Planning Tools & Resources


Naviance is a web-based college and career exploration tool available to all of our students. Students register as freshman at Running of the Bulls, or upon enrollment at Monta Vista. Students are able to start exploring their options after high school, as early as freshman year.

Staff will walk parents through the features of Naviance in our evening Guidance events throughout the year.

Logging on to Naviance

Naviance can be accessed from this page or the parent and student portals.

Students and parents each have a Naviance account. Log-in with the e-mail address and the password created. If you forgot the password, follow the instructions on the log-in page.

Direct any questions about Naviance to Ms. Parfet in the College & Career Center or to your Guidance Counselor.


Monta Vista uses Naviance to submit documents electronically to colleges. These documents include Secondary School Reports (SSRs), Letters of Recommendation and transcripts. Seniors need to make sure that the colleges they are applying to are listed in Naviance and that their list is updated to reflect their most current selection of schools.

Students sign on to Naviance using their email address and password they created. 

Additionally, students should visit the "document resources" on their Naviance home page for resources related to the application process such as dates and presentation material for Brown Bag Lunch Sessions.

Naviance Activities

The Guidance Counselors visit each grade level once a year in their English or History classes. In addition to presenting material about high school and college, there is an accompanying Naviance activity specific to the grade level. Students are welcome to explore all aspects of Naviance at any time. See below for Naviance classroom activities:

Naviance Features

Naviance provides a number of resources in one place, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Career and Personality Interest Inventories (Myers-Briggs and Strong) to help you discover potential careers and majors that match your skills and interests
  • Career Exploration – job descriptions and summaries, and tools to show you the education, skills, and abilities necessary for thousands of careers, as well as expected salaries.
  • Resume Builder - students can start keeping track of their activities in one place.
  • College & Major search options that can be tailored to your specifications (location, size, etc.), including links to college websites and information about admissions requirements and deadlines
  • Building a college list of schools you may be interested in
  • Scattergrams that show how you compare to other Monta Vista students, in terms of GPA and SAT/ACT scores, who have applied to colleges you are interested in
  • Search for scholarships
  • Links to summer enrichment programs
  • Email notification of upcoming college representative visits

Financial Aid

The best single source of financial aid is through the college where you have applied. Each college has an Office of Financial Aid from which you may request a separate financial aid application. Keep in mind that most schools have a deadline of January or February for these applications if you plan to attend in the fall.

You should also check into the many scholarships that are available from outside sources including your parents' place of employment or private clubs/lodges as well as any outside groups or organizations of which you are a member.

Help with Financial Aid Resources

Attending a college, university, career or technical school can be expensive. About three‐quarters of all students get some type of financial assistance. However, there are many financial aid resources available to achieve your post secondary goals, including:

  • Federal or California grants;
  • Scholarships through your parents’ employers, religious groups, private clubs, lodges, businesses, foundations, unions, community groups, private individuals, and various organizations. They can be based on such things as academic merit, SAT or ACT scores, competitive essay, field of study, special talent, ethnicity, leadership ability, community service activities, and athletics. Determine what are the terms and conditions to renew the scholarship (i.e. GPA);
  • Loans;
  • Work study programs; and
  • Tuition reimbursement programs from part‐time employers (for example, Bank of America and Starbucks).

It is never too early for you to explore the opportunities for financial aid while in high school. Getting these financial resources requires some research. Most financial aid is based on your need, not your academic performance. Talk to your high school and career counselors for assistance. 

It is important for you to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or other required forms prior to deadline dates. In this way, colleges determine what type of financial aid you are entitled to as well as your family’s contribution. An on‐line calculator (FAFSA4caster) has been developed to assist families in financial planning for federal student aid. Colleges offer different packages and amounts of financial aid. Compare the offers of financial aid from various schools and accept only what you want!

Tips for Parents and Guardians

Start early to open a tax‐free “college savings account” (529 Plan). Talk to your local banker, credit union representative, or financial planner for details.

Get help from your student’s school counselor about financial aid information. Be sure to attend all financial aid and college programs offered by your high school. Talk to friends and relatives whose children have attended college or vocational schools.

Be careful to meet all deadlines regarding financial information, loans, or scholarships. Missing a deadline may mean not getting well‐deserved financial assistances for your student.

Be aware that there may be an Expected Family Contribution. This contribution is calculated by the government using various factors based on your student’s FAFSA. These include looking at your family size, income, assets, age of mother and father, and number of family members in college. The Expected Family Contribution is reported on the Student AID Report (SAR) which is received several weeks after completing the FAFSA. The contribution the same for all schools, no matter what the cost are to attend the school. Be aware that financial need is Cost of Attendance minus the the Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

Avoiding Financial Aid and Scholarship Scams

If you have to pay to get money for financial aid, it is probably a scam. Every year students and parents are cheated out of more than $100 million dollars. According to the Federal Trade Commission, common signs of a scam which you should watch out for include:

  • Companies or organizations using names such as “National,” “Federal,” “Foundation,” or “Administration.”
  • “There is a scholarship application fee.”
  • “This scholarship is guaranteed or your money back.”
  • “You can’t get this information anywhere else.”
  • “May I have your credit card number, social security number, ATM pin number, or bank account number to hold this scholarship?”
  • “We’ll do ALL the work for you.”
  • “This scholarship may cost you some money.”
  • “You’ve been selected by a foundation to receive a scholarship,” OR “You’re a finalist” in a contest in which you NEVER entered.

There are numerous free services available online (see Web Resources). Be a smart consumer! Never pay money to get money.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required by both public and private universities and colleges before scholarships or financial aid is awarded. For more information about the FAFSA and instructions, the website is  Within fa few days after filing online, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the federal processor. It will list the student’s expected family contribution, or EFC. A standard formula is used to calculate the EFC, based on the information the student provides on the FAFSA. The SAR will also be sent to the colleges you indicated on the FAFSA. The colleges will use the EFC to determine if you will be offered grants, loans, and/or work-study program. The earlier you file a FAFSA, the more likely you are to hear from the Commission early. Since most colleges have a May 1 deadline for intention to register, it is to your advantage to know as soon as possible about financial aid so that you can make an informed decision regarding which college you will attend. You will fill the FAFSA out your senior year in high school.

Ultimately, all financial aid decisions are made by the individual college; therefore, it is necessary for you to work with the financial aid officer at each school to which you are applying. Also, be sure to apply on time.

To fill out the FAFSA you will need to know the following information:

  • Your Social Security Number
  • Your parents’ Social Security numbers
  • Your driver’s license number if you have one
  • Your Alien Registration number if you are not a U.S. citizen
  • Your parents Federal tax information or tax returns including IRS W-2 information:
    • IRS 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ
    • Foreign tax return
    • Tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, or Palau
  • Records of your untaxed income, such as child support received, interest income, and veterans noneducation benefits, for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student
  • Information on cash; savings and checking account balances; investments, including stocks and bonds and real estate (but not including the home in which you live); and business and farm assets for you, and for your parents if you are a dependent student

You can connect your parents tax information by the IRS Data Retrieval Tool the convenient way to have your tax information transferred onto the FAFSA application. 

Complete a FAFSA by March 2


CSS Profile

Many colleges, universities and private scholarship programs collect additional information to assist in the awarding of aid through non-federal financial aid programs. In particular, many private colleges require the CSS/PROFILE in addition to the FAFSA and some require that their own financial aid forms are submitted as well. If you are applying to one or more colleges on the CSS Code List (included in PROFILE registration material), you should complete both the FAFSA and PROFILE.

Please check with individual colleges for deadline dates.


Monta Vista High School’s Guidance Office maintains a scholarship file in the Naviance document library. Contact your Guidance Counselor or College Career Advisor via e-mail if you need your log-in. Each student has a Naviance account and parents can access the information by their parent log-in. 

Financial Aid Presentation

Presentation from MVHS Financial Aid Night November 14, 2019

Contact: Katy Fitzgerald

Financial Aid Overview 2019-PDF