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College Information

Summer Discovery Programs at UCLA

Applying for College

Dear students and parents: The college application process is, indeed, a process, so take it one step at a time. Look for support; help is readily available. The counselors here at Maria Carrillo High School are very knowledgeable and have had many years of experience with college and career counseling. We encourage students to check in with us about this process and the best ways to apply. Do not be afraid to come by the counseling office to talk to us. Please go through these steps, there is no easy way other than hands on and time spent.


Action Plan for seniors

Its senior year and your college days are just around the corner. Hopefully, you have begun the college application process, but don’t panic if you haven’t. There is still time, however you’ll have to move quickly. Here are a few steps to remember:


Get Recommendations (Private colleges only)

Good recommendations are important, for both college and scholarship applications. Colleges will have your grades, but they will be interested in knowing you personally. To ace this part of the application process, maintain relationships with your teachers, coaches, and volunteer directors. Pick out those who know you best, and ask them for a letter of recommendation. Please give at least three (3) weeks to teachers.

Register For the ACT and/or SAT

Almost all colleges will require that you take the ACT (American College Test) or the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test).                         



The submission of application materials is the most important part of the college application process. Pay close attention to your grammar and spelling as you complete the required forms. When writing your essay, personalize it to the school of your choice, including reasons for your interest in each school shows that you have put forth an effort and have done your research. Deadlines for an early decision are usually in early November and regular deadlines are generally between January and February. You stand a better chance of getting in if you apply early and all of your information is in before the deadlines. Near the cut-off dates, most admissions offices are swamped with entries. It is possible for things to get misplaced or lost, and having time to resend application materials is important.


Continue Your Search for Scholarships

Begin in September by seeing which scholarships apply to you, and begin the application process so that you will have time to make it the best it can be. In January, you really need to be ready to begin applying for the scholarships that are best suited to you. Using our free scholarship search, you can find well over a hundred scholarships for which you qualify. Begin with your top ten scholarships and work your way through those first. Once you’ve finished applying for those, you can cross them off your list and move on to the next ten or twenty.


Submit the FAFSA Form
The deadline for completing the FAFSA on the Web varies by state; In California it is March 2nd. This can be done at  Beware of sites that charge you for applying for financial aid. Remember, FAFSA is the FREE application for federal student aid, so if you have to pay, you’re on the wrong site.


Wait For Results

Most colleges will let you know their decisions by the beginning of May. Once you have received the results, consider your options. Take into consideration your financial need, the location, and the reputation of each college. Let each school know if you have accepted their offer as soon as you can. Now you can release a big sigh of relief. Admittedly, the application process can get a little tedious, but finishing feels great. Just sit back and relax. This is in the bag.


Helpful web links for UC/CSU applications

Applying to college can be an intimidating and daunting task, but we are here to help you and your family. Please review the following links for some useful information. Consider making an appointment with your counselor to make an individualized plan and explore all of your options. It's never too early to start making a plan for your future. 
Information on the University of California system, admission criteria, online application
University of California approved course lists for all California high schools
Information on all California State Universities, online application
Santa Rosa Junior College website. Academic calendar, schedule of classes, assessment schedule including the GED (General Education Development Diploma), admission forms, high school concurrent enrollment form
Common application for 255 colleges and universities
College and career planning, search for all California higher education opportunities