College Night helps students, parents navigate

   Even though seniors have just begun their final year of high school, it’s time to start planning for the next step—college. For those who are interested in applying for college or financial aid, it is best to get a head start, which means the month of October will be a busy month for seniors and their parents.        

   “It’s important to research colleges, visit campuses or meet with local college representatives, know the admissions requirements and narrow down your options,” said Toccara Maytrott, Ramona High School’s college and career counselor. “It certainly isn’t a process that happens overnight. Websites such as www.californiacolleges.edu allow students to search for colleges by location, major, size, sports offered, GPA and SAT averages, etc. This is just one example of how students can identify colleges to which they want to apply.”

   The first order of business is RHS College Night, which is open to seniors and parents of seniors in the district.  It is Monday, Oct. 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the school’s Performing Arts Wing. The evening will help students and parents learn how to navigate through the many colleges and choose the right one for them.

   It will also help parents devise a timeline of when to apply and how to apply for colleges. Lastly, it will answer the many questions parents have been asking about the current budget situation and how it is affecting college admissions.

   Financial aid information will be briefly discussed during College Night. A Financial Aid Night will be held this spring.

   “Whether you or your student is planning to attend a community college, CSU or UC, private or out-of-state college, there will be relevant information for you,” said Maytrott.

   Throughout October, several colleges will visit RHS. On Oct. 16, a representative of Point Loma Nazarene University will be on campus, followed by UC Santa Barbara on Oct. 19, Westminster College on the 20th, Azusa Pacific on the 22nd, UC San Diego and Notre Dame de Namur on Oct. 23, and University of Redlands on the 29th.

   College visits are open to juniors and seniors. Students just need to see Maytrott for a pass.         

Among other major events happening this month are college fairs throughout the county. The San Marcos Unified College Fair is tonight, Oct. 8, at 6 in Mission Hills High School. The National Christian College Fair, which features Christian colleges, will be held on October 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Horizon Christian Fellowship. For more information on this fair, visit www.nccf.us or call 888-423-2477.        

   On Oct. 19, one of the largest fairs will be at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, where approximately 70 colleges will be on hand and will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Bulldog CONNECT is offering bus transportation at no charge to the students to the event. Students need to complete a permission slip and sign up as soon as possible.        

   If students can’t make those college fairs, two more will round out the month. The Grossmont Unified Career and College Fair will be on Oct. 21 from 5 to 7:45 p.m. at Cuyamaca College.        

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