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December Counselor's Update

It is amazing to think that we are already almost halfway through the school year. As of this writing, we have several Valley Oaks students near completion of the Petaluma City Schools graduation requirements. While November was a very busy time with deadlines, December brings dual enrollment opportunities at SRJC for the spring semester as well as several scholarship opportunities.
Dual Enrollment at SRJC
For students interested in enrolling concurrently at Santa Rosa Junior College now is the time to complete the process before the winter break. With dual enrollment, high school students have the opportunity to enroll in classes at a community/ junior college. This provides multiple benefits for students. Some of these benefits are that they are able to take courses not offered in high school, earning credits for high school and college, and classes are taken at a minimal cost. Visit the Santa Rosa Junior College website to view classes offered and/or contact me for more information and assistance with the dual enrollment process.
Assessment tests
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The December testing dates are the last possible dates for Seniors who are planning on attending a university in the 2019-20 school year.
Test administration on March 9th
Regular registration deadline for March 9th test on February 8th
Test administration on December 8th  
Test administration on February 9th
Regular registration deadline for the February 9th test on January 11th
Late registration deadline for February 9th test on January 18th
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Thousands of scholarships are available all throughout the year with a wide range of eligibility criteria. There are several websites that will help identify possible scholarship opportunities such as Fastweb and Big Future. Here are some scholarships that may not appear on the national website searches.
SRJC Doyle Scholarship and Doyle Trustee Award
This year marks the first year that the Doyle scholarship does not require a separate application. You must complete the FAFSA or Dream Act application to apply. The Doyle scholarship has a  $1200 award per year and is renewable for a 2nd year.  To qualify for the Doyle scholarship students must have an overall GPA of 2.75 or higher. The Doyle Trustee award is for students with overall GPA's of 2.00-2.74 and requires an additional 300-500 word essay. Click here to access and submit the scholarship essay.
Petaluma Rotary Club Harold Alexander Scholarship
Petaluma Valley Rotary offers scholarships to deserving students who have
achieved both academically and in service to others. This is a local scholarship with 6 awards of $1000 so students have multiple opportunities for an award. Students must have a GPA of 2.00 or higher and an essay is required. the application is attached to this email and the deadline is February 6th, 2019.
Petaluma Educational Foundation (PEF) scholarships
All seniors should apply for some of the scholarships available through PEF. You can click here to begin the application process. After creating an account, identify the scholarships that you are eligible for. The application serves as a gateway to all of the scholarships available. There are 24 scholarships that VO students can specifically apply for. The application deadline is January 23rd. 
10,000 Degrees scholarships
All seniors should apply for some of the scholarships available through 10,000 Degrees. You can click here to begin the application process. The application serves as a gateway to all the numerous scholarships available. Completion of a FAFSA or California Dream Act application is required to receive an award. The application deadline is March 2nd.
College applications
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California State Universities (CSU)
Although the November 30th deadline has passed the deadline has been extended until Dec 15th for SSU, East Bay, SFSU, Channel Islands and Stanislaus. The application fee is $55 per application and students can apply for a fee waiver and they are also waiving fees for students affected by the recent fires. You can access the application by clicking here.
Financial Aid
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Seniors can now access and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the 2017-18 school year. All senior students and parents should complete the application regardless of their financial need as it will provide you with valuable information and some scholarships such as the Doyle require a completed FAFSA to receive the award. Completing the FAFSA will take approximately 30 minutes and the prior prior tax year (2016) information is required. You can access the application by clicking here. The application priority deadline is March 2nd. 

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The California Dream Act allows undocumented and nonresident documented students who meet certain conditions to apply for and receive private scholarships funded through public universities, state-administered financial aid, University grants, community college fee waivers, and Cal Grants. You can access the application by clicking here. The application priority deadline is March 2nd.
Thank you and enjoy the upcoming holidays. See you in January.