January 6, 2018


Congratulations to seniors on completing the great majority of their college applications! Outcomes on those submitted for ED and EA deadlines in the fall have been very encouraging, and we are confident that all our seniors will find the best possible fit as they plan the next stage of their education. Meanwhile, we are now taking the first steps in the college admission process with juniors, setting up our first individual meetings with them and visiting their Journey classes to help them gear up for this exciting time of life. We look forward to helping them meet their aspirations.

April 14 ACT at Hartnell College

Because the Seaside location for the ACT will not be available again until June 9, at which time the semester will have ended, we ask that students wishing to take the ACT locally this spring sign up for the April 14 ACT at the Hartnell College location in Salinas. School will provide transportation to this location only. The registration deadline is March 9, but we strongly suggest that students register as soon as possible in order to secure a slot.

From Collegewise: Five Strategic Tips for Juniors

Juniors are likely thinking about how to make strategic choices so they can appeal to their first-choice colleges. They are also likely to be getting a lot of advice and wondering what to listen to and what to discount. Collegewise is here to help with this succinct set of tips--all of which we second--for students who are in the process of shaping their college applications:


1. Get a job
No, we don't necessarily mean a high-profile internship or a fancy-sounding title at your mother or father's company. We mean a regular job, like washing cars, waiting tables, or stocking inventory. Finding, getting, and keeping a job takes initiative, responsibility and hard work, all good traits. And any kid who earns an honest dollar flipping burgers is always appealing to colleges. 


2. Make a local impact.
You don't necessarily have to save the world to show colleges you can make good contributions to the people around you. Volunteer at a local homeless shelter. Run the lights for the school musical. Offer to bake your best dish for the French Club's bake sale. There are always ways you can impact your local community, your school, or your fellow students. 


3. Take a fun class.
Sure, you could take trigonometry in summer school so that you can jump to calculus next year. But you could also learn about jazz, cooking, modern art, webpage design, dance, politics or whatever else interests you. Whether you take physics or photography, colleges will be impressed by your desire to learn.


4. Try something you've always wanted to do.
If you play drums and have always wanted to start a band, get the group together. Wish you knew how to defend yourself physically? Take karate lessons. Think working at a bookstore would be fun? Fill out an application and see what happens. Colleges love kids who have initiative and curiosity, so don't be afraid to try something new.


5. Relax.
Of course, we're not saying that you shouldn't work hard. But if you spend every waking hour calculating how to plan your life to impress colleges, you're going to drive yourself crazy. So work hard, but make sure you choose activities that you enjoy. Follow your interests. Show the colleges that you're a happy, well-adjusted kid who loves life. You'll be pleasantly surprised by how far that goes to impress colleges.

More from Collegewise: Five Action Items for Juniors 

Speaking to juniors' desire to begin taking concrete action in college admission process, Collegewise also offers these five items for juniors to put on their calendars in the coming year (each of which Ms. Van Wagenen and Mr. White endorse):


1. Visit your high school counselor. 
If you have a high school counselor (not everybody does these days), start there. And don't make excuses that your counselor doesn't know you or has somehow failed you by not providing you with college information. Yes, part of a counselor's job is to lend college planning assistance to students. But it is not your counselor's job to take over the responsibility for your college planning. The most successful students take on this responsibility and then advocate for themselves by seeking out their counselor for advice.


2. Check out the NACAC (National Association for College Admissions Counseling) website.
The "Students & Parents" section has good information about about everything from preparing for college to completing the applications. 


3. Try to attend a college fair in your area.
You can talk with admissions representatives, learn more about their schools' requirements, and maybe even discover a college you hadn't considered yet. Visit the NACAC website and navigate your way to the "College Fairs" section.


4. Learn about the process of applying for financial aid. 
Two good sources are Edvisors and the latest edition of Paying for College Without Going Broke by Kalman Chany. 


5. Pick five colleges that interest you, visit the admissions sections of their websites, and research their admissions requirements.

The Dangers of Perfectionism

It goes without saying that we want our students to aim high. After all, "excellence" is a pillar of our school's mission statement. But as this post from NACAC's "Admitted" blog reminds us, it's important to remember the sometimes-fine line between healthy ambition and toxic perfectionism.

Community Foundation of Monterey County Scholarships

Are you a resident of Monterey County looking for scholarships? If so, please visit the website of the Community Foundation of Monterey County and learn more about the many that they offer. You can apply for 30 scholarships with just one application, while an additional three that they sponsor have separate applications. The application window is January 5 to March 16.

Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship

The Jackie Robinson Foundation application is the vehicle through which more than 4,000 talented young minority high school students apply to become JRF Scholars and carry on the civic-minded legacy of the Foundation's namesake. The deadline for applying is February 1. For more information, see here.

Santa Clara Theater and Dance Scholarship Auditions 

The Santa Clara University Department of Theatre and Dance is still accepting applications for their merit scholarship auditions on Saturday, January 13 in the Mayer Theatre. They will continue to receive and review applications through Wednesday, January 10.


Students who are interested in pursuing their love of theatre and dance in a liberal arts context at Santa Clara University but feel they may have missed the opportunity to apply before the deadline (Saturday, January 6), are strongly encouraged to complete and send in their applications. This is a great opportunity for prospective Santa Clara students to not only audition for departmental scholarship funds but also see the school's excellent facilities and meet their professional faculty. See here for the scholarship application and instruction forms.

Asia Pacific Fund Scholarship Programs

In case you haven't heard, the Asia Pacific Fund coordinates 10 scholarship programs that provide financial support to undergraduate and graduate students. Each program is tailored to reflect the scholarship donor's personal interests, whether targeted to specific ethnicities, career paths (e.g., engineering, business, accounting), or backgrounds (e.g., children of farm or restaurant workers). Awards range from $1000 to $5000. For more information, visit the program's website.

UC Santa Barbara Pre-College Programs

Pre-College Programs at UC Santa Barbara (UCSB) offers two summer research programs for students in grades 9-11. The Research Mentorship Program (RMP) and the Science & Engineering Research Academy (SERA) provide students with a unique opportunity to gain university-level research experience and earn college credit. Simultaneously, these programs are designed to help shape students academic, professional, personal, and social development. For more information, see here.

The Freshman Migration, 2010-2016

Curious about the geographic distribution of incoming students at schools you're interested in? Discover the recent trends and experience different ways of visualizing them by using these tools at Higher Ed Data Stories


Santa Catalina School

1500 Mark Thomas Drive, Monterey, CA 93940