Welcome to 2019-2020  School Year

    How College Decisions Are Made Presentation


    Categories of this bulletin include:  college visits and/or other meetings scheduled in the College & Career Center, SAT/ACT test dates and other testing information; leadership, volunteering/community service and/or job opportunities; scholarship deadlines, college events scheduled off campus (or pre-college summer programs).   Please contact me with questions. Thanks. ~ Mrs. Paula Friedman, College & Career Center Technician  

     OPHS Seniors, be sure to consult your Naviance Family Connection pages, prepare questions to ask when you meet with your counselor for your senior appointment, and keep checking updates that I will be posting almost daily on this College & Career Center’s bulletin page.  I wish you the best for your senior year!  ~ Mrs. Friedman

     College Applications:

     Some reminders about the UC applications: Recommendation letters not needed (unless specifically requested by a particular campus). Send your SAT/ACT scores to one campus and all of the campuses will receive your score report. Application fee is $70/campus. For more information, visit http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu

     The California State University (CSU) application for 2019-20 opens on October 1st. Submission of your completed application is November 1-30 and application fee is $55 per CSU campus. Application can be accessed at: https://www2.calstate.edu/apply You will be asked to list the courses you have taken during your high school career and/or are scheduled to take during your senior year, grades you received in those courses, as well as the scores received on your ACT and/or SAT.  No letters of recommendation required. In general, no essays or summary of your extracurricular activities are submitted for these CSU applications, but some campuses may require short answers. Send your SAT/ACT scores to one CSU campus and they will all receive the score report.


    • The Common Application for 2019-20 (for Seniors/Class of 2020) went online August 1 and the essay prompts have not changed. Seniors should start working on their CommonApp essay and begin to complete the CommonApp application now. More than 900 colleges and universities will accept the CommonApp.  For more information, go to: http://www.commonapp.org 
    • The Coalition Application: A different application platform similar to the CommonApp, with over 140 college/university members. Students can open an account now by visiting: http://www.coalitionforcollegeaccess.org

    College-bound athletes:  If you are considering playing your sport in college--and, if you have not registered already--you must register ASAP with the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association).  Information is available at: https://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/High_School_IE_Standards.pdf To register, go directly to www.eligibilitycenter.org 




     ALL GRADE-LEVEL STUDENTS and FAMILY MEMBERS: Some important reading (recommended by OPUSD Board member Allen Rosen and Dr. Tony Knight) from Stanford's Challenge Success project:  http://www.challengesuccess.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Challenge-Success-White-Paper-on-College-Admissions-October-2018.pdf

     TESTING: SAT/ACT TESTING Registration Deadlines for 2019 -20Download your own schedule of dates & deadlines: 2019.20_ACT/SAT dates

    All colleges and universities generally accept either the newly revised SAT with essay or the ACT Plus Writing (Although the University of California still requires that seniors applying for Fall 2020 must still submit the SAT with essay or the ACT Plus Writing, a large majority of universities and colleges no longer require the essay portions of either exam. To keep your options open, take each test with the essay portions.  

    If you are applying for an engineering major, the Universities of California campuses “highly recommend” that you submit two SAT Subject Test scores—1) Math Level II (NOT Level I) and 2) a science subject test (biology, chemistry or physics).  Many top tier and/or Ivy League colleges also require SAT subject tests, so be sure you do your research on those college websites. Submitting an SAT Subject Test score when you apply to certain colleges may also “demonstrate your interest” in certain subjects in which you wish to major, such as history, literature, science, or foreign language.  Consult College Board’s website for more information about these SAT Subject Tests (www.collegeboard.org).


    • All colleges/universities accept either the ACT and/or SAT for admissions. Make sure to take advantage of your 4-FREE score reports. The last date accepted for most college applications is the December test date. Plan your schedule accordingly to allow taking the test 2-3 times. Colleges will always take the best score & some even Superscore (taking the best composite math/critical reading scores from different test dates). It is highly recommended that all students include the “optional” writing section for both the ACT & SAT. Many schools, including all of the UC campuses, require the writing section as part of the application for admission.

     TWO websites that offer FREE practice SAT tests:

     FREE ACT test preparation online is available at:

    You can sign up for either the ACT or the SAT "Question of the Day" online:



    • UCLA's new "Project Welcome" program for all freshmen, sophomores, juniors:  sign up to receive college prep tips via SMS text and email from UCLA Admission at ucla.edu/getcredit/signup or test TIPS or LEARN to 82521


    • Moorpark College's Guided Path to Success Program (GPS), the First Year Experience Program, offers priority registration, a student success coach, access to an academic counselor, computer access, and free printing. To learn more, be sure to visit:   www.moorparkcollege.edu/gps


    Seniors, Juniors, Sophomores, & Freshmen:  Looking for scholarships? Register with any of the following sites:







    BEWARE:  Some "no essay" scholarships are being offered.  These so-called "sweepstakes" scholarships are merely attempts to collect your personal information, such as email and/or cell phone number, home address by promising to draw a winner each month from the pool of names.  



    Applications are now open for 2020 Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, honoring students in grades 5-12 for making meaningful contributions to their communities through volunteer service. These prestigious awards, sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), are presented annually on the local, state, and national level.

    Eligible students:

    -In grades 5-12 as of 11/5/2019 and legal resident of one of the 50 states or D.C.

    -Engaged in volunteer activitiy that occurred at least in part after 9/1/2018

    -Completes an application and submits it to a school principal or head of an officially designated local organization bu 11/5/2019


    Applicants must submit completed applications to one of the following:

    -Middle school or high school

    -Girl Scout council

    -County 4-H organization

    -American Red Cross chapter


    -Points of Light Global Network Member


     Students who have volunteered over the past year can apply for a 2020 Award at spirit.prudential.com or nassp.org/spirit. Deadline is 11/5/2019.

    The top middle school and high school youth volunteer in each state are named State Honorees in February, and 2-10 runners-up in each state are named Distinguished Finalists.

    Ten of the State Honorees are named America's Top 10 Youth Volunteers of the Year by a distinguished national selection committee at a special ceremony in Washington, D.C.




    v  WHO: All students in grades 9-12 who attend school in the Conejo/Las Virgenes region are eligible.

    v  WHAT: Students accepted into the program will have the opportunity to develop effective leadership skills while learning more about their communities.

    v  AREAS COVERED: Leadership, Local Government, Law Enforcement, Health Services, Recreation, Education, Community Services and Business

    v  WHERE: All meetings will take place at venues in the Conejo/Las Virgenes Region.

    v  WHEN: Meetings will take place from 4:00-5:30 on the following Wednesdays:

    v  November 13, 2019, December 4, 2019, January 8, 2020, February 5, 2020, February 19, 2020, March 4, 2020, March 18, 2020, and April 8, 2020.



    Habitat Youth Ambassadors is a selective group of high-achieving student leaders who are interested in advancing Habitat’s mission in communities across Ventura County. Together the youth ambassadors will coordinate publicity events, learn about nonprofit management, and advocate for policies that create more housing for low-income families. The Program will run from October 21st, 2019 to May 31st, 2020.

    • WORK HARD | Become a community representative

    HYA will mobilize students to plan and execute HFHVC presentations for Ventura County residents, speak with elected officials on Affordable Housing, and educate their peers on the issue of generational poverty.

    • PLAY HARD | All work and no play makes no sense!

    HYA will enjoy many opportunities to network and meet like-minded young professionals in the community. Through tabling and team bonding activities throughout the year, students will find friends of diverse backgrounds in Ventura County.

    • GIVE BACK | Dedication brings success

    As a member of HYA, you will be able to receive volunteer hours, experience for your resume, opportunities to establish relationships with community stakeholders, and a potential letter of recommendation from HFHVC.

    • How do I join Habitat Youth Ambassadors? Applications accepted until October 4th, 2019.

    If you are interested in joining our Habitat Youth Ambassadors team, please email hya@habitatventura.org or apply at www.habitatventura.org/youth-ambassador-program



    State Leadership Seminar: HOBY’s flagship program allows high school sophomores to realize their leadership talents and apply them in becoming effective, ethical leaders in their home, school, workplace and community. Students attend three- or four-day seminars and participate in hands-on leadership activities, meet leaders in their state, and explore their own personal leadership skills while learning how to make a positive impact in their community. The seminar curriculum is based on the Social Change Model of Leadership and develops leadership from three perspectives: Personal Leadership, Group Leadership, and Leadership for Society. Check Hoby.org for more information.

    HOBY California –Central 2020 will be held at California Lutheran University in mid-June. The cost will be $225 for the selected students and $395 for any additional students:

    • Experience life on a university campus, where HOBY Leadership Seminars are hosted

    • Interact with local community leaders—from CEOs to business owners to doctors to media experts—through panels, presentations, and group discussions about real world issues

    • Participate in hands-on activities to explore and exercise leadership on personal and group levels

    • Form diverse relationships with adult professionals, college-age mentors, and high school students from across the state with diverse leadership styles and backgrounds

    • Conduct a community service project to put leadership-for-service skills into action
    • Open opportunities for internships, mentorship programs, and other HOBY Ambassadors Connect benefits

    How to apply: Students must submit a short essay describing the most rewarding & challenging aspects of being a leader at OPHS and/or the community. Please include your leadership experience, organizations, responsibilities & tasks that you have completed as part of the organization. Please state “why” you want to attend the HOBY conference & what you hope to gain from the experience. Submit application to Mrs. Friedman in the College & Career Center by Friday, November 1st. A primary & alternate student will be selected by the review committee. 



    The ACLU is pleased to offer the first California Advocacy Institute  for high school students, developed in partnership with the Close Up Foundation. This four-day program on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles, CA, is designed to bring high school students’ advocacy skills and passion for community engagement to the next level.  Students will learn strategies for grassroots organizing and begin building an activist network across the state as they explore the most important social justice and civil liberties issues facing California today.


    • The California Advocacy Institute will take place Friday, October 11, through Monday, October 14, 2019 at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA. This takes place over the Indigenous Peoples’ Day holiday. 
    • Students will enhance their knowledge of civil liberties, social justice issues, and advocacy campaigns through electives and seminars led by lawyers, lobbyists, community activists, and ACLU experts.


    • High school students in California who will be in grades 10, 11, or 12 in the 2019-20 school year are welcome to apply. Must be a current student in California to attend.
    • An interest in civil liberties issues and social justice advocacy.
    • Financial Aid is available for those who qualify.



    The application can be found here and application deadlines are as follows:

    • Regular Decision: Applications are due September 2nd* and successful candidates will be notified by September 13, 2019.
    • Financial Aid: Financial aid awards are based on need and students must apply for Financial Aid at the same time as the Program Application. Separate form for financial aid can be found here.


    Contact Info:

    Advocacy Institute Team

    American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)

    125 Broad St., New York, NY 10004

    703.706.3555 | institute@aclu.org


    Supported By:

    Close Up Foundation




    We’re excited to announce the Global Navigator Scholarship program for students to participate in summer study abroad. These summer programs are offered by CIEE, a leader in international education. They feature top-notch academics and cultural immersion, combined with exciting activities that bring learning to life. A nonprofit, nongovernmental organization, CIEE has been offering quality educational programs since 1947 that help students of all ages gain the knowledge, skills, and vision necessary to live and work in our interconnected world.


    Study abroad is a great chance for students to spend the summer immersed in another culture, developing the skills they need to be prepared for college and beyond. With these scholarships, our students can choose from more than 50 incredible destinations around the world and 3 types of programs:

    • Language & Culture – Whether they’re interested in Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, German, Japanese, Italian, or Arabic, students in Language & Culture programs will encounter instruction tailored to their level of proficiency, interactive language classes, and immersive experiences with a host family and native-speaking peers to rapidly develop their language skills. They’ll come home with a certificate showing growth in language proficiency, new cultural insights, and a portfolio of media products demonstrating their progress. Students also have the option to receive college credit while still in high school when they participate in any of CIEE’s Language & Culture programs.*
    • Service & Leadership – Perfect for students interested in participating in a significant community project, these programs will foster their awareness as future global citizens. Whether they are helping children in the Caribbean or raising social awareness in Morocco, this is a memorable way for students to go beyond visiting and become a valuable part of a community. Students may select service programs dealing with topics such as community development, children’s rights, education and more. They return with a certificate for 50 hours of international service learning and an action plan for the local community.


    • Global Discovery – Students are encouraged to explore a passion while learning about a new culture in places such as Costa Rica, Spain, Czech Republic, Portugal, China and more. These programs will help them develop their skills, do what they love, and prepare for their future – perhaps even for a career. Programs focus on such fields as Digital Filmmaking & Documentary, Global Entrepreneurship, or Marine Science.


    You can learn more about CIEE’s summer programs at: http://www.ciee.org/high-school-summer-abroad/


    Any student graduating in 2021, 2022, or 2023 is eligible to apply for a scholarship. Funds will be awarded based on merit and on financial need. The deadline to apply for a Global Navigator Scholarship is December 6, 2019.  Up to 80% of available funds will be awarded at that time, giving applicants their best chances at a scholarship for their first choice destination. Final application deadline is February 14, 2020.


    Students may apply online at:



    *College Credit option must be elected on application and $150 transcript fee paid by 4/12/20.



    Medea Creek Middle School (MCMS) students and their parents are seeking tutoring support from high school students. Contact MCMS counselor Rob Sitomer via email (RSitomer@opusd.org  or at 818.707.7922 ext. 5032).


    The Stadium and Camp Westlake has the following positions (all paid at $11.50/hour) available:

    Tech Position: Perfect for juniors/seniors interested in STEM and similar to a paid internship.

    Party Host Position: Great opportunity for students who live working with children.

    Front Desk Position: For someone who is very organized, can manage tasks assigned on a daily basis, and has great customer service and people skills. Must be at least 18 years old and proficient with Microsoft Office.

    Contact Information:

    Robin Wolff-General Manager

    The Stadium and Camp Westlake

    31293 Via Colinas

    Westlake Village 91362





    Career Chats, a series of meetings with professionals, was started by OPHS senior Rachel Lin to aid students in their college and career decisions. This is an opportunity for students to meet a variety of professionals who share their career experiences and insights. This program to allow students to learn more about different career options that they could pursue during and after college. Students can come and listen to the speakers and ask any questions.


    When are the meetings held?

    All meetings will be held on Fridays from 12:05-12:40 in the College and Career Center (C6).


    Who can attend?

    All grade levels are welcome and highly encouraged to attend!


    Missed past meetings?

    Information from past meetings is recorded on https://career-chats.webnode.com/ and also includes supplemental information not included at meetings. 


    Upcoming meetings for 2019!

    Session #1: October 4

    Wastewater public relations and corporate communications management (Mr. Sandy Warren)


    Session #2: October 18

    Psychology/college counseling/public policy (Dr. Cindy Lewis)


    Session #3: November 1

    Business/Financial/Technology (Mr. Taylor Driggs)


    Session #4: November 15

    Nephrologist (Dr. Eric Tong)


    Session #5: December 6

    Brand Management/Marketing (Ms. Nichole Banducci)


    Stay connected with Career Chats:

    Join the email list: https://career-chats.webnode.com/

    Receive notifications: Instagram



    •  Juniors and Seniors may register to vote by filling out a paper form (available in the College & Career Center) that can be mailed or by going online to RegisterToVote.ca.gov (Note: you may pre-register to vote at 16-years-old in order to vote at 18-years-old)!



    University of Chicago:   Tuesday, October 1 at 7pm at Viewpoint School, 23620 Mulholland Hwy, Calabasas or Wednesday, October 2 at 7pm at Polytechnic School , 1030 E. California Blvd, Pasadena. Please RSVP at prospects.uchicago.edu/register/

           Oberlin:   Thursday, October 10 at 7pm at Oakwood School, 11600 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood 91601 Please RSVP at             https://connect.oberlin.edu/register/losangeles 2019

    UCLA Open House:  Sat., 10/12. Learn about the admissions process & financial aid, take a campus tour, hear from current students & faculty, & more!        RSVP at www.admission.ucla.edu/events

    University of Notre Dame: Information session at La Reina High school on Wednesday, October 16 at 7:00pm.

        RSVP at https://enrollment.nd.edu/register/Thousand_Oaks_101619

    Campus Pride West Coast College Fair - Saturday, October 19, 11:30-1:30 at Los Angeles City College

        RSVP at https://www.campuspride.org/collegefair/  For LGBTQ students & families

    Discover American College of the Performing Arts (AMDA) – Open House on Sunday, October 20, at 6305 Yucca Street, LA.

        RSVP at amda.edu/openhouse


    • Exploring College Options, a special recruitment program sponsored by the undergraduate admissions offices of five of the country's leading universities: Duke University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, & Stanford University.


    • Welcome to Coast to Coast, a joint travel partnership among Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, Princeton University, University of California-Berkeley, Vanderbilt University. Check out “Coast to Coast Tour” online at https://www.coasttocoasttour.org/ 
    • Harvard, Princeton, University of Virginia, Wellesley, & Yale also travel together. Remember these initials (HPUWY) that are in alphabetical order to find the schedule for this group of colleges: http://www.hpuwy.com/ 
    •  “Exploring Educational Excellence” includes Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, and Rice University in one joint information session for prospective students and their families. Sessions include a brief overview of each institution, information on admissions and financial aid, and a chance to speak informally with admissions representatives. Register to attend at:


    • “Eight of the Best Colleges” 

               (https://8ofthebestcolleges.org/ ) This is a group of eight highly selective, nationally recognized liberal arts colleges known as Eight of the Best.  The             8 colleges include: Claremont McKenna College, Colorado College, Connecticut College, Grinnell College, Haverford College, Kenyon College,                           Macalester College, & Sarah Lawrence College.  


    • “Colleges That Change Lives” is an organization of 40 colleges first reviewed by the late Lorne Pope, education editor of the New York Times  https://ctcl.org/   There is an annual college fair with of most of these colleges attending at the Hilton Universal City, usually held in July.
    • Check out the 9 different campuses of the University of California system (www.universityofcalifornia.edu) for specialized majors (such as UC Riverside’s entomology major) and the 23 campuses of the California State University system (including Cal Poly Pomona’s Collins College of Hospitality Management with a restaurant and hotel on the campus of the former Kellogg estate) www.calstate.edu



    All grade-level students are encouraged to attend college visits with admissions counselors that are held in the College & Career Center. These college admissions professionals choose between four different time options:  8 a.m. before school; 10:05 a.m. nutrition; 12:05 p.m. lunch; or 7th period beginning at 2:25 p.m.  Last year, almost 150 college representatives scheduled meetings at OPHS! 

    These meetings are extremely valuable because students can ask questions and listen to explanations. Plus, almost all of these admissions counselors who visit OPHS are the ones who will be reading your college application if you decide to apply! If you are unable to attend a visit because of a club meeting, make-up test, etc., please stop by to greet our college visitor quickly, get his/her college contact information, and then send an email later.  This will make a very positive impression!

    How do you find out which college admissions counselors are scheduling visits to OPHS?  I do my best to publicize these college visits in multiple ways:  

    • Check your Family Connection of your Naviance college visit list. If you have listed certain colleges in your “colleges I’m thinking about” section, you will receive a Naviance email reminder.
    • Check the College & Career Center’s calendar and/or bulletin online on the OPHS website.
    • Listen to the Tuesday/Thursday bulletins read in class after nutrition and posted around campus and on the OPHS website.
    • Check the white board outside the College & Career Center (C-6).
    • Watch the marquee at the front of OPHS
    • Read the Parent Faculty Association’s eNews


    College visits are generally held in the College & Career Center (Room C-6) unless otherwise indicated and open to all grade-level students.  If you have questions, see Mrs. Friedman AND check your Naviance list!



    • CaliforniaColleges.edu is an all-inclusive guide for college, career, financial planning and exploration for California colleges.


    • California Career Center:  Visit www.CalCareerCenter.org, a FREE site for career options, education & training choices, getting a job, life’s challenges, salaries/budgeting, apprenticeships, etc.
    • ThinkCollege.net – Think College is a national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving inclusive higher education options for people with intellectual disability. With a commitment to equity and excellence, Think College supports evidence-based and student-centered research and practice by generating and sharing knowledge, guiding institutional change, informing public policy, and engaging with students, professionals and families.


    For any students in need of a peer tutor in English, History, Math, Science or Spanish, Science, please send an email to Mrs. Friedman at pfriedman@opusd.org with the subject for which you need tutoring and a Peer Tutoring List will be provided to you. The hours and hourly rate will be worked out between the OPHS student tutor and the family hiring the tutor.




    The FAFSA & CADAA financial aid applications open October 1, 2019 for the 2020-2021 Academic School Year.


    Financial Aid Workshop – Tuesday, 10/1 @6:30pm in G9

    Financial Aid Counselors from Cal Lutheran will be at OPHS to present information on the financial aid process. RSVP is not required. Parents & students welcome. The FAFSA application needs to be completed for every year that you will be in college.

    Cash 4 College: Moorpark College, Oxnard College, & Ventura College will be hosting Cash 4 College Workshops on campus on Saturday, October 12 from 9am-1pm. Financial Aid Staff will assist you in applying for the 2020/2021 FAFSA application & the California Dream Act application.  Spanish-speaking staff will be on-hand to help Spanish-speaking families too. For more information & to register visit www.vcccd.edu/cash4college


    University of CA Resources for Financial Aid:  These 6 videos are available on the UC YouTube channel in the Admissions and Financial Aid Section:

    o   The Cost of UC 

    o   Student Loans 

    o   Financial Aid for Transfer Students 

    o   Financial Aid Award Letters 

    o   Changing Financial Circumstances 

    o   Cost Saving Tips 


    • Mark Kantrowitz Articles: Mark Kantrowitz is the industry expert regarding college financial aid.

    Check out these 2 very important & helpful articles:

    o “How to Get More Financial Aid for College”


    o “Last Minute Financial Aid Tips”


    • FAFSA Assistance:

    o  FREE FAFSA Guide: Download a FREE ebook for The Ultimate Guide to the FAFSA



     FAFSA You Tube Videos from the U.S. Dept. of Education: including a FAFSA overview & directions on how to complete the form https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL23B9A23CD8DD82DD&feature=plcp

    Khan Academy videos on how to complete the FAFSA https://www.khanacademy.org/college-careers-more/college-admissions/paying-for- college/financial-aid-process/a/fafsa-walkthrough


    CSS Profile Assistance:


    The CSS Profile is a financial aid application that roughly 200 colleges and universities (nearly all private) use to determine eligibility for their own institutional financial aid. Check https://profile.collegeboard.org/profile/ppi/participatingInstitutions.aspx for the full list of colleges that use the Profile. The cost is $25 for the initial CSS Profile; additional reports are $16.

    o  If you have questions about the Profile, the Hotline for families:  (844) 202-0524

    Khan Academy CSS Profile Video Tutorial:






    • FAFSA/CADAA Application Assistance: Moorpark College Financial Aid Office has open hours on Tuesdays & Wednesdays from 5-7:00pm to help families with their FAFSA or Dream Act applications. You don’t have to attend Moorpark College to attend these workshops. Please request your FSA ID beforehand and bring your social security numbers (if applicable) and IRS tax documents. Spanish-speaking counselors are also available.



    • Wells Fargo FREE resources: wellsfargo.com/getcollegeready including a


    Get College Ready℠ Tracker

    An interactive step-by-step guide to specific actions students and their families can take to prepare

    for the high school to college transition.

    5-Step Guide to Paying for College

    A simple but thorough guide to estimating college costs and understanding scholarship and

    financing options.


    A free resource to help students and their families navigate through the college planning process. By

    subscribing, members receive timely emails on topics like study tips, securing financial aid, and money management to help throughout the college planning journey.




Last Modified on December 3, 2019