Visit the CCC
If you are Career Bound right after high school, the CCC has information on all branches of the US Armed Forces, careers, job training, and technical schools. If you are interested in exploring job opportunities while still in school, speak with BV’s ROP (Regional Occupational Program) technician. High school juniors and seniors are eligible for this program which allows you to earn credits toward graduation while exploring job training in over 60 occupational areas. If you are thinking about joining the military, take the ASVAB test. There is an opportunity to take the test at Bella Vista in last October. Listen to the announcements and check the CCC website for date and time.
If you are considering attending a community college, start looking at the area colleges. Community colleges have many programs of study. These include certificate programs for vocational/technical training, programs that lead to Associate degrees, and programs that will transfer your classes directly to a university or college to complete your Bachelor’s degree. Community colleges do not require the ACT or the SAT.
If you are considering attending a 4-year college/university, be aware that some require SAT/ACT scores and many do not. UCs and CSUs do not require them and will not even look at them if you submit them.
What should you consider?
- Do you want to stay close to home or go farther away?
- Do you want to be in a particular state, city or general location?
- What type of climate do you want?
- What kind of geography, scenery, or landscape do you want? City or mountains or beach. Urban or rural?
2. School Culture
- What size school do you want to attend? Small (less than 500 students), Medium (between 5000 and 15,000 students) or Large (over 15,000 students)
- Are athletics important to you?
- Do you want a school with a lot of school pride and sporting events?
- Clubs and activities?
- Greek life?
- Diversity, community service, social life?
- What academic program(s) are you interested in?
- High level or academics?
- Do you want to enroll in an honors program?
- So you want to study abroad?
- What can you afford?
- Should you consider community college for the first 2 years?
- What financial aid packages are potentially available?
Take Practice SAT and ACT Tests
Specific guidelines about which schools are requiring SAT/ACT test can be found on the CCC's SAT/ACT page. You can take practice tests on the websites listed above and the test registration booklets include some sample questions. There are also free preparation booklets available in the CCC and the Counseling Office. You also have access to PrepMe, online test preparation, through the Naviance website and other test prep options on the CCC website. Many private companies offer test preparation in class, privately, and online. The CCC has flyers available for some of these courses.
Your GPA Matters Most Your Junior Year
Hard work this year can really pay off. Colleges look at the classes taken all 4 years, but most colleges use your sophomore and junior grades to calculate your GPA for their admission evaluation. They look at the trend your grades are taking and your class selection for your senior year. Make sure you are taking coursework needed for admission at UC and CSU. A final transcript will be required after graduation, so you will need to keep up your grades. Admission offers can be revoked if there is a significant drop in grades your senior year. Athletes, make sure that your classes meet National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility requirements. See http://www.ncaa.org/ for more information.
Create Your Resume
Refer to the CCC website section - Letters of Recommendation. Include school activities such as clubs, performing arts, and sports. Community activities such as scouts, youth groups, and volunteer projects should be included. Awards and honors received in school or from community organizations show achievement to admissions officers. It is also helpful to give a copy of your resume to whomever you ask to write a letter of recommendation, if required. Naviance has a resume building tool to assist you with proper formatting. Many more resume and cover letter templates can be found on the Bella Vista Library website.
Begin Research on Colleges and Stay Open to a Variety of Possibilities
To find the best college for you, you should consider college of varying selectivity. Selective college admit a portion of those that apply. Some are highly selective, while others are less selective. Make sure to consider public, private, in state, out of state, community, CSUs and UCs colleges so you have plenty of options from which to choose. Use the SuperMatch search in Naviance (found in your Portal) to help in your search. The CCC and the CCC website offer information on all college options.
Attend College Fairs and On Campus College Visits
Colleges, military recruiters and vocational/technical schools visit our campus every year. It is important that you sign up in advance at the Counseling Secretary’s desk in order to meet with a representative. Check the CCC website for upcoming on campus visits and community college fairs often to make sure you don’t miss out on a great opportunity to find out more about these after high school options.
Visit Colleges That Interest You
Many colleges offer virtual tours and on camps tours. The best way to get a 'feel" for a campus is to go and visit it. Sign up for the tours in advance on their websites and make sure you have time to explore on your own afterwards. Talk to students who go there about their experiences.
Gather Documents for Financial Aid
Parents: Be sure to keep a copy of your tax returns handy. You will use these to help you fill out the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FASFA) which will become available online Oct 1 of Senior year.
Search for Scholarships
Search for scholarships for all types of post high school education. There are scholarships for 2-year and 4-year colleges (and beyond), for vocational schools and for all high school grade levels. Scholarships are not just for students with high GPAs. Requirements vary and there are quite a few available to juniors, so start your search now. The CCC has information and applications for many scholarships, including some local scholarships not found on national scholarship websites.
Avoid being scammed - never pay to get scholarships!
Pay attention to the BV Library social media accounts and listen to the daily Student Bulletin for other valuable information from the CCC.