of high school graduates	      Top 33% of high school graduates		Top 100% of high school graduates

Background:  The UC system combines    Background:  The CSU system emphasizes	Background:  Colleges offer a wide
The education of undergraduates with a       undergraduate education, leading to a 	range of academic and vocational
strong emphasis on graduate programs	      bachelor’s, master’s, and a limited number	programs leading to an occupational 
and world-class research in the sciences      of doctor’s degrees.			certificate, a two-year associate of arts
and humanities.								degree, or a transfer program.

Students:  Over 238,000		      Students:  Over 474,571		                Students:  Over 2.1 million

Campuses:  9 			      Campuses:  23				Campuses:  114

Costs:  About $13,900 in fees and an	      Costs:  About $7,216 in fees and an		Costs:  A unit costs $46, add about
additional $20,200 for room, board,	      additional $17,300 for room, board,		$16,578 for books, fees, transportation,
books, and transportation.		      books, and transportation.			food, and housing.  If no cost for living	
Approximately $33,600/year.		     Approximately $27,972/year.		at home, then about $11,052.

Entrance Requirements: A candidate	     Entrance Requirements: A candidate	Entrance Requirements: These
must be in the top eighth academically       must be in the top third academically	colleges are open to all California 
of high school graduates statewide,	     of high school graduates statewide,		residents, including those without
have completed 15 prescribed courses	     have completed 15 prescribed courses	a high school diploma.  A California	
and have taken the appropriate	     and have taken the appropriate		resident may attend a community
admission tests.			     admission tests.				college anywhere in the state.

Campus Locations:  Berkeley, 	     Campus Locations:  Bakersfield, Chico,	Campus Locations:  59 in southern
Santa Cruz, Davis, Santa Barbara,	     Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills,		California and 55 in central and
Los Angeles, Irvine, Merced, Riverside,     East Bay, Fresno, Fullerton, Humboldt,	northern parts of the state.
and San Diego.  The San Francisco	     Long Beach, Los Angeles, Maritime
campus specializes in upper division	     Academy, Monterey Bay, Northridge,
and graduate health sciences.		     Pomona, Sacramento, San Bernardino, 
				     San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, 
				     San Luis Obispo, San Marcos, Sonoma,
			   	     and Stanislaus campuses.


This site showcases California’s independent and public colleges and universities.  More importantly, it can help you with college planning, financial aid and career exploration.  It even provides answers with an “Ask an Expert” service.  Use this site as a gateway to colleges in California and as your personal assistant.  Visit for free, secure help.  Click on “tools”.  Set up your account to track your coursework, admission requirements, career interests and deadlines.  This site will even send you e-mail reminders and alerts.






The admissions requirement to enroll at a community college is to be a high school graduate or 18 years of age and capable of profiting for the community college from the community college education. Students who have passed the proficiency examination may also enroll. There are 113 community colleges throughout California. The community college offers programs for students interested in vocational education, earning a 2-year college degree and/or transferring to a 4-year college.


Students seeking vocational education can take a one to two-year program and earn an occupational certificate. Students can also earn the Associate of Arts/Science Degree (2-year degree) along with the occupational certificate, Examples of occupational programs available at the community college are the following: Animal Health Technology, Automotive Service Technology, Construction Technology, Computer Technology, Drafting, Electronic Service Technology, Emergency Medical Technician, Engineering Technician, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Machine Shop Technology, Office Administration, Physical Therapy Assistant, Professional baking, and Welding Technology.


Students who wish to transfer to a 4-year college can do the first two years of their college education at the community college. During these 2 years the student takes the general education and breadth courses which are required by the 4-year college and lead to an Associates Degree. Students need to complete their Associates Degree prior to admittance to the 4-year College or University. When the transfer student graduates for the 4-year college, he receives the same degree and diploma as the student who started the 4-year college as a freshman. In many cases, a student has a better chance of being admitted to an impacted

4-year college or university after obtaining their Associates Degree from the community college than he/she would have had as a high school senior.


For transfer to a UC campus, priority is given to community college students over students who wish to transfer from other UC campuses or from a CSU campus.


Note: Community or higher colleges have an honors program for students with a 3.00 high school GPA. This program is for highly motivated students who wish to maximize their preparation for transfer to a 4-year college. Small classes with enriched curriculum are available. Additional factors which make the community college a viable option are financial savings (fees around $46.00 per unit), small classes, the chance to gain maturity and the increased probability of making a lasting choice of major and campus after two years of academic exploration.


Financial aid is available for students who attend the community college for vocational education or for a 2-year college degree and /or for transfer to a 4-year college.




Once you have made a list of the colleges that are realistic for you, you should try to visit as many of these colleges a possible. Call the college in advance in order to arrange your visit. Frequently you can arrange to attend classes and stay in a dorm. If the college requires an interview, this is a good time to schedule it. Before your visit, read the catalogs and any other literature that is available about the college. During your visit, investigate and evaluate the following:


1.          Size and atmosphere of the campus and surrounding community.

2.          Library and research facilities.

3.          Facilities in your major.

4.          Student union, dormitories, extra-curricular activities.

5.          Sit in on a class.

6.          Try to talk with students, faculty, financial aid and admissions officer during your visit.






Submit All Application Materials On Time

        October 1 through November 30:  Complete application online at


Check CSU Admission Requirements

        Ask your counselor or visit for a list of approved courses, special admission requirements    

        and other admission information.

                To be eligible for admission as a first-time freshman, an applicant is required to:

1)       be a high school graduate (diploma, satisfactory GED scores or California Certificate of Proficiency

2)       have completed, with a grade of C or better, the required 15 units college preparatory course pattern

3)       have a qualifiable eligibility index of GPA and SAT Reasoning/ACT scores

Certain campuses and impacted majors require additional subject requirements, higher test scores and

higher GPAs because the number of applicants exceeds the spaces available.                                                        For the latest information, visit


Determine YOUR Grade Point Average (GPA)

        Calculate GPA using only “a-g” courses completed after grade 9.  (See page 7 for “a-g” subject areas). 

                Get a list of our school’s “a-g” courses from or from your counselor.


                Here is a quick way to calculate your CSU GPA:

  • Using the CSU GPA Calculator on the website, enter the count of each grade you have earned in a-g courses completed after grade 9. For example, if you have earned 4 As so far in a-g courses

taken after grade 9 then enter 4 in the box next to the "A." Continue to enter counts of all your grades earned

in a-g coursework. Ignore pluses and minuses in the grade (i.e., B+ should be considered a B).


  • If you have taken any approved honors, AP, or IB classes in the 10th, 11th, or 12th grades, then enter the count of honors course grades you have earned that are C or better. The maximum number of honors courses you can use is eight semesters. No more than two approved honors level courses taken in the tenth grade may be given extra points. Do not enter any count for the honors courses with grades of D or below. Enter 1 for each semester of approved honors work up to a maximum count of 8.


  • After you enter your counts, click on the "Calculate" button.


  • Once you know your high school grade point average you can calculate your eligibility index.


Honors Courses

                The CSU assigns extra points for up to eight semesters of approved honors level and advanced placement courses     taken in the last three years of high school: A=5 points, B=4 points, C=3 points. No more than two            approved

                honors level courses taken in the tenth grade may be given extra points. Extra points cannot be earned for honors       or Advanced Placement courses where the grade of D was received.

                In order to be an "approved honors level course," that course must be identified as honors level on your official          high school a-g course list. You can find your school's course list at


                Important: The calculated GPA returned is based on your input. It is not an official grade point average.     Campuses may calculate your GPA differently based upon your official high school transcript.


Take Required Tests

·         Take the SAT Reasoning with writing or ACT Assessment with writing, even if your GPA is above 3.0.  Since certain impacted programs or campuses require these exams, it is recommended that you take them.

·         Take the TOEFL examination if you have not attended at least three years of high school at the high school level or beyond where English is the principal language of instruction.


Check the Eligibility Index

                Eligibility Index is based on a combination of GPA and test scores.

·         If GPA is above 2.99, scores will not be a factor in admission unless you apply for an impacted program.

·         If GPA is from 2.00 to 2.99, check Eligibility Index to determine what test score you must achieve.

·         If GPA is below 2.00, you are not eligible for regular admission.


Check that Your Application is Complete

·         Submit your official high school transcript when instructed to do so by CSU.  CSU requires a final transcript showing that you graduated from high school and completed all required courses with grades of C or better. 

·         Be sure your test scores are sent to the college by the testing company.  To have your SAT scores sent to all

CSU’s (rather than a separate code for each individual one), use the csumentor code: 3594



Submit All Application Materials On Time


        November 1 through 30:  Complete application online at

        December - finish your admission testing (SAT or ACT).  Send test scores directly to one campus - they share!


All California high school seniors who fulfill the following three requirements will be entitled to a comprehensive review of their applications at each UC campus to which they apply. They must:


1.   Complete 15 UC-required college-preparatory ("a-g") courses, with 11 of those done prior to the start of 12th grade

2.   Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better (weighted by honors/AP bonus points) in these courses

3.   Take the ACT (with Writing) or SAT Reasoning (with Essay) Test

Students' qualifications will be assessed using campus-based review processes,    which emphasize academic achievement but also account for a wide range of       personal accomplishments and educational contexts.


Who receives guaranteed admission?


            Two categories of students will be guaranteed admission somewhere in the UC system if they have met the admission requirements above and:


·    fall in the top 9 percent of all high school graduates statewide

·    rank in the top 9 percent of their own high school graduating class


Because selectivity varies by campus due to the size and academic quality of applicant pools, a student's chance for admission will also vary by campus. For this reason, it is important for students to review all of their options and choose both carefully and broadly.


Determine Your Eligibility

For the latest info, visit:


·   Top 9 percent of High School Graduates    Students who meet minimum requirements for coursework,    grade point average and test scores are guaranteed admission somewhere in the UC system.

·   Top 9 percent of KHS High School Graduating class   Students who meet minimum requirements for coursework, grade point average and test scores are guaranteed admission somewhere in the UC system.

Convert your ACT/SAT scores to a UC score, which the UC will match to your GPA. If your UC score is equal to     or greater than the score required for your GPA, then you're in the top 9 percent of California high school graduates.         There is a calculator on the UC Admissions website that will help in the conversion process.

Calculate your grade point average (GPA)

·         Convert the grades earned in all college-preparatory courses ("a-g" courses) taken in 10th and 11th grades, including summer sessions: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1. (Pluses and minuses don't count.)

·         Give yourself an extra point for each honors-level course, up to eight semesters.

·         Honors courses are Advanced Placement courses, Higher Level and designated Standard Level International Baccalaureate courses, transferable community college courses and UC-certified honors courses that appear       on your school's course list. A grade of D in an honors course does not earn an extra point. No more than two      year-long UC-approved honors-level courses taken in the 10th grade may be given extra points.

Calculating the UC Score Total

To convert your test scores to UC Scores, follow these instructions and refer to the tables conversion tables at:

·         If you take the ACT with Writing exam:   Use your highest ACT composite and Combined English/Writing or English Language Arts (ELA) scores from a single sitting. (That means if you take the test more than once, you can't use the composite score from one exam and the Combined English/Writing score from another.)

Find your composite score on the conversion table and note the corresponding UC Score.  Find your Combined English/Writing or English Language Arts (ELA) score on the table and note the corresponding UC Score.   Add the two UC Scores together to get your UC Score total.

·            If you took the SAT with Essay exam (starting March 2016):  Use your best scores from a single sitting. (For instance, you can't use reading and math scores from one test and a writing & language score from another.)

Refer to conversion tables, match your reading test score to the old SAT critical reading score. Then match your math score to the old SAT math score.   Add together the old SAT critical reading score and the old SAT math score, then find the equivalent UC Score   




Use this list of five factors, which are important in the college decision

and also form the acronym: REACH


Region, Estimated costs, Academics, Campus life and Housing


Region:  Figure out what type of college you want — big, little or somewhere in between?  Consider how you want to spend your spare time. Does the region offer the beach scene, mountain climbing, hiking or ice-skating?


Estimated costs:  First of all, can you afford the school? Although you will apply for all the scholarships you can that will    

   award you for your community service and SAT or ACT scores, look beyond your freshman year award potential. Do the    

   colleges you’re considering offer scholarships for your major? What are the requirements? Do you qualify for work-study?         

   Are there other jobs, such as being a tour guide or resident advisor that can help you offset the cost of college?


Academics:  Ask your guidance counselor or admissions counselor if the department you’re considering majoring   in is accredited. Also ask who teaches the courses, what the student-teacher ratio is and the average class size. Remember, not every college is equal, and it is your job to find out which colleges pass your test.


Campus life:  One of the best ways to get the feel of a campus is to attend an event. Most colleges offer a preview

   day of some type to give prospective students a taste of what they offer. Also, consider taking a campus tour.    

   Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your tour guide’s experiences, what types of student organizations are

   present on campus and the main events the campus hosts each year.


Housing:  Some colleges require all freshmen to live on campus; others don’t. You may want to ask if the university        

   offers any freshmen-only housing. Living on a freshmen floor helps ease anxiety and is a great way to make friends.    

   You will also want to know when the dorms close, what’s included in the room cost and if the halls are co-ed. Lots

   of people tell you how important this decision is and they throw tons of information at you, but that really doesn’t

   answer the question for you. So, instead, try this checklist as a starting point to narrow down your search.  


                                                                                 Excerpted from “How to pick a college“ by Abby Tennant and NextStepU



California State University

University of California


Application Tips and Common Mistakes



1)    For college applications as well as SAT, ACT, and AP: you attend Knight High School, or William J. ‘Pete’ Knight High, not ‘Pete Knight’. (You will not be able to find ‘Pete Knight High’ and shouldn’t use that name on any ‘official’ applications or scholarships).


2)    Your school code or “CEEB code” is 052491.

3)    You must list your SSID or CaSSID number on your CSU and UC applications. Your SSID number is a 9 or 10 digit number and is on the upper right portion of your transcript.


4)    Use the name you are registered with in school. That is what your transcripts will say.

If you do not use your full, legal name, this could cause trouble down the road. Your College Applications, SAT, ACT and AP Scores should all be under the same name.


5)    List ALL schools from where you have credits: Knight High, AVC, etc.


6)    List ALL A-G courses completed.


7)    For CSU applications: If you repeated a course for a higher grade, list it only once with the highest grade. (Example: you took Chemistry over again as a Junior to raise a ‘D’ grade from Sophomore year. List only the highest earned grade for each semester.)


8)    For UC applications: List all A – G courses in the semester they were taken. Even if you repeat a course, you must list ALL A – G classes with the grade you earned in the term you earned it.


9)    Repeated classes that do not have the exact same name must all be listed with grades earned (Example: you took Algebra 2 to raise a 1st semester Algebra 2 / Trig Honors grade. You must include both courses on your application.)


10)   Your college going GPA is calculated based on 10th and 11th grade only (including Summer School) and on A-G approved classes only. There is an on-line GPA calculator as part of the on-line application from CSUMentor and the UC website.


11)   List classes you are currently in as “In-Progress” and also include any classes you are currently in to improve a grade (Example: if you’re in S.I. or Opportunity improving a grade, list it as “In-progress” for the current grade and semester.


12)    List next semester classes as “Planned”. This would also include any classes   

 you ‘plan’ on making up through Opportunity or S.I.


13)   Civics or Government AP and Economics or Economics Honors are semester long classes. List the current class you’re enrolled in as “in-progress” in semester one and the other as “planned” in semester two.


14)    Economics is a ‘G’ class for your college applications and is listed under College Prep electives.





Start with a list of colleges that matches your interests and skills.  This list should include colleges that you like and are likely to accept a student like you (‘sure thing’); schools that are selective but your skills and interests match up well (‘probable’); and a few colleges where the competition is stiff but you have a chance (a ‘stretch’).

Text Box: The top 5 factors influencing admission decisions in order of importance:  Grades in college prep courses, admission test scores, grades in all subjects, class rank, counselor recommendation... National Association for College Admission Counseling                                                                        


                                                                                     (US News & World Report - Click Education, then College)          



                                                                                       (NACAC - National Association for College Admission Counseling


                                                                                        (The College Board)






Most applications for California public colleges are now submitted online.  You can obtain applications for these and other schools by going online to a specific college or linking through your Naviance Family Connection account at:   If you are interested in housing or financial aid, you may need to apply or let them know you are interested at this time, also.  Some colleges (including UC and CSU’s) allow you to submit a request to waive the application fees in their application, so be aware of this opportunity and make sure you complete that application before submitting.  To be safe, ask you counselor to check over your submission before actually pressing “submit”.


Tip! The same advice for filling out job applications applies to college applications.  Allow sufficient time to complete the application; “rush jobs” usually result in errors that tell the reader you are not committed to their college.  Treat online applications like a formal paper application, not like “e-mail”.  E-mail etiquette allows and even encourages half sentences and abbreviations.  Electronic applications do not!













Grades (GPA) are an indicator of high school achievements and future performance.  Separate requests must be made for midyear and final transcripts.  The final transcript verifies that you graduated.  Community colleges will also require transcripts.   


To request your transcripts be sent for any AVHSD high school, you can request them online for free from your Naviance Family Connection account. 



Warning!  YOU are responsible for requesting that your transcripts be sent to colleges.




Test scores are indicators of your ability to succeed in college.  Check with your chosen colleges for required tests and deadlines. 









Here are some tips to help you write autobiographies and other essays required by college.


I.              WRITING TIPS

1.                Do not wait until the last minute to write your essay!!!

2.                Write a draft first.

3.                Erase mistakes and correct as you write.

4.                Put your draft aside for 24 hours and read again.

5.                Make corrections in sentence construction, grammar, punctuation and spelling.

6.                If possible, let someone else read and evaluate your paper. Listen to constructive criticism.

7.                Print your final draft legibly in ink or type it.




A.           A good essay animates the writer as a real person, worth knowing. It conveys who you are and what            you’ve accomplished and fills in gaps in the statistics, explaining what three years of facts about your                high school career won’t show.


B.            The essay helps to distinguish you from other applicants in terms of your goals, aspirations and                   achievements. Discuss these areas in your essay as well as what is important to you and the reasons                   why, your main academic interest and why you chose it, and your educational and career objectives.                 You should write about life experiences that have fulfilled your intellectual and personal growth. You                        should also discuss any exceptional achievements and the degree of your commitment to activities.


                  What Makes You Unique = WHAT experiences you have had & HOW have they influenced you?




A.           Four types of essays


1.          Tell us about yourself

a.          Show who you are, not just what you do, and how your experiences have shaped you

        as an individual.

1)         Assess what in your personality and accomplishment best illustrate the strong points that         describe who you are, what you think and do and what you want out of life.

2)         Your focus may be a commitment to ballet, or your skill in managing a household

        of brothers and sisters, or the intellectual growth you experience through an

        activity or personal contact, or your ability to bounce back in football after a

        season of injuries. One successful applicant described how the tedium of working

        in a grocery store for four years actually gave him self-discipline, a sense of     

        independence, and his college tuition. Another wrote how she felt that first day in

        the College Office staring at the rows of college catalogues on the shelf and how

        much she has learned since then.

b.    Remember to stress the positive rather than the negative side of experience.

1)         Emphasis what you have learned from the experience and how coping with adversity has                           strengthened you as an individual.


2.          Tell us about an interest or idea.

a.          Colleges want to know about you, how you think and what you feel. Be sure to show how the      book, experience, quotation or idea you discuss reflects your outlook and aspirations.

3.    Show us your imaginative side.

a.       Here’s an opportunity to show off your originality both as a writer and as person.                  You can be fanciful or serious in tone.


4.    Tell us why you want to come here.

a.       Schools want to know why you want a higher education, what you hope to                           accomplish with it, and why you think their school, in particular, is the right                               place for you.

b.       Do not mention a particular UC campus.




A.     Before you can begin writing an essay, you need to collect (and recollect) real about yourself, to jot down notes about yourself, what you’ve accomplished and where you are      headed.


List all your activities for the past three years, including:

a.       1) School activities   

  2) community services   

  3) other activities (lessons, work, and travel)   

  4) awards and honors. Include years of participation in an organization and offices held.

b.       Record travel experiences and list your strongest impressions and how they affected you.

c.       Think of one or two sayings that you’ve heard again and again around your house  

  during your childhood. How have they shaped your life?

d.       Describe an accomplishment that you had to struggle to achieve. Include what it

  was, how you tackled it, and how it changed you.

e.       List any shortcomings in your school record and explain why they occurred.

f.        If you could relive the last three years, what would you change and how?

g.       What personality traits do you value most in yourself? Choose a few and jot  

  down examples of how each has helped you.


      Since these experiences are for you, feel free to put down single words or phrases.

      They are to provide information, which you can use, when writing your essays






Private colleges may require one or more of the following types of essays.



1.                   A personal statement

2.                   Describe a significant interest or experience              

3.                   How have you grown and developed                      

4.                   Why have you selected this College                                         

5.                   Why you have chosen this career or profession  

6.                   The national issue question               

7.                   The invention question

8.                   The famous person question

9.                   The hero question

10.               The speech or article

11.               The book question

12.               Your high school curriculum

13.               Good advice

14.               Quotations










      UC applicants are asked to respond to 4 out of 8 questions and each response is limited to a maximum of 350 words.  Which questions you choose is to answer is entirely up to you. But you should select questions that are most relevant to your experience and that best reflect your individual circumstances.




1.       Describe an example of your leadership experience in which you have positively influenced others, helped resolve disputes, or contributed to group efforts over time.

2.       Every person has a creative side, and it can be expressed in many ways: problem solving, original and innovative thinking, and artistically, to name a few. Describe how you express your creative side.

3.       What would you say is your greatest talent or skill?  How have you developed and demonstrated that talent over time?

4.       Describe how you have taken advantage of a significant educational opportunity or worked to overcome an educational barrier you have faced.

5.       Describe the most significant challenge you have faced and the steps you have taken to overcome this challenge.  How has the challenge affected your academic achievement?

6.       Describe your favorite academic subject and explain how it has influence you.

7.       What have you done to make your school or your community a better place?

8.       What is the one thing that you think sets you apart from other candidates applying to the University of California?


            Visit for more information and to download student worksheets




Answer the question. Take time and think before you start writing.  Use details and examples to make your point.  Write to add context and depth, not to fill space.  Show them “who” you are.  Remember, it is a personal insight, so the use of “I” and “me” are okay!


Give yourself time to edit.   Start writing to address the subject, then go back and review the word count, content and overall message.


Brainstorm topics.   When you are composing your Personal Statement, consider including:

·   Personal triumphs/challenges – If you decide to talk about a challenge or triumph, do not forget   to explain what you learned from the experience.

·   Leadership opportunities – Define your leadership role, your accomplishments and what you             learned from the experience.

·   Experiences outside the classroom – Consider experiences that have made an impact on your       life (e.g. travels, church or temple, work, youth group or your family.

·   Disabilities – If you are living with a disability, talk about it!  What does it mean to live with        your disability?


v   Stay Focused.  Avoid common mistakes:

·                           Inappropriate use of humor

·                           Creative writing (poems, scene-setting or clichés)

·                           Repetition – Give them new information they cannot find in other sections of your application

·                           Acronyms – they won’t look them up, so spell it out and explain what it is, when necessary






Many private colleges encourage applicants to have a personal interview. You will feel more confidant about the interview process if you have dome some advance preparation and thought about how you will conduct yourself during the interview. These suggestions should help you have a good interview and enhance your chances of being accepted.


1.          Be prepared. This means knowing some information about the college. Prepare some questions to ask   

        about the college. This will help you as well.


A.        Sample questions that the interviewer may ask you are the following:

1.    What is your GPA and rank in class?

2.    What special or unique qualities do you have?

3.    What can you contribute to this college? Why should we admit you?

4.    Why did you select this particular college?

5.    What is your intended major? What sparked your interest in this field? Have you                                    

       prepared for this major?

6.    What type of activities have you participated in school and out of school? What was                     your contribution to these activities?

7.    What are your most significant accomplishments?

8.    What is important to you?

9.    What are your future plans? How do you propose to use them to bring about needed

       changes in your community/society?


2.          Arrive early. You want to be calm, cool, and collected.


3.          Parents. Leave them OUTSIDE! Parents like to encourage and praise but the interview is for you.


4.          Cell phones – Turn them OFF!  Better yet – leave them outside (like your parents).


5.          Nervousness. This is normal. If it makes you feel comfortable, admit your nervousness to the  

        interviewer. He/she will understand.


6.          Interview the interviewer. If you participate in the conversation by asking questions, it will           demonstrate interest, initiative and maturity. It will also allow you to guide the conversation to areas           where you feel most secure.


7.          Speak so you can be heard. Speak with enthusiasm and sincerity.


8.          Remember the points you made when you filled out the application. Often, many of the questions are     

        based on these points. Review your Xerox copy of the application before the interview.


9.          Be true to yourself. Admit any weaknesses that you have before the interviewer tries to hunt for them.   

        After all, nobody is perfect.


10.      You may be asked to give the names and addresses of references. Have the list with you. You should

        ask in advance for permission to use someone as a reference.


11.      Always leave as cheerfully as you entered and be sure to thank your interviewer.


12.      First choice last. In order to gain experience, you should talk to your least preferred college first.


Note:  These suggestions are also applicable to interviews for scholarships and jobs!









 (Note:  These points relate specifically to West Point, however, other military academies have very similar  

                       procedures and similar criteria.  Admission to all academies are highly competitive).


    Juniors and their parents should attend a general meeting hosted by a local Congressman called a    

    “Service Academy Orientation Night” usually held at Wm. S. Hart High School.  Representatives from

     all the Service Academies, as well as representatives from the Army, Navy, and Air Force ROTC

    Scholarship Programs will be in attendance.


    Students who apply to be eligible for a Service Academy must receive a Congressional nomination to

    receive an appointment.  Application packets must be submitted. 


                 For further information, contact Senator Dianne Feinstein by logging on to:                                                                         


                                                         or to apply for a nomination:


                                            (Applications are due by October 1)


               or you can contact Congressman Steven Knight’s office by logging on to:                                                                               


                                                    or call: (661) 441-0320 and speak to:

                                                   Isaac Barcelona, District Liaison Officer


     The application process begins in April


     Take the SAT/ACT in May/June (and again in fall as seniors, no later than October)

1.       Begin the process (use the postcard pre-candidate questionnaire) 

2.       Receive application Packet (requires: SAT’s, transcript, letters of recommendation (3), essay).

3.       In June/Summer of junior year send letters requesting a nomination. 

       Apply through all:  Congressman, 2 Senators and Vice President (same letter to each office).


Admissions Criteria:


                 60% Academics – 50% SAT / ACT (very competitive – higher the better) Minimum scores are:

                             SAT – 500 verbal and 500 Math                               

                             ACT (21 English, 19 Social Studies, 24 Mathematics, and 24 Natural Sciences)

                             and 50% GPA, etc.


     30% Community/school activities, athletics, etc.  (Are you a leader?)

     10% Physical fitness test.


  Senior Year:      Submit completed packet

                             Early action – all papers due by December 1st

                             Interviews in early January.  Decisions known by February.


                             Send in copies of certificates/honors earned to Admissions (with cover letter) as

                             soon as they are covered.


                             Four main reasons to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point 

                             (or other Military academies):

1.       Academies – 18:1 and below student/teacher ratio; available professors, etc.

2.       Leadership potential/desire

3.       Career in the military

4.       Tuition-free education                               


*After graduation, owe minimum of 5 years as an officer (total 8 years) then 3 years can be in the reserves.




Many people who dream of attending college are very concerned about costs.

The fact is, college is not cheap.  Paying for college can be a challenge, but there are financial aid opportunities for everyone.  Don’t disqualify yourself by not applying for aid.  Almost everyone who attends college needs some form of financial assistance.  This section will provide you with an action plan, resources, and basic information on financial aid.




        1.   Start early by talking to your parents about going to college

           2.   Identify the key person at your school for scholarship information and CSF (Calif. Scholarship Federation)

           3.   Access services offered by your school and District

           4.   Get organized to meet deadlines.  Set up a calendar

           5.   Obtain a FSA ID and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

           6.   File your FAFSA between October 1 and March 2 (March 2 is the deadline for consideration of Cal Grants)

           7.  Turn in any necessary information for the Cal Grant GPA Verification to the school’s coordinator.

           8.   File a CSS Financial Aid PROFILE, if your college requires it

           9.   Negotiate with your selected colleges about financial assistance

         10.   Pursue every lead; meet every deadline (early is on-time, on-time is late is a good motto to live by!)   





Planning and timely action can make a difference in how much money you and your student have to pay for a college education.  Here are four basic tips for parents, guardians, or anyone who wants to help a student attend college:


1.  Start Early 

            One of the first things to do is to open a tax-free “college savings account” (529 Plan) to              which you and your student contribute.  It can start with birthday gifts or even recycled                                can money.  In a “credit mad world”, a savings habit will be invaluable for your                                        student.  Check out California’s saving plan at and the                                             Upromise program at


2.  Get Help

            Financing a college education is a complicated task.  Contact the high school scholarship                         advisor to identify who can help you.  Investigate the resources in the College/Career Center.       Talk with friends who have students in college.  Attend financial aid meetings and college fairs.


3.  Meet Deadlines

            Staying ahead of schedule gives you more options, especially in looking for financial information            on loans and scholarships.  Missing a deadline eliminates any chance of getting a grant or     scholarship.


4.  Negotiate  

            Reduce costs by negotiating with the college financial aid office and with the organizations that   are providing loans.  Financial Aid Officers at colleges can provide you with excellent information.











Cost of Attendance


Tuition & Fess

Books & Supplies





Room& Board



Personal Expenses


(Each school calculates this cost.  This cost is stated in the financial aid package or Award Letter.)


Expected Family Contribution




Based on student and family financial resources



(Federal government determines this amount using information from the FAFSA.  It is the same amount regardless of the cost of a school.)





Financial Need


Students can receive up to this amount of financial aid with grants and/or loans


(Each school develops a financial aid package for each student based on  the FAFSA and other documents.)





No matter where you attend college, you will have educational and living expenses.  Colleges and universities estimate the cost of attending their institution for three different living situations. Select the living situation below to see the range of costs by type of college. Costs here are estimates for the 2018-19 academic year and are not a guarantee of fees or your actual costs for other expenses.


Living On-campus


Calif Community Colleges

California State University (CSULA)

University of California (UC)

Calif Independent Colleges
(based on median costs)

Fees /Tuition





Books & supplies





Room & board

















Living Off-campus











Books & supplies





Room & board


















Living With Parents/Commuting from Home











Books & supplies





Room & board

















  *Estimate is for 12 units/semester
**Few community colleges have on-campus housing; actual cost varies based upon number of meals included.


Don’t know how much money you’ll need in the future?  Want to know what it costs to live in the real world??

Need advice on your future occupation?       Search for it on





          Expected Family Contribution (EFC)


            The EFC is calculated using a standard, federal-government formula and information from your FAFSA   (Free Application for Federal Student Aid).  Family size, income, assets, parent’s age, and number of    family members in college are considered.  The EFC is reported on the SAR (Student Aid Report) which      you receive several weeks after submitting your FAFSA.  The Expected Family Contribution is the same     for all schools, no matter what it costs to attend the school.



            Financial Need


          Need is the difference between what it costs to attend college and what you and your family can afford.



            Types of Aid


                   1.  Gift Aid - No need to be repaid:

                                    a.  Grants (e.g. Pell Grant, Cal Grants)

                                    b.  Scholarships for merit and/or need

                                    c.  Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGFW) - California residents may apply for a                                     California Community College Board of Governors Fee Waiver (BOGFW), which                                   waives the per unit enrollment fee and also exempts students from the health fee.


                        2.  Self-help Aid - Must be repaid or earned

                                    a.  Loans (e.g. Stafford - Unsubsidized for non-need based/Subsidized for need based,                                                        Perkins, Plus)


                                    b.  Work (e.g. Federal Work Study)



            Financial Aid Websites:               Scholarship Search engine                 Financial aid for foreign students       Non-profit student loan provider                  California Student Aid Commission site.  Financial aid programs.          Download the “Profile”, Independent college’s financial aid form                         U.S. Dept. of Education site.  Federal programs, tax credits and loans.                   College planning and financial aid.                 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (to be filed in Jan. of senior year).                    Financial aid resources, private scholarships, loan & payment calculators.               Scholarship and loan programs.  Lenders.         Federal student aid programs and applications.







Sample Financial Aid Award Letter





April 15, 2018

Mr. John J. College
Student ID: 1234567
232 University Way
Brooklyn, New York 11238

Dear John,

Congratulations on your admission to Top Notch College. We have reviewed your financial aid application for the 2017-2018 academic year and awarded the following financial assistance, based      on the information provided on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Cost of Attendance

Tuition and Fees


Room and Meals


Books and Personal




Total Cost of Attendance



Expected Family Contribution





Total Family Contribution


To meet your financial need, Top Notch College offers the following assistance:


Fall 2018

Spring 2019

Top Notch College Scholarship



Federal Perkins Loan



Federal Sub. Stafford Loan



Federal Unsub. Stafford Loan



Parent PLUS Loan Eligibility






This award must be accepted by June 1, 2018 or funds will be cancelled.

Signature: _____________________ Date: _____________________




If you need assistance in understanding your financial aid letter,

please see your counselor








After the Award Letter is Received “Check List”

(If you need assistance at any time in this process, please contact your counselor!)


q  Create a personal calendar of events and deadlines.


o   April – Correct FAFSA (if necessary)

o   May – Submit Housing & Meal plan commitments/deposits

o   May – Send Letter of Intent to attend (and deposit)

o   June – Send Acceptance/Rejection of financial aid

o   July – Send final transcripts, Official AP, SAT, ACT scores

o   July/Aug – Register for classes

o   June/Sept – Attend Orientation for students and parents


q  Make sure FAFSA is completely corrected and any award letters reflect the latest corrections


q  If you believe you are a candidate for Special Circumstances or Professional Judgement, contact your counselor or college financial aid office as soon as possible.


q  Contact the college’s financial aid office for clarification and/or to request more help/aid.


q  Make sure you Cal Grant has been received and you agree with the report.  Check the status of the submission at:


q  As soon as you are aware, notify the financial aid offices at all prospective colleges of any grants or scholarships received that are not on your award letter.  Ask them how these changes will be affecting your award letter from them.  You may need to re-assess your school choice.


q  On Federal School Loans – make sure your “master promissory note” is signed (if applicable).


q  Read the “fine print” on your student loan agreement, especially if the loan is a non-government (alternative) loan.  Ask questions.  Know your repayment obligations while you are in school and after you graduate.



            If you are short funds necessary to secure mandatory deposits from the college (e.g. tuition             installment, dorms, meal plans, etc.), notify the financial aid office at the college as soon as             possible.


            Additionally, financial aid disbursements will often come after the semester/quarter starts.  If       you are unable to afford initial costs, you will need to communicate with the college’s financial          aid office before you send your letter of intent in May.  They will explain their policy/solution,        so that you will be comfortable when the situation occurs.  In many cases the financial aid      department will create a short term loan against your pending aid.  If other arrangements need to           be made, you will need to coordinate as soon as possible.







(Federal Money)



You apply for most financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA.  It’s the universal application the federal government, states and colleges use to determine how much financial aid you qualify to receive.  The FAFSA asks for information about you, your family, your finances and your college plans.  The fastest and easiest way to complete the FAFSA is online at, but there is also a paper version you can get by calling toll-free 800-433-3243.  Both versions are available in Spanish.



The FAFSA should be filed each year – beginning with your senior year in high school through your final year of post-secondary education.  You can begin completing the free application on October 1st.  The income tax data you will be using on the FAFSA will be from the year prior to the most recent tax year (the 2017 FAFSA would use the 2015 tax data).  Also, be sure you are submitting for the correct school year (for example, if you are graduating KHS in May of 2019, you will be applying for the 2019-20 school year).  Keep in mind, you’ll want to file for the FAFSA before March 2nd, but as soon as possible after October 1st.  You can always make corrections, if needed, prior to March 2nd.


Prior to completing the FAFSA, you and your parent will each need to obtain a FSA ID.  The FSA ID gives you access to Federal Student Aid’s online systems and will serve as your legal electronic “signature” when submitting the FAFSA.

Only create an FSA ID using your own personal information and for your own exclusive use. You are not authorized to create an FSA ID on behalf of someone else, including a family member. Misrepresentation of your identity to the federal government could result in criminal or civil penalties.  Keep your FSA ID safe and secure, as you would a social security number.  You will be using the FSA ID each year when applying for the FAFSA.  We suggest creating your FSA ID’s NOW and record it on page 35 of this booklet for later, so you will be “ready to go” when it’s time to file.  Go to:        


(or click on the link at the top of the FAFSA website)



There is plenty of free help available – you should never have to pay for the FAFSA or have it completed for you.  Ask your Guidance Counselor, go to the website, or call the U.S. Department of Education at 800-433-3243.





     CALIFORNIA GRANTS or call (888) 224-7268



Every high school senior who graduates, meets the academic, financial and eligibility requirements and applies on time is guaranteed a Cal Grant award to attend college.









     There are several types of Cal Grant awards. Each of the Cal Grants listed below are for students    

     pursuing an undergraduate associate's or bachelor's degree or an occupational training program.


     Please be advised that any Cal Grant award offer is tentative and subject to

     the final approval of the State Budget Act.


ABOUT Cal Grants A, B & C

Cal Grant A Entitlement awards can be used for tuition and fees at public and private colleges as well as some private career colleges. At CSU and UC schools, this Cal Grant covers systemwide fees up to $5,742 and $12,630 respectively.

If you are attending any private, nonprofit college or a for-profit college accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, it pays up to $9,084 toward tuition and fees. If you are attending most other career colleges, it pays up to $4,000.

Cal Grant B Entitlement awards provides low-income students with a living allowance and assistance with tuition and fees. Most first-year students receive an allowance of up to $1,672 (respectively) for books and living expenses. After the freshman year, Cal Grant B also helps pay tuition and fees in the same amount as a Cal Grant A. For a Cal Grant B, your coursework must be for at least one academic year.

Cal Grant C awards help pay for tuition and training costs at occupational or career technical schools. This $547 award is for books, tools and equipment. You may also receive up to an additional $2,462 for tuition at a school other than a California Community College. You may receive up to $1,094 for California Community College. To qualify, you must enroll in a vocational program that is at least four months long at a California Community College, private college, or a career technical school. Funding is available for up to two years, depending on the length of your program.

Cal Grant A and B Competitive Awards are for students who aren't eligible for the Entitlement awards. The main difference is that these awards are not guaranteed.

Cal Grant A Competitive Awards are for students with a minimum 3.0 GPA who are from low-and middle-income families. These awards help pay tuition and fees at qualifying schools with academic programs that are at least two years in length.

Cal Grant B Competitive Awards are for students with a minimum 2.0 GPA who are from disadvantaged and low-income families. These awards can be used for tuition, fees and access costs at qualifying schools whose programs are at least one year in length. If you get a Cal Grant B Competitive Award it can only be used for access costs in the first year. These costs include living expenses, transportation, supplies and books. Beginning with the second year, you can use your Cal Grant B Competitive Award to help pay tuition and fees at public or private four-year colleges or other qualifying schools.

Text Box: All Cal Grant applicants must:

v	be U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens*
v	have a Social Security Number *
v	be California residents *

v	attend a qualifying California college

v	meet Selective Service requirements

v	be enrolled at least half time

v	maintain satisfactory academic progress

v	have a family income and assets below the established ceilings which are set each year

v	not be in default of any student loan

v	not owe any federal or state grant refund      
                             (*or meet AB540 criteria)

The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident documented students who meet certain provisions to apply for and/or receive private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, community college fee waivers, university grants, and Cal Grants.


For all Cal Grants, you must file the FAFSA                                       (or California Dream Act Application)  The GPA Verification is submitted electronically by your high school’s Guidance Office, usually beginning in December. Both the Cal Grant GPA Verification and FAFSA forms must be filed by the March 2 deadline.


          To check your Cal Grant status, go to:                          




     Think of looking for scholarships as having a part-time job. Juniors and Seniors might spend

     an hour a day or half a day on weekends conducting searches and putting together applications.


  Where to Find Them?  (You have to ask)

            Local and regional organizations

            Parent’s or student’s work

            Religious, service, cultural or community organizations


            Intended college or university


  On the Internet?   (You have to search)

            Do not pay someone to find a scholarship for you.  Internet searches are free.  See and click on “Scholarships” to read information about scholarship scams.


            Scholarship directories (or search engines) will help you find scholarships that fit you.  Simply             complete a profile and enter your e-mail address.  They will e-mail you with    scholarships that         fall within your profile.  As long as you continue to respond by reading the e-mails, you’ll be kept on their database to receive future scholarships, even into college!  (There are some         scholarships only available to certain levels of education, like “graduating high school senior” or    “first year college student”).


            Try these directories:


                        Or, in search engines such as, or


                        In the “Search” box, type: “Scholarships, _______________”.

            On the line, insert, one at a time, all the things that describe you – interests, family structure,             background, heritage, religion, activities, course of study, hobbies, anything unusual such as a             disability in the family, very short, very tall, etc.


  What to Submit?  (You need to STAND OUT)

            Everything requested for the scholarship and, unless specifically instructed not to include any             “extras”, you may also want to include:

·         Color photo of student on first page

·         Table of contents – number pages and list them all on the table of contents page

·         Application form

·         Essay

·         Letters of recommendation

·         Transcripts (highlight all the A’s and B’s)


  How to Submit?  (Again, you NEED to stand out) 

·         Use some soft color (color digital photo, colored paper for table of contents, etc.

·         Submit originals whenever you can or only first generation Xerox

·         Bind materials into brightly colored report folder so it won’t come apart

·         Mail flat (not folded) in a large envelope


                  SCHOLARSHIP GUIDE


Service clubs, companies, and charities give out about $2 billion in private scholarships each year.   Roughly 1 million students receive these monies—meaning 1 out of 13 students wins a scholarship.        The average of these scholarships is $2,000. So are you ready to start looking?

Athletic Scholarships. Granted, this is only going to apply to a select few, but athletic scholarships don’t require a whole lot of brains. Rather, the importance lies in physical talent and drive.

Artistic Scholarships. There are plenty of art-specific scholarships available for students who do the research. Additionally, artists can use their skills to apply for non-artistic scholarships. Oftentimes, judges are looking for creatively convincing applications for “average Joe” scholarships—think film, dance, song lyrics, paintings, etc.

Minority Scholarships. These scholarships are typically reserved for students from financially unprivileged backgrounds and ethnicities. Though these scholarships are not necessarily based on grades, they do require community service or athleticism—anything that sets you apart from the crowd.

Employee Scholarships. If you think your summer job is just a way to finance your love for video games or fashion, you’re wrong. Many employers, whether yours or your parents, offer scholarships to students just because of the relationship that exists between the two.

Wacky Scholarships. There are scholarships out there that are wacky enough for any high school student. Think Duck Calling and Duct Tape Prom Dresses. It just requires a little legwork in finding these scholarships. And by legwork, we mean typing “wacky scholarships” into a search engine.

There is no reason that any student should pay full tuition for college. It just takes time and work to find ways to pay up. So get on it!




 Think you don’t qualify for a Scholarship?  Think again.  Here are five common myths that discourage students from applying for scholarships:

1.  “Only students with high academic achievement win merit scholarships” - While grades may be                               important in selecting scholarship winners, your academic performance is not the end-all and be-all.    Scholarship donors understand that your grades are not all there is to you.

2.  “Scholarship applicants should seek to compile the longest list of extracurricular activities” -    What good is having a long list of activities if all you did was attend a bunch of meetings?  Concentrate on a   few activities and take a leadership role!

3.  “Scholarship contests are conducted on a level playing field” - Each scholarship sponsor has its own idea of who would make an ideal candidate.

4.  “Applying for scholarships is just like applying to college” - Most colleges compare you to a standard, whereas most scholarships are simply measuring applicants against one another.  If you creatively stand out, you’ll have an advantage.

5.  “The track record you’ve already accumulated determines whether you’ll win scholarships” - What you do after you decide to apply to awards is just as important as what you’ve already done.  It’s never too late   to improve on your academic record and your involvement in extracurricular activities. 


                Stop by the College/Career Center for more useful information on scholarships!

These are only suggestions for scholarship searches, not a guarantee of awards.                



College Survival Vocabulary



What do all those strange words in college catalogs really mean?


Here are some of the technical words you are likely to see and what they mean in everyday language.

Academic year – Usually refers to the September-June school year, sometimes includes summer term as well.

Accreditation – Certification that a school meets certain standards set by an outside reviewing organization.

Admission – The process of becoming a student at a college or university. The admission process usually involves completing an application form and providing copies of documents/transcripts from previous schools.

Advisor – A faculty or staff member who assists students with planning their class schedules as well as their overall programs of study. Advisors may also help with career planning. See also counselor.

Application – The first step in requesting admission to a college or university. Usually there is a form to fill out; sometimes there is a fee to pay.

Articulation – A formal agreement between two high schools and colleges or between community/ technical colleges and baccalaureate institutions, designed to make it easy for students to move from one level to the next without any gaps or repetition in their course work.

Assessment – A method of finding out a student’s knowledge or skill level, often used to find his or her best placement or starting level in a series of courses in English, foreign languages, math or science.

Associate’s degree – A diploma earned after successfully completing a required course of study in a community or technical college. It typically requires 90 or more credits and takes two years of full-time study.

Audit - Registration in a class for which enrollment is official; however, no grade or credit will be granted.

Baccalaureate or bachelor’s degree – A college degree which can often be earned by following a four-year instructional program. A baccalaureate institution, sometimes called a “four-year college,” is a school that is entitled to grant a baccalaureate degree.

Basic Skills – Usually refers to a level of competency in reading, writing, and mathematics which is required for successful college-level work in all fields of study.

Campus – The land and buildings that a school uses for instruction or student services.

Catalog – A publication listing college regulations, program and course descriptions, degree and graduation requirements.

Certificate – A document granted by a college or university indicating that a student has successfully completed specified courses and requirements (compare with degree, which usually requires more time and coursework).

Class – (1) A specific group of students meeting for specific instructional purposes; it can mean the whole series of scheduled meetings (“I’m in Dr. Owen’s English class this quarter”) or just one session (“we had a guest speaker in my Business class today”). (2) Often means the same as course (“she’s taking classes in Electrical Engineering”). (3) A group of students who expect to complete their studies at the same time (“he’s in the graduating class of 2006").

Class Schedule – (1) A publication listing details on the courses the school will offer during a specific term. (2) The courses that an individual student is taking or plans to take during a specific term. 

             College – (1) An institution of higher learning that grants the bachelor's degree in liberal arts or              science or both. (2) An undergraduate division or school of a university offering courses and         granting degrees in a particular field.


 College-level Study – Curricula and instruction that assume the student has already mastered certain skills and abilities needed for postsecondary school work. Compare to developmental-level study.

Commencement – The ceremony at the end of an academic year when students receive their degrees or diplomas (compare to graduation). 

Competency – In “competency-based” courses or programs, students must prove that they have certain skills and abilities before moving from one level to the next or earning the final certificate or degree (instead of just earning passing grades in certain classes).

Course – (1) Often means the same as class. (2) A planned sequence of instruction in a particular topic; may include class meetings, lectures, readings, assignments, examinations, etc.; offered repeatedly to different groups of students.

Credit – A unit of measure for college study. Generally speaking, one credit hour represents one hour of classroom attendance each week, plus the study time, homework, etc. that go along with it.

Credit Load – The total credit load value of all the courses a student is currently enrolled in.

Curriculum (plural: curricula) – (1) An established sequence of information to be learned, skills to be gained, etc. in a specific course program. (2) In a general sense, all the courses offered by a department, division, or college.

Dean – An academic administrator or official, especially one with responsibility for students or faculty. 

Degree – A rank earned by a student who has successfully completed specific courses and requirements (compare with certificate, which usually requires less time and course work). 

Department – An organizational unit within a college or university, offering courses in a particular topic.

Diploma – An official document issued by the school to show that a student has earned a degree or certificate.

Discipline – (1) A subject; field, branch of knowledge or learning (“he teaches in the related disciplines of physics and astronomy”) (2) Orderly behavior (“instructors are responsible for maintaining discipline in their classrooms”) (3) Correction or punishment for disorderly behavior (“she disrupted the class repeatedly, so the college will begin disciplinary action”).

Distance Learning or Distance Education – Instruction which is not time- or place-specific; it can include correspondence courses, televised or videotaped lectures, online courses (internet and email), etc.

Distribution Requirements – Course requirements that make sure the student is well-rounded and gains some perspective outside his or her major focus.

Division – An organizational unit made up of two or more related departments at the college or university.

Drop – To cancel registration in a course after enrolling in it, usually before the term has started.

Dual Listing - A single course that meets criteria in two disciplines. Students may enroll in either course depending upon how they want it listed in their transcript. For example, Multicultural Communication can be taken as CMU 150 or SOC 150.

Elective – A course that is not required for a particular instructional program. Many programs require a certain number of elective credits, and many recommend certain electives for students to choose from.

ESL (English as a Second Language) – Usually refers to developmental-level instruction in English language skills for non-native speakers.


Enrollment – (1) The process of signing up and paying for courses. See also registration. (2) The total number of registered students attending classes in a particular instructional program, school, district, etc.

Evaluation – (1) The process and standards by which an instructor judges a student’s work and assigns a grade. (2) The process of determining that a student has met all requirements to complete a degree or certificate and is ready to graduate.

Faculty – The teachers at a college or university. Librarians and counselors are often considered faculty members along with classroom teachers.

Financial Aid – Money available from various sources to help students pay for college expenses. These funds come as loans, grants, or scholarships from the state or federal government or other organizations. Work-study is also a form of financial aid.

Freshman – A student in the first year of a typical four-year degree program.

GED (General Education Development) – A certificate that is accepted as equal to a high-school diploma.

Grade – A number or letter that shows how well the student did in a course. Traditional letter grades are “A” for outstanding achievement, “B” for high achievement, and “C” for satisfactory achievement, etc.

Grade-Point Average (GPA) – The GPA is computed by multiplying the number value of the grade earned in each course (generally, A = 4, B=3, C=2, D=1, F=0) time the number of credits for each course, and then dividing the result by the total number of credits taken.

Graduation – The formal completion of an instructional program. Students graduate after successfully meeting all requirements set by the college or university (compared to commencement).

Grant – A type of financial aid that does not have to be paid back after the student leaves college.

Incomplete - A grade given at the instructor's discretion, when some or all of the course requirements have not been met by the end of the quarter.

Independent Study – An arrangement that allows a student to earn college credit through individual study and research, usually planned with and supervised by a faculty member.

Item Number - The four-digit number that appears before each class and section in the quarterly class schedule.

Internship – A supervised short-term apprenticeship or temporary job in a real-world setting; the student may or may not be paid, but does earn college credit for the work experience. See also practicum.

Junior – A student in the third year of a typical four-year college degree program. 

Learning Community - A multi-disciplinary course involving two or more teachers. Learning Communities are centered around a theme. Students and teachers are joint learners, and every member of the Learning Community bears responsibility.

Linked Courses - Courses which have been designed to complement one another. Students will enroll in the linked offering and must enroll in both courses.

Loan – A type of financial aid that must be paid back when the student leaves school.

Lower Division – The courses students are generally expected to take during the first two years of a typical four-year college degree program.

Major – Specialization in one academic discipline or field of study. Also called an “academic concentration.”

Matriculation - The formal admission application and acceptance of a student who wishes to take courses for a college degree or certificate.

Non-credit – Courses or instructional programs which do not require extensive homework or examinations and which do not offer college credit. Students frequently take non-credit courses for basic skills improvement, job or career development, or personal enrichment.

Non-Matriculated Students - Students not seeking a degree or certificate.

Open Admissions – The policy of some colleges to admit nearly all applicants, regardless of high school grades and admission test scores. 

Open Learning Center - The Open Learning Center (OLC) is a computer lab where students can receive assistance with technology needs and completing class assignments.

Over enrollment - Permission given by an instructor to register for a class that has reached its capacity of registered students.

Overload - Permission is required to take 24 or more credits in any one quarter.

Pass – Opposite of fail. At most schools, a student will pass and earn credit for a class with a grade of “A” through “D.”  A student who earns an “F” fails the class and earns no credit.

Placement – The appropriate level to enter a series of courses, based on the student’s skills (“since she learned so much Spanish in high school, she placed into Spanish 201 as a freshman”). See also assessment.

Postsecondary – Refers to all education programs for students past high-school age; it includes community and technical colleges and job training programs as well as baccalaureate colleges and universities.

Practicum – A course that includes job-related activities and stresses the practice application of theory in a field of study. See also internship.

Prerequisite – Any placement level or course work that must be completed (often with a certain minimum grade), or skill that must be demonstrated before a student can enroll in another, more advanced course. 

Professional/ Technical – A course or instructional program that emphasizes job skills training for a particular field of work; sometimes called “occupational” or “vocational” education.

Program – (1) The courses that an individual student plans to take (“the Academic Advisors can help you plan your program each year”) (2) The courses required to complete a particular degree or certificate (“he’s almost finished with the Recreational Leadership Program”). (3) The courses that make up a department or the departments that makes up a division within the college organization (“the Social Science Division offers instructional programs in nine fields”). (4) Organized activities with a specific function (“The college offers support programs for students of color”).

Quarter – Some schools divide the academic year into three main periods – Fall, Winter and Spring quarters – plus a shorter Summer Quarter (compared to semester).

Records – Refers to all the information the college might keep about a student; it includes registration activity, grades, payments, and awards received, and financial aid applications and awards, as well as address, phone number and student identification number.

Refund – Tuition and fees that are paid back to the student when he or she has withdrawn from a course.

Register/ Registration – To sign up or enroll in a course or courses. “Registration activity” includes enrolling, dropping/ withdrawing, making payments, etc.

Requirements – Minimum standards defined by the school, for example for admission or graduation. See also prerequisite; distribution requirements.

Resident – For purposes of calculating a student’s tuition and fees, someone who has lived in the state for a specified length of time.

Scholarship – (1) A type of financial aid grant. An organization may give scholarships according to academic achievement, financial need, or some other basis.   The application process is often competitive. (2) A person’s ability and expertise in a particular discipline of study. 


Section – A specific class with its own days, hours, location, and instructor. A number of sections of a course may be offered during a term, each with different days, times, locations, and instructors but presenting the same curriculum.

Semester – Some schools divide the academic year into two main periods – Fall and Spring Semesters – plus a shorter Summer Semester (compared to quarter).

Senior – A student in the fourth year of a typical four-year college degree program.

Sophomore – A student in the second year of a typical four-year college degree program.

SSID – A unique, non-personally-identifiable number linked to a given individual student within the California public K–12 educational system

Syllabus (plural: syllabi) – An outline plan for a particular class, including textbook requirements, class meeting dates, reading assignments, examination dates, the instructor’s grading standards etc.

Teaching and Learning Lead - Faculty are appointed as Teaching and Learning Leads each year to assist the Dean and Vice President for Student Learning with a variety of duties.

Term – A unit within the academic year, either a quarter or a semester depending on the school.

Transcript – The record of the courses a student has taken and the grades he or she has earned at school. 

Transfer – To move from one college or university to another and have the second institution recognize some or all of the courses the student took at the first one.

Tuition & Fees – Tuition is a student’s basic payment towards the cost of instruction at a school. Most schools also charge fees for laboratory equipment and materials, computer use, parking, and other costs.

Undergraduate – A student who has not yet earned a bachelor’s degree; also refers to the courses and instructional programs such a student enrolls in.

University - an institution of higher learning providing facilities for teaching and research and authorized to grant academic degrees; specifically: one made up of an undergraduate division which confers bachelor's degrees and a graduate division which comprises a graduate school and professional schools each of which may confer master's degrees and doctorates


Upper Division – The classes students are generally expected to take during the last two years of a typical four-year college degree program.

Waive/ Waiver – To waive a right or a claim means to overlook it or give it up. (1) If a student meets specific criteria, the college may waiver some of his or her tuition & fees (that is, some of the money owed to the college will be forgiven). (2) If a student demonstrates certain knowledge and abilities, an instructor may waive a course prerequisite (that is, allow the student to take the class even though he or she hasn’t completed the requirements for it).

Withdrawal – The process of formally dropping a class or classes after the quarter or semester has started. A student might withdraw from one class, or from the college as a whole. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw from classes he or she has stopped attending to avoid receiving a 0.0 grade.

Work-Study – A type of financial aid which pays students to work part time during the school year.









Text Box: Senior
Pre-College Calendar & Checklist




q  Review your career plans and decide which type of school is right for you.

q  Visit some college campuses.

q  Narrow your college list to no more than five schools.  (Research college catalogs/admissions info in the College/Career Center or online.)

q  Pick up registration materials and test dates for the SAT and/or the ACT in the College/Career Center. Fee waivers are available.

q  Pick up a list of useful web sites from the College/Career Center.



q  Meet with admissions representatives who are visiting Knight High School.

q  Make a list of test names, dates, fees and all deadlines for testing, college admissions, financial aid and scholarship applications.

q  Remember that you must take tests like the SAT or ACT at least six weeks before the college admissions deadline for scores to be submitted to colleges.

q  Begin asking teachers, guidance counselors and employers for letters of recommendation to include with your admissions / scholarship applications.  Provide them with a brag sheet.



q  Retake the SAT or ACT exams, if necessary.

q  Begin submitting your CSU applications at

q  Work on admissions application essays/personal statements, if required.

q  Visit your top school choices.  Interview some students, faculty and staff there.

q  Attend special programs such as college fairs and financial aid nights.

q Find out which financial aid applications your college choices require and when the forms are due.  Calendar them.

q Some private universities may require that you register for the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE™ at this time.  (This

        determines your qualification for 

        private school aid.)

q  Begin preparing your college applications.  Check with the colleges

        to find out when materials must be submitted.  Many are Nov. 1-30.





q  Download the unofficial version of your transcript to your personal desktop for reference when completing applications!

q  Begin working on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at

(Be sure to always file the FAFSA, even if you don’t think you’ll qualify. Colleges will take that into consider-ation when offering their own financial aid.)



q  Take the SAT or ACT exam, if necessary.  Take the SAT SUBJECT TESTS for UC/private college consideration.  Consider retaking the SAT/ACT to improve your score.

q  Begin submitting your UC applications at

q  Obtain financial aid applications from your guidance office or college of choice.  Read them carefully to determine what information is required and when the applications are due.

q  Complete a request for transcripts with your Naviance Family Connection, if required by the colleges to which you are applying.



q  Apply for your FSA ID at  

q  Apply for outside funding/

scholarships.  Use the internet.

q  PARENTS: Save your year-end payroll stub if it shows your earnings for the year.  You will need it for financial aid eligibility reviews by colleges.



q  Submit/correct your completed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon as possible.

q  Turn in your “Local Scholarship Application” to Mrs. Centonze in the College/Career Center before the deadline!

q  Submit applications to the colleges and universities that have January or February deadlines.


q  January is Financial Aid Awareness Month. Look for special programs in your area.





PARENTS: It’s helpful to get your income tax returns prepared early as schools may request them to prove eligibility for financial aid.



q  Check to see if your mid-year transcripts have been sent to the schools to which you have applied.

q  Research taking Advanced Placement (AP) or College-Level Examination Program (CLEP) exams.

q  Rank your finalized list of colleges.

q  Sign and return (with any necessary corrections) the Student Aid Report.



q  Look for your Student Aid Report (SAR) in the mail.  Your SAR contains federal financial aid information. If you have not received your Student Aid Report four weeks after sending in your FAFSA, contact the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-433-3243.

q  Sign and return (with any necessary corrections) the Student Aid Report.

q  Submit tax forms to the financial aid office if requested.  Contact each college to make certain that your application is complete.  Find out what else you need to do to establish and maintain your eligibility for financial aid.          



q  Watch the mail for college acceptance and financial aid award letters.  Compare the financial aid awards you receive.

q  Make your final college decision and send in a deposit by the deadline.

q  Check with the college you’ve chosen about the details of signing and returning financial aid award letters.

q  Notify the schools that you will not be attending.

q  Watch for important deadlines at your chosen college (housing, financial aid, etc.).



q  Advanced Placement (AP) examinations are given.  Fee reductions are available. 

q  Study hard for those finals!  All your grades still count for college admissions.

q  Finalize summer school or summer job plans.



q  Watch for notices from your college.  Submit all requested information immediately!
















Don’t Forget Your Log-in Information and Passwords!


My SSID ID # __________________________   (On your transcripts)



Naviance Family Connection (for transcripts/colleges/scholarships/letters of recommendation requests)   



            User name: ____________________________    Password: ___________________

                                             (Same as your PowerSchool log-in)



CollegeBoard (


            User name: ____________________________    Password: ___________________


FSA ID for FAFSA (   


            User name: ____________________________    Password: ___________________




            User name: ____________________________    Password: ___________________


Cal Grant (


            User name: ____________________________    Password: ___________________ (practice tests & study guides)


            User name: ____________________________    Password: ___________________


College _____________________________


            User name: ____________________________    Password: ___________________


College _____________________________


            User name: ____________________________    Password: ___________________