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Applying for 4-year Colleges Checklist

Summer before senior year...

Finalize your list of places to Apply:

‚Äča. Use websites such as: theprincetonreview.com to research majors and colleges. 

Create Accounts on all Application Websites you will be applying to:

a. California State Universities (CSU’s): csumentor.edu (opens 10/1, closes 11/30)

b. University of California (UC’s): admission.universityofcalifornia.edu (open 8/1, closes 11/30)

c. Private Colleges: commonapp.org (opens 8/1, close date is per-college)

d. Out of State Colleges: Visit that school’s website

e. Community College Applications are not due until April of your senior year.

*If you want to start taking community college classes early check out Moorpark Colleges Website for the Class Schedule and make an appointment or email you counselor to get the process started! It's a great way to get ahead and as a high schools student your tuition fee is waived.

Start Personal Statements:

a. CSU’s – don’t require essays or personal statements!

b. UC’s - http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/how-to-apply/personal-statement/

c. CommonApp- https://appsupport.commonapp.org/link/portal/33011/33013/Article/1694/2014-15-Common-Application-Essay-Prompts

  • FYI – you can only submit 3 different versions of essay on common app. Also, some colleges will have additional questions once you create your application after August 1.

Letters of Recommendation:

When do I need a letter of recommendation?

  • CommonApp Schools - check each school's requirements, many require 1 teacher and 1 counselor but YOU are responsible for knowing which is which.
  • Scholarship Applications - often your teachers and counselors are willing to modify your "Letter of Rec" to match what you are applying for, or you can ask them for a general letter and keep a copy in your files, and/or digitally to use for more than one scholarship.
  • UC's and CSU's DO NOT REQUIRE LETTERS OF REC, DON'T ASK FOR ONE OR SEND ONE, THE WILL THROW IT AWAY!

***If you need a letter of recommendation make sure your counselor and/or teachers have a copy of your brag packet, at least 2 weeks before you need the letter of recommendation!***

a. If you need a counselor to write a letter of recommendation and/or a teacher make sure you have given them a brag packet and a FERPA.  

b. Click Here to fill out your Brag Packet, be sure to save it to your computer so you can print multiple copies.

c. Click Here for a sample Cover Letter to give with your brag packet.

Do your research on each school:

a. Financial Aid:  Are there separate applications for scholarships?  What is the cost at that school?  Have you had the $ conversation with Mom and Dad? – www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov

b. Do they have your major? Is it hard to change majors if you change your mind, most college students change their major 3-5 times before graduation.

c. Do they have Early Action? Early Decision? What are these and what do they mean?

Are you planning to go to a WUE school? 

a. Hawaii, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada? 

b. Check out the CCC website section: Western Undergraduate Exchange Program to see about reduced tuition.

NCAA Athletes/NAIA Athletes:

a. Have you made sure all of your paperwork is complete and you are cleared? 

b. If you plan to sign with a school and would like to have a “signing ceremony” at school with your family please email Ms. Cavanaugh ASAP with your signing date and we will add you to the list.

Pick up a FAQ’s sheet: or Click Here (to be updated 8/14)

a. This will have all of your class information, i.e. # of students, how to read your transcript, etc.  Available in the CCC, counseling or on the svhscounseling.com website.

Do you need/want to take the October and/or December SAT’s?

a. SAT 2 (Subject Tests): Take these if you are very strong in a subject and want to make yourself stand out, particularly for competitive schools.

  • Mathematics Level 1  
  • U.S. History
  • Mathematics Level 2    
  • World History
  • Biology E/M      
  • French
  • Chemistry          
  • Italian
  • Physics                               
  • Latin
  • Literature           
  • Spanish