Visit the CCC
The College and Career Center (CCC) is a volunteer-run service provided by the Bella Vista PTSA to the students and parents of Bella Vista. The CCC is staffed at lunchtime and no appointment is needed to come in and use the materials or talk with one of the trained volunteers. Additionally, the CCC is open on Back to School Night and Open House. We encourage all BV students and parents to use the facility. We have information on two and four-year colleges, the US Armed Forces, trade schools, scholarships, major/career exploration and more. Your freshman year is a great time to get acquainted with the CCC.
Plan Your High School Program
Even though college seems like it’s a long way off, you should be planning for it now. Make sure you are taking the classes you need for education beyond high school. Certain courses are required for entrance to college. Athletes, make sure that your classes meet National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility requirements. See www.ncaa.org for more information. Meet with your counselor to make sure you are on the right track. Entrance Requirements for CSUs and UCs can be found at https://www2.calstate.edu/apply and admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/how-to-apply/apply-online/. College catalogs are a good source for evaluation of what will be needed. In addition, some colleges give credit for Advance Placement (AP) classes taken in high school based on results of an AP exam. The Counseling Office and the CCC have information on courses that are required for the UC and CSU systems. Check private colleges and out-of-state colleges individually for their requirements.
Naviance – Education Planning
Naviance Family Connections website through the student portal is available for students and parents. This electronic college data management system is used to keep track of Bella Vista student data including student GPAs, standardized test scores, college choices, college application information and a personality and career assessment. Students can visit the site to do career exploration, college searches and many other independent activities. Parents can view their student’s sites in order for them to work together with these tools. Students can log in through their portal.
Get Good Grades in High School
Along with choosing the right courses, getting good grades in those courses is extremely important. Your chances for admission to a college are better when your academic record is strong.
Become a Well-Rounded Individual
Develop hobbies and outside interests. If your goal is to attend a competitive four-year college, these colleges want to know what makes you a well-rounded applicant. Involvement in clubs, academic programs, student government, sports, community service, religious activities and work experience is important. In addition to your GPA, SAT and ACT scores, high school courses, class ranking, teacher recommendations and application essay(s), these colleges want to know what makes you unique. Keep a record of all in-school and out-of-school activities and all awards and honors you receive. If eligible, join the National Honor Society (NHS) and California Scholarship Federation (CSF) as early as your sophomore year. Meeting the criteria for these two organizations entitles you to special recognition at your high school graduation ceremony. All of these activities and club memberships will become part of your resume, which you will need when it is time to fill out college applications.
Do Not Assume You Cannot Afford College
Money is available to anyone who wants to go to college but you need to pursue it. Start looking now for money to pay for your college education or career training. Not all scholarships are based on academics or financial need. You’ll be amazed at the number and variety of scholarships available. The internet is a good source for scholarship information, but make sure you are working with a reputable site. Scholarship searches should be free of charge. More information on scholarships and financial aid can be found on the CCC website.
The Counseling Office and the CCC have government brochures and internet website addresses to research information on how to prepare for college, how to select colleges, and how to get help paying for college. Visit the CCC for information.
If You Are Considering Attending a Four-Year College or University ...
...you should take the PSAT (Preliminary SAT) in the fall of your sophomore year for practice. This program is for juniors but sophomores can take it on a space available basis, although their scores are not eligible for the Merit Program. Scores are not used in college admission selection. Start thinking about which colleges might interest you. You can explore college websites through Naviance, visit college campuses over spring or summer break, and check out college catalogs in the CCC.
Watch the BV Newsflash and read the daily Student Bulletin for other valuable information from the CCC.