College & Career Planning
Your Guidance Counselor and the College and Career Advisor are here to help you plan for college. Getting into a college is like approaching any other goal in life that’s important: it takes hard work, commitment and attention to dates and details. The resources on this page are designed to help students navigate their post high school options, with information on college admissions testing, the college application process, choosing a college and possible major, career research, alternative post high school options and more.
Community College is a great option for students who are unsure at what they want to study. Our local community colleges include:
- De Anza College
- Foothill College
- West Valley College
- Mission College
- San Jose City College
- Other California Community Colleges
CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY
Students must meet eligibility requirements according to the CSU Eligibility Index. The CSU system currently consists of 23 campuses. Students must complete the 15 subject requirements and meet the Eligibility Index Table (GPA and SAT/ACT) to be considered for admission to the CSU's. Minimum GPA is 2.0 to apply
Application Window: October 1 - November 30. The CSU application will open October 1 students can begin submitting at this time
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
Students must meet minimum UC requirements in order to be eligible for admissions. Out of the ten UC campuses, nine are open to undergraduate students. Requirements include meeting the A-G requirements (15 academic subjects), SAT 1 or ACT with writing, as well as meeting the eligibility index table criteria. Minimum GPA required to apply is 3.0
Application Window: November 1-30. The UC application will open August 1. Students can begin submitting on Nov. 1.
PRIVATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
Private colleges and universities typically require an application, essays, test score reports, teacher recommendations, secondary school and/or mid-year reports, and possibly more. Since requirements may vary, please visit the school's website for more detailed information.
- Common Application - a uniform college application used to make the process much easier without having to complete individual college application forms
- Common App Schools - check the website to see the colleges that accept the Common Application
- Common Application Requirements Grid Sheet - lists out what is required for each Common App school
- AICCU - Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities
- The Guide - AICCU handbook
- Western Undergraduate Exchange Program - a program in which students who are residents of WICHE states may enroll at participating two- and four-year college programs outside of their home state at a reduced tuition rate.
SUPPLEMENTS (FORMS, PORTFOLIOS, AUDITIONS, ETC.)
The deadlines for applications will vary amongst colleges. Some will offer early application options (with deadlines as early as October, but often in November), but most of the regular deadlines will be in January and February. Please refer to the Common App and the University website to confirm deadlines for all schools and programs.
Please note that some programs such as art, music, theater and film may have earlier "regular" deadlines as they often require a portfolio or audition.
TYPES OF APPLICATIONS
EARLY ACTION (EA) - Students apply to college earlier (Oct/Nov) and hear back earlier (Dec/Jan). They do not have to commit to a school until the national deadline of May 1. This is a non-binding agreement, which allows students to see and compare decisions and financial aid from all other schools.
EARLY DECISION (ED) - Students apply early (Oct/Nov) and sign a binding agreement saying that if they get in, they will withdraw all other applications and attend this university.
RESTRICTIVE EARLY ACTION (REA) - Students may only apply to this college early and cannot apply for Early Action, Early Decision or other early notifications unless specified by college.
REGULAR DECISION (RD) - Students apply in the regular pool of applicants (Jan/Feb) and hear back later (March/April). This is a non-binding agreement, which allows students to see and compare decisions and financial aid from all other schools.
ROLLING - Students may submit their application at any point during a large window of time. Students receive their admissions decision within a few weeks of sending in the application.
PSAT - PRELIMINARY SCHOLASTIC ASSESSMENT TEST
PSAT/NMSQT stands for Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. It's a standardized test that provides firsthand practice for the SAT Reasoning Test. It also gives you a chance to enter National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) scholarship programs.
The PSAT/NMSQT measure critical reading skills, math problem-solving skills, and writing skills
The NMSQT portion uses the scores from the math, verbal reasoning, and writing to find the top 1% of the nation's juniors for eligibility in participating in Merit and Achievement programs.
The most common reasons for taking the PSAT/NMSQT are:
- To receive feedback on your strengths and weaknesses on skills necessary for college study. You can then focus your preparation on those areas that could most benefit from additional study or practice.
- To see how your performance on an admissions test might compare with that of others applying to college.
- To enter the competition for scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (grade 11).
- To help prepare for the SAT. You can become familiar with the kinds of questions and the exact directions you will see on the SAT.
- To receive information from colleges when you check "yes" to Student Search Service.
The PSAT is administered on the FUHSD campuses once a year in October. Talk to your guidance counselor or Ms. Parfet to find out how to sign up for the test. For more information about the PSAT/National Merit, click the links below.
ACT - AMERICAN COLLEGE TEST
These are four, 35-60 minute tests in academic areas of English, mathematics, social studies, reading and science reasoning. Scores range from 1 to 36 for each of the four tests and the Composite. The Composite score is the average of the four test scores, rounded to the nearest whole number. There is an optional writing assessment which is required by certain colleges; check the ACT website or the college website to determine if you will need this section.
For more information about the ACT and how to register, click on the link below.
SAT REASONING - SCHOLASTIC ASSESSMENT TEST
The SAT Reasoning Test is a college admissions test comprised of a verbal, math and writing section. The SAT assesses the critical thinking skills students need for academic success in college—skills that students learned in high school. The SAT is typically taken by high school juniors and seniors. It tells students how well they use the skills and knowledge they have attained in and outside of the classroom—including how they think, solve problems, and communicate.
Each section of the SAT is scored on a scale of 200-800, with two writing subscores for multiple-choice questions and the essay. It is administered seven times a year at various sites off campus. Students can register though The College Board.
For more information about the SAT and how to register, click the link below.
SAT SUBJECT TESTS
Subject Tests (formerly SAT II: Subject Tests) measure your knowledge and skills in particular subject areas, and your ability to apply that knowledge. These are one hour tests and students may register for up to three tests on one date. The SAT subject tests are usually offered on the same days as the SAT, but there are exceptions.Check the calendar carefully to make sure the test you need to take is offered on a particular date. Not all SAT subject area tests are offered every test administration.
Many colleges use the Subject Tests for admission, for course placement, and to advise students about course selection. Some colleges specify the Subject Tests that they require for admission or placement; others allow applicants to choose which tests to take.
Subject Tests fall into five general subject areas:
- English literature
- Foreign Languages
Most students take Subject Tests toward the end of their junior year or at the beginning of their senior year.
For more information about the SAT Subject Area Test, visit the following websites:
AP - ADVANCE PLACEMENT
AP tests are placement tests taken after completing a college level course. These are high school examinations based on college level courses. AP exams are given once a year in May. The scores are primarily used for college placement, credit or advanced standing. The most highly selective colleges may also consider AP scores as part of the admission decision. Universities grant either advanced placement and/or credit with qualifying score. Tests are administered in May to students completing appropriate courses.
TOEFL is a college admission/placement test to evaluate English proficiency of students whose native language is not English. It's generally required of undergraduates seeking a first degree and graduate students seeking an advanced degree. The TOEFL is offered at over 300 test centers around the world and the computer-based test may be scheduled at the convenience of the student.
To learn more about the TOEFL test and how to register for the test, visit the following TOEFL website.
TEST PREP Resources
- College Board's SAT Information Site
- List of SAT Optional Colleges
- MaxTheTest: Demystifying Standardized Tests
- Free ACT Practice Questions
- Study Guide for SAT
- ACT Test prep
- Personalized practice with PSAT results linking to Khan Academy
- ACT Practice Questions
- ACT Website Study Prep
- Information on colleges, SAT/ACT prep & athletic scholarships
MVHS Seniors are allowed to attend College Rep Visits in the Fall semester. This is where college admissions representatives come to Monta Vista for about a half hour and speak to students about their campus. Students can ask the representative questions and get a better idea of whether or not that school should be on their application list.
MVHS College Rep Policies
- Seniors you must sign up on Naviance to attend a Rep Visit (Colleges -> Upcoming College Events)
- Juniors you must sign up in the College and Career Center (A-102) and are limited to 4 a semester. These visits are geared towards Seniors and the admission requirements for the following Fall.
- Arrive a few minutes early to the presentation
- Students must be respectful to the Reps and their classmates
- Students are encouraged to ask questions!
- You are responsible for the work you miss in class and must have permission from your teacher in advance.
Scheduling a Visit
If you are looking to schedule a visit to Monta Vista High School please find us on repvisits.com.
If you do not see a time slot that works with your schedule, please email the College and Career Advisor at email@example.com. We will do our best to accommodate your schedule. Currently, we are only doing College Rep visits in the fall.