November 7, 2018


Yesterday, our seniors completed their second intensive college-application-essay-writing workshop of the semester. We congratulate them on a job well-done. As we look ahead to EA deadlines on November 15 and the UC application deadline on November 30, we encourage all seniors to check in regularly with their advisors to ensure that their essays and supplementals are nearing readiness for submission.

Reminder: Financial Aid Night on November 12

We hope that all who are interested will attend our Financial Aid Night on Monday, November 12 in Mary Johnson Recital Hall at 6:30 PM. Our presenter will be Jennifer Mertz, Director of Financial Aid at Lehigh University. Ms. Mertz will cover all aspects of the need-based financial aid process, defining key financial aid terms, discussing sources and types of financial aid, reviewing the FAFSA, and explaining the formula used to determine financial need. Q & A will follow, and live-streaming will be available for those who cannot physically attend.

Agnes Scott Trailblazer Scholarship

Students who are open to continuing their educations in an all-women's environment and find the Southeast appealing would do well to consider Atlanta's Agnes Scott College. Besides the school's solid national reputation and proven track record in preparing women for outstanding careers, their very generous Elizabeth Kiss Trailblazer Scholarship, offering $25,000 renewable over four years, is a further reason to give Agnes Scott a look. 

Seattle University Sullivan Leadership Award

Students interested in Seattle University will want to be aware of the Sullivan Leadership Award. Each year, nine incoming students are selected to receive the Sullivan on the basis of their demonstrated academic excellence, service, and leadership. Sullivan Scholars receive full tuition, room, and board for four years of undergraduate study and also participate in a leadership development program. There is no set demographic the Sullivan is intended to attract. As Seattle University puts it, "Sullivan Scholars come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, small towns and large cities, public and independent schools, and different religious traditions. For more information, see here.

Spoleto Study Abroad

Spoleto Study Abroad is an immersion program in central Italy specifically designed for high school students interested in the arts and humanities. Spoleto itself is a small, medieval, hillside town in central Italy that serves as home base for program participants, allowing them to live like locals, explore, and study in a culturally-rich setting that is convenient to other Italian cities of note, namely Florence, Rome, Siena, Assisi, and Orvieto. Participants choose a principal area of study, like drama or chamber music, and also follow a supplemental curriculum that includes introductory Italian, "Art & Ideas," and special workshops related to the principal area of study. Interested students need to have finished the ninth grade and be able to demonstrate proficiency in their intended focus. For more information, see the program's website.

Salinas Ichiki-Kushikino Cultural Exchange

Since 1987, the Salinas Ichiki-Kushikino Sister-City Association has offered a scholarship/exchange program to enable local high school students to travel to Japan and represent their high school, the city of Salinas, and the Association. During their travels, participants get to see some of the principal historical and natural attractions of Japan, experience homestays with local families, meet with civil and youth leaders, and serve as goodwill ambassadors. The Association covers half the cost of the program. Applications are due by November 30, with interviews to be held in January. For more information, contact Russ Jeffries at (831) 449-3436 or Mary Minami at (831) 484-2151.

If You Have to Pay Money to Get Money . . .

Our friends at Collegewise remind us that when it comes to applying for financial aid and scholarships, there are two golden rules:


1. Never pay to fill out the FAFSA (the first "F" stands for "Free"). The best way to avoid that mistake is to go straight to the source and complete your FAFSA here, at the office of Federal Student Aid.


2. When applying for outside scholarships, expert Mark Kantrowitz says it both bluntly and best in this article from Yahoo Finance: "If you have to pay money to get money, it's probably a scam."

Engagement over Selectivity

If you are interested in delving deeper into the concept of "best fit," check out this 20-minute talk, "Why College Engagement Matters More than Selectivity." In it, educational consultant Amy Alamar talks with Denise Pope, Stanford University senior lecturer and author of Doing School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students. Together, Alamar and Pope remind us that if measurable outcomes are what we are looking for in our children's college educations--indicators of their ability to thrive afterward in their careers and in life otherwise--our paramount concern should be not where colleges fall in the various rankings systems, but how they stand to engage our children's interests, aptitudes, and ambitions while they are there. To be sure, this is not necessarily an either/or proposition, but the data the two speakers cite in support of their view are thought-provoking, at times counterintuitive, and strongly support prioritizing fit over a strict concern for prestige in deciding where to go to college.

College Visits

Wednesday - November 7, 2018
11:35 AM - 12:05 PM
Monday - November 12, 2018
10:00 AM - 10:30 AM
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Mary Johnson Recital Hall
Tuesday - November 13, 2018
1:45 PM - 2:15 PM

Santa Catalina School

1500 Mark Thomas Drive, Monterey, CA 93940