• The following timeline should help parents and students navigate the college planning process from Freshman to Senior year of high school. Freshmen and Sophomores will generally need more guidance from parents.  Juniors and Seniors should be learning to take responsibility for themselves and appreciate any extra assistance a parent is capable of supplying.  Colleges will communicate directly with students, therefore, they must be prepared to handle this responsibility. In the following information, the term "college" will be used to represent all colleges and/or universities.

    Planning Calendar for Freshmen (Grade 9) and Their Parents

    It may seem early to start getting ready for college, but important groundwork should start taking place in the 9th grade. Here is a list to help make sure you are on the right track.

    Create a four year high school plan. Once you are settled into ninth grade, use Naviance to prepare an overall plan for high school that relates to your goals. The plan is flexible and can be adapted to your needs in high school. Make sure you know what high school courses are required by colleges and that your ninth grade courses are right on track. Familiarize yourself with the various levels of courses offered by Agoura High School. In addition to courses required by colleges, athletes should confirm that classes also adhere to the NCAA guidelines. All students are encouraged to complete the highest level of classes for their level.

    Participate in school and/or extracurricular activities.   Extracurricular activities help students develop time-management skills and enrich school and life experiences. Find activities that you are passionate about and stick with them. There are many clubs on campus to choose from or you may form a new club. AHS Club Rush is in fall and again in spring. Exact dates will be announced in the bulletins. There are also many opportunities outside of school. If you find something that you like, you are more likely to want to be an involved participant. When considering opportunities, know that colleges/universities would rather see sustained involvement in one activity than a loose connection to several activities. Involvement in activities creates a more well-rounded person, regardless of whether or not you plans to attend a college/university.

    Service Learning Hours. Students are required to perform 15 hours of Service Learning per school year as a graduation requirement. Go to the Service Learning Link from the AHS website for more information.

    Grades are important! Don’t believe rumors that freshman grades do not count. College applications require applicants to enter the classes and the grades from freshman year. Other than California public schools, 9th grade is calculated into the GPA.

    Take advantage of support right on campus! Agoura High School offers student options for assistance with their work, without having to hire private tutors. Use Student Support period to get extra help from teachers. Tutoring by department is available as follows:

    Math tutoring is available every day in room M10 during Support, Lunch, and Period 6.
    English tutoring is available everyday during Support in room K9.
    Life Science tutoring is available Monday, Wednesday, Friday during Support in room N7.
    Physical Science tutoring is available Monday, Wednesday, Friday during Support in room B4.
    World Language tutoring is available Monday through Friday during Support in room M9.

    Start thinking about careers. Develop a tentative career goal. Of course it will change – often - but it is the thought process that counts. Identify interests – likes and dislikes – not just in academics but in all areas. This will help you focus on goals. Discuss career options with others, such as school counselors, teachers, recent college graduates who are working professionals in the community, etc. In Naviance, take the assessments found under the “About Me” tab to learn more about yourself and your interests.

    Keep social media clean. Information and pictures you post today will be accessible to colleges and businesses in the future. Don’t believe that your information disappears. Make sure to manage your privacy settings to maximize your security. Use social media to your advantage. If you volunteer or win awards, post pictures from those events; remove embarrassing photos and comments that appear unprofessional. Use social media to research information on colleges and opportunities. Look at college social media pages such as Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, etc. for the most up to date information on a wide array of subjects. There are many interactive tools and useful information provided by colleges and current/prospective students.

    IB Program. For information on the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program, go to agourahighschool.net and look under IB.

    Take SAT subject tests if you completed any eligible classes. You should take them while course material is still fresh in your mind. You can download “Taking the SAT Subject Tests” which offers test prep advice, from www.SATSubjectTests.org. The UC schools no longer “require” the subject tests, but still strongly “recommend” taking them, especially for potential math and science majors. Some private schools, both in state and out of state, require the subject tests, so make sure you know which tests are required for your college applications. All SAT and SAT Subject test information can be found on collegeboard.org.

    Students and parents should both be registered in Naviance to receive emails on the most up to date information on events and deadlines. Freshman will be given information on how to set up their Naviance accounts during their Freshman Meetings at the beginning of the year (appointments for these are during Support and parents attend as well). Students should be able to add their parents; if they cannot, students should see Mrs. Aeries in the College and Career Center. Also, parents should subscribe to the PFC email. Information regarding the PFC email can be found on agourahighschool.net.

    Freshmen are welcome to attend the numerous college representative visits, the majority of which take place in the fall. It is a good way to learn about colleges, long before they face the application process. Visit information can be found in Naviance under “Colleges” as well as in the PFC Bulletin.

    Save for college. It’s still not too late to start a college savings plan, if you haven’t already. Every little bit helps. Investigate state financial aid programs and 529 plans (consult with a tax professional to determine the best way to hold these accounts, based on family income). Some national scholarship websites offer scholarships to 9th graders. Be careful to watch for scams! Legitimate scholarships will never ask for any type of application fee.

    Obtain a social security number if you don’t already have one. This is often required for applications, testing, scholarships and other opportunities.

    Re-take a course if you received a “D” Most 4-year colleges/universities will not accept a “D” grade on a transcript. If a student receives a “D” in a class, he/she should consider re-taking the class. Speak to your counselor regarding this issue.

    Do something beneficial during the summer. Take a class, get a job, volunteer somewhere. Anything you do to make yourself a better person will benefit you in life and make you a better applicant for colleges and future jobs. If you work during the summer or during the school year, whether paid or unpaid, a job that relates to an intended major may be looked at advantageously. By working to make yourself a well-rounded individual, you also make yourself marketable.

    Planning Calendar For Sophomores (Grade 10) and Their Parents

    Continue what you started in 9th grade. Work on your high school plans and make any necessary adjustments to your plan. Take the most rigorous schedule, based on your comfort level. Colleges will be looking at rigor, based on the opportunities available within your high school. Make sure to pay attention to any prerequisite requirements for classes to be taken next year. Prerequisite information can be found in the Course Catalog in Naviance.

    Participate in school and/or extracurricular activities.  Extracurricular activities help students develop time-management skills and enrich school and life experiences. Find activities that you are passionate about and stick with them. There are many clubs on campus to choose from or you may form a new club. AHS Club Rush is in fall and again in spring. Exact dates will be announced in the bulletins. There are also many opportunities outside of school. If you find something that you like, you are more likely to want to be an involved participant. When considering opportunities, know that colleges/universities would rather see sustained involvement in one activity than a loose connection to several activities. Involvement in activities creates a more well-rounded person, regardless of whether or not you plans to attend a college/university.

    Students and parents should both be registered in Naviance to receive emails on the most up to date information on events and deadlines. Students should be able to add their parents; if there is any difficulty in doing so, please ask for assistance in the College and Career Center or Counseling Office. Also, parents should subscribe to the PFC email. Information regarding the PFC email can be found on agourahighschool.net.

    Service Learning Hours. Students are required to perform 15 hours of Service Learning per school year as a graduation requirement. Go to the Service Learning Link from the AHS website for more information.

    College Knowledge Night , held in the Fall, provides workshops for parents and students in all areas of preparation for college. The agenda and more information will be on the Agoura High School website.

    The Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference (HOBY) is a program only available to 10th graders. The College and Career Center will send out information in the fall on how to apply for the program. This is a 3-day conference, usually held in June on a nearby college campus. Students will be exposed to leaders from business, education, government, and other professions. The program encourages critical thinking skills by involving participants in discussion and informal debate. AHS nominates and sponsors one student to attend this conference.

    Grades are important! Agoura High School offers students options for assistance with their work, without having to hire private tutors. Use student Support period to get extra help from teachers. Tutoring by department is available as follows (dates/times subject to change):

    Math - available every day in room M-10 during Support, Lunch and Period 6.
    English - available every day during Support in room K-9.
    Life Science - available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during Support in room N-7.
    Physical Science - available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during Support in room B-4.
    World Language - available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during Support in room M-3; Thursday and Friday during support in room M-9; every day during lunch in M12.

    Take or re-take assessments in Naviance, found under “About Me”. Find out more about yourself and where your interests may lead you; what makes you interesting and what interests you.

    The PSAT/NMSQT is offered to 10th graders. While this test is usually taken in the 11th grade when scores will be used to determine National Merit Scholarships, it is also offered to 10th graders as a practice so that they can work on areas of weaknesses while there is still ample time to improve them. The PSAT is given once per year in October. Sign-ups will take place in September through AHS. Watch for information on the AHS website and through emails.

    Keep social media clean. Information and pictures you post today will be accessible to colleges and businesses in the future. Don’t believe that your information disappears. Make sure to manage your privacy settings to maximize your security. Use social media to your advantage. If you volunteer or win awards, post pictures from those events; remove embarrassing photos and comments that appear unprofessional. Use social media to research information on colleges and opportunities. Look at college social media pages such as Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, etc. for the most up to date information on a wide array of subjects. There are many interactive tools and useful information provided by colleges and current/prospective students.

    Students are encouraged to meet college representatives by attending College Visits, Fairs, Information Sessions, and Open Houses.Fairs, Information Sessions, and Open Houses take place in the fall and spring. Check college websites and Naviance for college visit information. College representatives visit AHS daily in the fall during support and lunch. Attend college visits in the CCC or designated locations. Many of the representatives who visit AHS are the admissions representatives who will be reading your college applications. They also bring insightful information for students regarding what to look for in their schools as well as their competitors’. Colleges want students to find the “right fit,” both for the school and the student. Notification of these visits can be found on Naviance, in weekly school bulletins, daily announcements, PFC e-mails, and on the College and Career Center bulletin board. Please sign up in Naviance for the visits held at AHS and put the dates on your calendar. Also, watch for College Fairs, Open Houses, and Information Sessions on college campuses or outside venues. Throughout the year, but especially in the spring, most colleges and universities hold Open Houses and Preview Days for 9th-12th graders. The schools provide workshops and tours so students are well-informed before they make any decisions on where to further their education. Check individual college/university websites to see the programs they offer.

    The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) offers national college fairs in Ventura and Pasadena. The fairs give students and parents the opportunity to meet with professional admissions representatives from hundreds of colleges and universities. Information will be available in the spring. The NACAC website is www.nacacnet.org. The fairs usually take place in March/April.

    Interested in attending a US military academy? If so, request a pre-candidate questionnaire from the academy and complete it. The service academies require early applications in the 11th grade, so start planning now. The Naval Academy offers a summer program after the sophomore year of high school that is highly recommended for students interested in the Naval Academy. More information on the academies is available in the College and Career Center.

    Tour college campuses. If possible, take advantage of vacation time to visit colleges and see what they are like. Spring break is a good time to visit colleges. Many of the colleges are in session during the AHS spring break which is important so you can see the students interact and get a “feel” for the school. Call the college admissions office or go on the college website to schedule a tour and a meeting with an admissions counselor. By visiting different types of schools, you can narrow down the number of applications you will need to send out. Even if there is no interest in attending the college you are visiting, it will help you learn what to look for in a college. See Researching/Visiting Schools on the College Planning Page for a more detailed list. Any time you are on vacation, think about visiting a local school…you never know what might interest you.

    Researching Colleges/Universities. To assist you in finding colleges that suit your needs, use the AHS Naviance Program. Use “College Match” under the “Colleges” tab to find specific schools that offer what you are looking for. There will be links to the individual college websites. The best source for the most up to date information on a specific college is the college’s website. For help with independent California colleges, go towww.californiacolleges.edu. For UC’s, go to www.universityofcalifornia.edu. For Cal States, go to www.csumentor.edu. The College and Career Center has books and website information to help you research all aspects of the college search. Also check the information on the College Planning page of Agourahighschool.net. See Researching/Visiting Schools on the AHS website for a more detailed list of what to think about when researching a school.

    Take SAT Subject tests if you completed any eligible classes. You should take them while course material is still fresh in your mind. You can download “Taking the SAT Subject Tests,” which offers test-prep advice, from www.SATSubjectTests.org. The UC schools no longer “require” the subject tests, but still strongly “recommend” taking them, especially for potential math and science majors. Some private schools, both in state and out of state, require the subject tests, so make sure you know which tests are required for your college applications. All SAT and SAT Subject test information can be found on collegeboard.org.

    Practice SAT and ACT tests. The PFC sponsors Mock SAT’s and ACT’s, as well as boot camps and college workshops. Watch for the information in emails and bulletins and on the AHS website under PFC ACT/SAT test prep information. Free practice booklets and test prep information are also available in the College and Career Center. Usually, the SAT and/or ACT is taken the first time in the spring of your junior year, usually in May or June.

    Re-take a course if you received a “D” Most 4-year colleges/universities will not accept a “D” grade on a transcript. If a student receives a “D” in a class, he/she should consider re-taking the class. Speak to your counselor regarding this issue.

    Do something beneficial during the summer. Take a class, get a job, volunteer somewhere. Anything you do to make yourself a better person will benefit you in life and make you a better applicant for colleges and future jobs. If you work during the summer or during the school year, whether paid or unpaid, a job that relates to an intended major may be looked at advantageously. By working to make yourself a well-rounded individual, you also make yourself marketable.

     


                                                                                Planning Calendar for Juniors (11th grade)

    Course Load. Students should be taking the most rigorous schedule of classes, based on their capabilities. Colleges will be looking at the rigor of the schedule based on courses offered at Agoura High School.

    Students should continue to take advantage of all opportunities available to them. Participate in school and/or extracurricular activities.   Extracurricular activities help students develop time-management skills and enrich school and life experiences. Find an activity that interests you, and stick with it. Join a club or organization. For on campus clubs, AHS holds Club Rush in Fall and Spring. Exact dates will be announced in the bulletins. Use the Resume in Naviance to keep track of your experiences and create a resume.

    Service Learning Hours. Students are required to perform 15 hours of Service Learning per school year as a graduation requirement. Go to the Service Learning link from the AHS website for more information.

    Grades are important! Agoura High School offers students options for assistance with their work, without having to hire private tutors. Use student support period to get extra help from teachers. Tutoring by department is available as follows (days/times subject to change):

    Math - available every day in room M-10 during Support, Lunch and Period 6.
    English - available every day during Support in room K-9.
    Life Science - available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during Support in room N-7.
    Physical Science - available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during Support in room B-4.
    World Language - available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during Support in M3; Thursday and Friday during Support in room M-9; every day during lunch in M12.

    Re-take a course if you received a “D” Most 4-year colleges/universities will not accept a “D” grade on a transcript. If a student receives a “D” in a class, he/she should consider re-taking the class. Speak to your counselor regarding this issue.

    Students and parents should both be registered in Naviance to receive emails on the most up to date information on events and deadlines. Students should be able to add their parents; if there is any difficulty in doing so, please go to the College and Career Center or Counseling Office for assistance. Also, parents should subscribe to the PFC email. Information regarding the PFC email can be found on agourahighschool.net.

    Take or re-take assessments in Naviance, found under “About Me.” Find out more about yourself and where your interests may lead you, what makes you interesting and what interests you.

    Homer Dickerson Youth Leadership and Ethics Conference – The Rotary Club of Westlake Village sponsors this conference for juniors and seniors only, where students join business and civic leaders of our community to discuss ethical issues impacting all our lives. The conference is held second semester. Information will be available in January/February through the College and Career Center and linked from the College Planning Page.

    The PSAT/NMSQT is given once per year in October. The PSAT is a practice test for the SAT. Qualified juniors will be considered for National Merit Scholarships. If you plan to ask for testing accommodations because of a disability, be sure your eligibility is approved by College Board. See your counselor for information. Sign-ups will take place in September through AHS. Watch for information on the AHS website and in e-mails.

    College Knowledge Night will be held in the fall. College Knowledge Night provides workshops for parents and students in all areas of preparation for college. The agenda and more information will be on the Agoura High School website.

    Professional E-Mail Address. Make sure you have a business/professional e-mail address for correspondence with colleges. Colleges will communicate almost entirely through email and college portals that will be set up when you apply to college. Be sure to check emails regularly to ensure that you don’t miss any important deadlines. This is a good time to start remembering to check emails regularly. Deadlines are not flexible when you are dealing with a college.

    Students are encouraged to meet college representatives by attending College Visits, Fairs and Open Houses. These often take place in the fall and spring. Check college websites and Naviance for college visit information. College representatives visit AHS frequently during support and lunch. Attend college visits in the CCC or designated locations. Many of the representatives who visit AHS are the admissions representatives who will be reading your college applications. They also bring insightful information for the students considering their schools. Notification of these visits can be found on Naviance, in weekly school bulletins, daily announcements, PFC e-mails, and on the College and Career Center bulletin board. Please sign up for the visits at AHS in Naviance and put the dates on your calendar. Also, watch for College Fairs, Open Houses, and Information Sessions on college campuses or outside venues.

    The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) - offers national college fairs in Ventura and Pasadena. This is a great opportunity for students to meet with professional admission representatives from hundreds of colleges and universities. Information will be available in the spring. The NACAC website is www.nacacnet.org. The fairs usually take place at the end of March.

    Tour college campuses. If possible, take advantage of vacation time to visit colleges and see what they are like. Spring break is a good time to visit colleges. Many of the colleges are in session during the AHS spring break which is important so you can see the students interact and get a “feel” for the school. Schedule an appointment if possible to take a tour of the campus and meet with an admissions counselor. Visit some local colleges-large, small, public and private. Develop a list of 15 or 20 colleges that interest you. Request information about financial aid and academic programs form the individual schools. Get your name on their mailing list. Get a feel for what works for you. By visiting different types of schools, you can narrow down the number of applications you will need to send out. Even if there is no interest in attending the college you are visiting, it will help you learn what to look for in a college. See Researching/Visiting Schools on the College Planning Page for a more detailed list on what to look for when investigating a college. Any time you are on vacation, think about visiting a local school…you never know what might interest you.

    Meet with your Counselor. Meet with your counselor to discuss your plans for the remainder of high school and plans after high school.

    Sign up to take college admission tests SAT/ACT in May/June and again next fall, if needed. Register online. The earlier you register the better chance of receiving your testing place preference. Fee waivers are available from your Counselor for students with financial need. To help prepare for the tests, download a practice booklet from the admissions test web sites or pick up a booklet in the AHS College and Career Center. SAT information can be found at www.SAT.org. ACT information can be found at www.actstudent.org. Also, check the AHS website under PFC for PFC-sponsored prep classes.

    Plan on taking SAT Subject Tests in the spring. The UC schools no longer “require” the subject tests, but strongly “recommend” taking them, especially if you are considering a math or science major. Some private schools, both in-state and out-of-state, require the subject tests, so make sure you know which tests are required for your college applications. Information on subject tests is available at SATSubjectTests.org. You should take them while course material is still fresh in your mind.

    If you’re in Advanced Placement Program (AP) classes, register for AP Exams, given in May. Registration will take place in February through Agoura High School. You can earn college credit for courses not given in the AP Program by taking CLEP tests at a college center. More information will be provided in January regarding where and when to sign up for the AP exams. See www.collegeboard.org to learn more about both tests.

    Students in the IB program will also be taking tests. Look on the IB website for more information regarding registering for the tests (usually in September) and taking the tests (in May).

    Begin making a list in Naviance under “Colleges I’m Thinking About” (found under the Colleges tab). Use College Match to assist you in finding colleges that meet your needs. Learn about colleges. Talk to friends, family, teachers, counselors and recent graduates who are new in college. List college features that interest you. The best source of information for a specific college is the college’s website. The AHS Naviance Program will assist you in finding colleges that suit your needs. For help with independent California colleges, go to www.californiacolleges.edu, UC – www.universityofcalif.edu, CSU – www.csumentor.edu. Don’t apply only to the schools that you think you have the best chance to get into. Have some “reach” schools.   It is better to aim higher at the beginning, rather than regretting later on that you may have had a chance to attend a more “preferred” school of choice. Apply to schools that interest you, not the schools that interest your friends (unless they truly interest you as well). When you decide where you will be applying, transfer all the information to “Colleges I Am Applying To” section. If you are an athlete planning to continue playing a sport in college, register with the NCAA Eligibility Center (www.eligibiltycenter.org). You can create an NCAA plan on Naviance. In order to play a division I or Division II sport, you must be registered with the NCAA. Make sure all courses you are taking at AHS fall within the NCAA requirements. If you are considering military academics or ROTC scholarships, contact your counselor before leaving school for the summer. If you are going to apply for a four-year ROTC scholarship, you should begin the application the summer before your senior year.

    Know who you will be asking to write your recommendation letters; these people are doing you a favor. Make sure to give them plenty of time. Ask in person, if possible, and follow-up in writing (teacher recommendations should be requested first in person and then in Naviance). Ask your junior year teachers during second semester, if possible. This will give them time to complete the letter in order to meet your deadline. Check in Naviance or with your counselor to see if the recommendation letter will be sent electronically or if you will need to provide them with a stamped envelope. Give each teacher an outline of your academic record, your extracurricular activities and your Brag Sheet, which you can get on Naviance. Be clear as to where and how the recommendation letters will be sent and the deadlines for the applications. Writing a recommendation letter is very time consuming as it takes a lot of thought. Writers need to know how to prioritize their letters to ensure that they complete the letters within the proper time frame. Be sure to thank the person formally (a note) for taking the time to write the recommendation.

    Scan local newspapers to see which civic, cultural and service organizations in your area award financial aid to graduating seniors. Start a file. A list of scholarships for seniors will be available on Naviance under the “Colleges” tab.

    Keep social media clean. Information and pictures you post today will be accessible to colleges and businesses in the future. Don’t believe what you hear that your information disappears. Make sure to manage your privacy settings to maximize your security. Use social media to your advantage. If you volunteer or win awards, post pictures from those events; remove embarrassing photos and comments that appear unprofessional.

    Look at college social media pages such as tumblr, twitter, facebook, etc. for the most up to date information on a wide array of subjects. There is a lot of interactive information provided by both the college and other current and prospective students.

    Do something beneficial during the summer. Take a class, get a job, volunteer somewhere. Anything you do to make yourself a better person will benefit you in life and make you a better applicant for colleges and future jobs. If you work during the summer or during the school year, whether paid or unpaid, a job that relates to an intended major may be looked at advantageously. By working to make yourself a well-rounded individual, you also make yourself marketable.

    Most College Applications become available in early July/August. You can get an idea of the information they will request. Many colleges utilize the Common Application in which you complete one application for multiple schools (opens August 1 each year). Check on your selected college websites. Don’t wait until the last minute – get your application completed. Also, with the Common App, most schools have a supplemental application - look for this on each of the college’s websites and adhere to their deadlines! Once you have completed the Common App (if applicable), be sure to go into your Naviance account and “match” the information. This allows the Counseling Department to submit documents electronically. Make sure to use the same name on your application as is shown in Naviance. Any discrepancies will cause a delay. Keep a record of the login information for each college.

    College Planning Calendar for Seniors

     

    College Readiness - continue taking a rigorous schedule. Colleges will be looking at your senior workload when evaluating you for college admission. Remember to keep your grades up! Agoura High School offers students options for assistance with their work, without having to hire private tutors. Use student support period to get extra help from teachers. Tutoring by department is available as follows (times/dates subject to change):

    Math - available every day in room M-10 during Support, Lunch and Period 6.
    English - available every day during Support in room K-9.
    Life Science - available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during Support in room N-7.
    Physical Science - available Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during Support in room B-4.
    World Language - available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday during Support in M3; Thursday and Friday during Support in room M-9; every day during lunch in M12.

    Students and parents should both be registered in Naviance to receive emails on the most up to date information on events and deadlines. Students should be able to add their parents; if there is any difficulty in doing so, please go to the College and Career Center or Counseling Office for assistance. Also, parents should subscribe to the PFC email. Information regarding the PFC email can be found on agourahighschool.net.

    Students should continue to take advantage of all opportunities available to them. Participate in school and/or extracurricular activities.   Extracurricular activities help students develop time-management skills and enrich school and life experiences. Find an activity that interests you, and stick with it. Join a club or organization. For on campus clubs, AHS holds Club Rush in Fall and Spring. Exact dates will be announced in the bulletins. Students are required to perform 15 hours of Service Learning per school year as a graduation requirement. Use the Resume in Naviance to keep track of your experiences and create a resume.

    Brag Sheet/Recommendation Letters.   If you haven’t done so already, request recommendation letters from junior year teachers, if possible. These are teachers who are most familiar with the person you are today, rather than a few years ago. Also, complete your “Brag Sheet” found in Naviance under “About Me.” Print and bring the Brag Sheet to the senior meeting you will have with your counselor. The Brag Sheet will be used by your counselor and possibly your teacher(s) to write letters of recommendation for colleges and scholarships. Be clear as to where and how the recommendation letters will be sent and the deadlines. Writing a recommendation letter is very time consuming as it takes a lot of thought. Writers need to know how to prioritize their letters to ensure that they complete the letters within the proper time frame for each student. If the letter needs to be mailed, please provide the recommender with a stamped and addressed envelope, along with the deadline. Teacher recommendation letters should be requested through Naviance under the “Colleges” tab and in person. Be sure to thank the recommender formally with a note for taking the time to write the recommendation.

    Social media. Information and pictures you post today will be accessible to colleges and businesses in the future. Don’t believe what you hear that your information disappears. Make sure to manage your privacy settings to maximize your security. Use social media to your advantage. If you volunteer or win awards, post pictures from those events; remove embarrassing photos and comments that would appear unprofessional to college admissions or potential employers.

    Look at college social media pages such as Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, etc., for the most up to date information on a wide array of subjects. There are many interactive tools provided by schools and current or prospective students

    Professional E-Mail Address. Make sure you have a business/professional e-mail address for correspondence with colleges. Colleges will communicate almost entirely through email and college portals that will be set up when you apply to college. Be sure to check emails regularly to ensure that you don’t miss any important deadlines. Deadlines are not flexible when you are dealing with a college.

    College Visits – College representatives visit AHS almost daily during Support and Lunch in the fall and some schools will visit in the spring.. Many of the representatives who visit AHS are the admissions representatives who will be reading your applications. They also bring insightful information for the students considering their schools. Notification of these visits can be found in Naviance, in weekly school bulletins, daily announcements, PFC emails, and on the College and Career Center bulletin board. Put the dates on your calendar. Sign up in Naviance for these visits. After you attend the visit, be sure to send the rep a thank you email for their time and information.

    Students will also find listings of off-campus Information Sessions in Naviance. Many schools hold local sessions that are open to the public. Also, there will be College Fairs and Preview Days in the spring. Check individual college websites and watch for information in emails from PFC and the College and Career Center. Make sure that you visit the college you plan to attend. It is important that you choose the “right fit” for you. Remember, this will be your home for approximately 4 years; make sure you feel comfortable. See Visiting Schools on the College Planning Page of agourahighschool.net.

    If you will be pursuing a career in any of the arts, you will most likely need to keep examples of your work for a portfolio or audition tape. Don’t wait until the last minute to try to gather this information. Check the college websites or ask a representative what the application requirements are for specific schools. This also applies to students who have been participating in activities where sending a portfolio or tape along with an application enhances your opportunity to show the admissions department your talents that cannot be seen in the regular application.

    Naviance Resume. Use the resume feature to keep track of your accomplishments, work experience, and activities during high school.

    College Workshop. A workshop for college-bound Seniors will be held in September during Student Support. Following the workshop, students will have the opportunity to schedule their one-on-one meetings with their Counselors. At these meetings, Seniors will discuss plans for life after high school and graduation requirements and how your counselor can help you. A workshop will also be held for parents in the evening.

    APPLYING TO COLLEGES

    Know the definitions of Non-restrictive and Restrictive applications. Each college has its own set of requirements and deadlines. Make sure to be well-informed before you begin the application process.

    Non-Restrictive Application Plans

    Regular Decision: Students submit an application by a specified date and receive a decision in a clearly stated period of time. (NON-BINDING)

    Rolling Admission: Institutions review applications as they are submitted and render admission decisions throughout the admission cycle. (NON-BINDING)

    Early Action (EA): Students apply early and receive a decision well in advance of the institution’s regular response date. (NON-BINDING)

    Restrictive Application Plans

    Early Decision (ED): Students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted, they will definitely enroll. The application deadline and decision deadline occur early. (BINDING)

    Restrictive Early Action(REA): Students apply to an institution of preference and receive a decision early. They may be restricted from applying ED or EA or REA to other institutions. If offered enrollment, they have until May 1st to confirm. (NON-BINDING)

    Create a Master List. Create a master list or calendar that includes the following items:

    -Tests you’ll take and their fees, dates and registration deadlines. These include SAT, ACT, AP and IB exams. All information is available on the Agoura High School website College Planning Page. The last possible test date for current college applications is the December test date, but some colleges will require that the tests be taken by October.

    -College application due dates.

    -Financial aid application forms required and their deadlines. (Note: aid applications may be due before college applications.)

    -Other materials you’ll need (recommendations, transcripts, etc.). Remember that all recommendation letter requests to Counselors will be due no later than November 1. No exceptions! Be sure to meet with you Counselor one-on-one to discuss your plans for after high school.

    -Order transcripts from the Registrar in the Counseling Office. There is a $5 fee for each transcript ordered; Know which you need – Initial transcript, mid-year (7th-semester), and final transcript

    -If you can’t afford application or test fees, a counselor may be able to help you request a fee waiver.

    -If you have not had your official test scores sent to the college to which you are applying, be sure to contact the appropriate test organization to have your scores sent (SAT.org/ACT.org).

    Colleges I’m Applying To. Make sure all of the colleges you will be applying to are listed in the “Colleges I’m Applying To” section in Naviance. As you make changes to your applications – both Common App and individual school applications – make sure that everything matches and you alert your counselor that you have made changes. If your Common Application and your Naviance “Colleges I’m Applying To”, section don’t match exactly, materials cannot be sent electronically. Confirm with your Counselor that everything was submitted properly. Some schools still require documents to be mailed. Make sure you know which schools require printed copies – this will include teacher recommendation letters.

    Most College Applications are available around August 1st. Many colleges utilize the Common Application (commonapp.org) in which you complete one application for multiple schools (opens August 1 each year). Check on your selected college websites. Don’t wait until the last minute to get your application completed. Also, with the Common App, most schools have a supplemental application - look for this on each of the college’s websites and adhere to their deadlines! Once you have completed the Common App (if applicable), be sure to go into your Naviance account and “match” the information. This allows the Counseling Department to submit documents electronically. Make sure to use the same name on your application as is shown in Naviance; these should be your legal name. Any discrepancies will cause a delay. Keep a record of the login information for each application. Also, keep copies of your application.

    Check each college website for their specific application date requirements. Watch deadlines (DATE AND TIME – PST/EST, etc.)

    UC applications are accepted starting November 1 and are due by November 30th. The applications are available to start filling in the information beginning August 1st at universityofcalifornia.edu

    The Cal State application filing period begins October 1st and closes November 30th at csumentor.edu

    Complete UC and CSU applications (and any other applications with a November 30/December 1 deadline) by Thanksgiving to allow for any unexpected delays.

    Send transcripts to colleges. Transcripts are ordered through the Registrar/Counseling Office. Try to allow two weeks for processing time. Official transcripts must remain sealed at all times. Transcript order forms are available in the Counseling Office. It is a good idea to order an extra transcript in the event of a last minute emergency. If you send out applications over winter break to meet a January 1st deadline, be sure you have ordered your transcripts two weeks before the beginning of winter break. The Counseling Department is also on winter break and is not available for last minute requests.

    Schedule an Interview. If you feel comfortable speaking with adults, schedule an interview when possible. This gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the school and reveal your qualities that you can’t show on paper.

    Financial Aid. As of October 1, 2016, the Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will open on October 1st. Complete the FAFSA atfafsa.ed.gov as soon as possible. Private schools may also require you to fill out the CSS Profile, which can be found at collegeboard.org.

    Students applying for a Cal Grant must turn in the GPA Verification form by March 2. The form should be given to your Counselor to fill out.

    College Acceptance Decisions. You should receive acceptance decisions and financial aid offers by mid-April. If you have not done so, visit the college before accepting an offer. Once you have heard from the college(s), be sure to let your counselor know and put the information in Naviance under “Colleges I’m Applying To.” If you were waitlisted or deferred and you truly would like to attend that school, let the college know you are still interested and find out if there is anything else you may provide to them that may strengthen your application (recent accomplishments, awards, grades, etc).

    Advanced Placement Tests. If you’re in Advanced Placement (AP) classes, register for AP Exams, which are given in May. Registration will take place in February through Agoura High School. You can earn college credit for courses not given in the AP Program by taking CLEP tests at a college test center. More information will be provided in January regarding where and when to sign up for the AP Exams. See www.collegeboard.org to learn more about both tests.

    PRINT OUT THE PLANNING CALENDAR CHECKLIST TO KEEP ORGANIZED THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.

    IF YOU HAVE COMPLETED ALL OF THE ABOVE, CONGRATULATIONS!  YOU ARE NOW READY TO EMBARK ON A NEW CHAPTER OF YOUR LIFE.  HAVE FUN AT ALL THE SENIOR ACTIVITIES AND ENJOY THE GRADUATION CEREMONY!!! BEST WISHES WITH ALL THAT YOU DO!