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November Counselor's Update

Hello,
I hope this finds you well. I visited the Museum of Tolerance this past weekend and I strongly recommend doing so if you have the chance. In November the academic calendar is shortened by a combination of holidays with Veterans Day on November 12th and Thanksgiving break from Nov 19th-23rd. However, there are many events and deadlines quickly approaching throughout this month and beyond.  There are some significant changes upcoming at SRJC for financial aid and for English and math placement. All seniors who plan on attending SRJC in the 2019-20 school year please be sure to read about these upcoming changes below. As always feel free to contact me if you have any questions about anything mentioned here or not being mentioned here.
 
Scheduling an appointment to meet school counselor 
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Each week there are various times blocked off on my calendar for Valley Oaks student and/or parents interested in meeting with me. Please click this link to view and schedule an appointment from the times that are available.
College Night and Financial Aid Night

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This years Petaluma City Schools Alternative Education College Night is on Wednesday, November 28th from 6-8pm in Rm 6 on the San Antonio side of campus. College representatives from Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State will present information and answer questions regarding admissions and the process of enrollment. There will also be a Financial Aid workshop to assist students and parents in fully completing the FAFSA or Dream Act application. All junior and senior students, as well as their parents or guardians, are encouraged to attend.
 
Community College concurrent enrollment
There are many opportunities for VO students to enroll concurrently at a community college such as SRJC or College of Marin. The Spring 2019 classes are now available to view and you may complete the concurrent enrollment application now. Please see me if you have questions or would like more details.
 
SRJC Financial Aid Changes
For students planning to attend SRJC post-high school, there is the college's initiative SRJC for Free. This is designed to help Sonoma County residents pursue their community college degree, tuition-free. To qualify, be sure to fill out your FAFSA or Dream Act application. As part of this initiative, there are several grants available to students and the Doyle scholarship. However, the Doyle scholarship ($1200yr) and Student Success Completion Grant ($1298-$4000yr) are currently only available for students entering as a first-time freshman student during the Fall semester.  Any senior student planning to begin during any other semester should meet with me to discuss.
 
SRJC Assessment Test changes
Beginning in January 2019 students at SRJC will no longer be required to take a Math or English assessment test for placement in courses that have previously required them starting with the Summer 2019 semester. Students enrolling in Spring 2019 courses that require assessment will still be required to do so. If you have any questions or concerns please contact me.
 
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.
 
SAT
Test administration on Dec. 1st
Regular registration deadline for Dec. 1st test on Nov. 2nd
Late registration deadline for Dec. 1st test on Nov. 20th
 
ACT
Test administration on Dec. 8th
Regular registration deadline for Dec. 8th test on Nov. 2nd
Late registration deadline for Dec. 8th test on Nov. 19th
 
 
 
Scholarships
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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.
 
Doyle scholarship
Seniors planning on attending SRJC post-high school should apply for the Doyle scholarship. Students must have an unweighted GPA of 2.0 or above to qualify and the award amount is $1200. Students with GPA's between 2.00-2.74 will be required to submit a personal statement essay. 
 
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)
For students applying to any of the 23 CSU campuses, the application is now available to complete and submit. This is the first year of a new application and website so it is recommended that students do not wait until the November 30th deadline to submit. The application fee is $55 per application and students can apply for a fee waiver. You can access the application by clicking here.
 
University of California (UC)
For students applying to any of the 9 UC campuses, the application is now available to complete. The submissions period is from November 1st - 30th. The application fee is $70 per application and students can apply for a fee waiver. 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 2019-20 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 tax year (2017) 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.