Message from Director of College Counseling, 12/12

Dear Palm Valley Families,

As we look towards December Break, I wanted to take a moment to update you on events, past and planned, for the College Counseling Office.

Many of our seniors pursued Early Action (and even a few Early Decision) applications this year, and more than half of the senior class also completed an application to a UC or CalState campus. These applications have all been turned in, and we’re anxiously awaiting the results.

Thank you to all of the families who attended our Senior College Night and Making High School Count! Night. In addition, the Coachella Valley Regional College Fair had over 2,000 students and families attend for the second year in a row, and the entire Upper School (as well as half the middle school) attended our 2nd Annual Fall College Fair.

Upcoming Events
In January, we will host our regular Junior College Night for families of students in Grade 11. This presentation will provide an overview of the next 18 months of the college application process - and of course, provide many opportunities for questions.

With PSAT scores being released last Monday, we will be planning an Understanding the PSAT event in January for families of students in Grades 10 and 11, please stay tuned for further details.

This Fall we had over 30 colleges visit campus, and will be hosting more visits this Spring, along with our Second Annual Spring Speaker Series on College Admissions.

Financial Aid & Scholarship Notifications

  • The FAFSA for 2018-2019 opened October 1st, and use family and child taxes from 2016.
  • The CSS Profile, a form similar to the FAFSA but only used by certain colleges, opened October 1st.
  • Students and families can, and should, be searching for outside scholarships now;  list of free search engines and resources is available on the Naviance homepage.
  • Remember to use the Net Price Calculator that each college publishes to help you get an estimate of total costs.

Each Wednesday in Advisory, Juniors, and Seniors will explore topics related to the college search and application process. This Fall’s lessons included:

12th Grade:

  • Naviance, UC, and Common App Accounts & Applications
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • FSA ID, FAFSA, and the CSS Profile
  • Scholarship Searches
  • College List Reviews

11th Grade:

  • Defining Happiness
  • Defining Your Values
  • Defining Success
  • Why College?
  • Career Profiler
  • Standardized Testing Plan
  • College Outcomes
  • Introduction to Naviance

Class of 2018 College Acceptances (So Far)
Arizona State University (x2)
Humboldt State University
Northern Arizona University (x2)

Reading Corner
Last but not least, I’m always digging through articles on higher education in various journals, newspapers, and on Twitter, and often come across things that make me pause and think - or that are just plain helpful. “Thank Your College Admission Supporters”
Business Insider: “College Majors of Fortune 500 CEOs”

Mr. Hewitt
Director of College Counseling