Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice.  Have the courage to follow your own heart and intuition.  Steve Jobs
    Do not set an ultimate destination.  Do not try to figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life.  You're going to be a very different person in two or three years and that person will have her/his own ideas.


    Increased Personal Responsibility – what will I now do as a Student?

    • Understand how to access resources and information to explore personal, academic & career goals
    • Begin independent research of next steps in my post-secondary planning process
    • Become a self advocate - seeking out guidance when questions arise (communicating effectively)
    • Understand how current choices impact future options
    • Understand the importance of balancing academic, extra curricular & personal responsibilities 

    College Email

    College email:  Colleges will be communicating via email the majority of the time so consider creating a separate email just for college applications.  Use your first and last name instead of nicknames. 



    • YOUR PERSONAL GOALS?  Think challenge, fun, intrinsically rewarding…and balanced!
    • Post-high school plan (careers/travel/area of study interested in)?
    • Email me this:  MY DREAM DAY/JOB/PURSUIT IN LIFE - what am I involved in, things that pique my curiosity



    Transcript Review/Graduation Requirements: Number of credits needed to graduate = 220. English and Social Studies are required senior year. Math and science are strongly recommended for all students.


    Graduation Requirements Outlined in the Instructional Guide.


    UC "a-g" list with eligibility requirements for both UC/CSU systems 


    College Entrance Testing Schedule – Spring of Junior Year

    I encourage all students to start (and hopefully complete) their college entrance testing in spring of junior year in order to alleviate the stress of fall examinations during the college application process.

    • SAT (reading, math, writing and language + optional essay) The UC system REQUIRES THE ESSAY or they will not look at your scores.
    • SAT Subject exams 
    • ACT with Writing (math, English, reading, science) 
    • AP exams for AP classes:  May, see AP secretary with questions
    • Prep information for SAT/ACT

     FEE WAIVER Information and Resources are Available - see Ms Lisa Neumaier for assistance! 

    AP/Honors Information: 

    Review the AP/Honors Matrix for entrance criteria.

    AP/Honors Information and Advice

    BALANCE:  How will I balance my life (i.e., handle AP classes with athletics, drama, ballet and a job?).   Complete Time Management worksheet on website, discuss w/ your parents and bring it in to discuss with Ms Souder if you are taking more than 2 AP courses (which I DO NOT advise).  When Counselors rate students on the Common Application, we regard any student who has taken at least 5 AP or Honors courses as 'Most Demanding.'  Hence, taking more than 5 of those courses, does not grant you a higher rating.  Keep this in mind when designing your senior year. Balance and health are more important than completing college before you get to college. 

     Advice from Stanford, Duke, Penn, Harvard & Georgetown

    • Avoid Group Think (i.e., don't follow the paths of others, not everyone has to take identical curriculum)
    • Be True to Yourself
    • Be a Man or Woman for Others
    • It is a False Narrative to Believe that Perfect Scores Guarantee Admission to competitive schools
    • Focus on the ESSAYS
    • Avoid Perfection – Strive for Excellence in an Intellectual area of Your Choosing
    • Develop your OWN intellectual interests – you’ll be more interesting and competitive – we don’t want 500 4.5 gpa engineers!


    Letter of Recommendation from Souder or Baker: you MUST complete the LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION FORM on or before October 1st.  Really?  Yes, October 1st. This way you will have one less form to fill out during the UC/CSU application window and I will have your letter ready to go by any early application deadlines on the Common Application.

    Teacher Letter of Recommendation:  Start thinking about teachers to ask now and speak with them early.  Some have a limit to the number of letters they write each year and they each have their own forms and deadlines.  Some teachers like to use the Form on this page.




    The College Visit – How to Organize – Questions to Ask

    College Admissions Visits – over 90 college reps visit Drake in fall.  Sign up on Naviance

    Warranted Absences - get forms for college visits from Mark Machado, complete them in advance

    Gap Year Programs:  Info available in the CCC 

    Job Shadows, Internships, Marin ROP career classes – see Mr Davison (gdavison@tamdistrict.org)

    College Athletics, NCAA & see Ms Neumaier, & contact coaches as early as possible.


    • Temper Hope with Reality:  What are my reasonable chances of acceptance at X university?
    • Compare your record: Look at published  admission standards & patterns (Naviance & College Board & College Prowler)
    • Review websites written by students for first hand reviews (Unigo(Niche)
    • Discuss finances: The sooner the better!  Don’t get emotionally attached to a school that sets you or your family up for financial ruin!!!  Review the Student Loan Calculator for estimates on potential debt, payments and salary needed to make those payments.
    • The Student Loan Report - this site is full of useful stats and maps related to college debt.
    • Review Net Price Calculators for each college for Price, Debt at Graduation & Graduation Stats  
    • Play Time For Payback - a great way to make thoughtful decisions and get feedback on how they impact your college life and debt
    • Under Careers in Naviance,  check out the RoadTrip Nation interview archive and explore possible roads to travel

    “Students should have eight first choices.  Prioritizing before you get in closes minds.”  Joyce Slayton Mitchell, Author, 8 First Choices: an Expert’s Strategies for Getting Into College



    Read the January Update, Designing A Year in Your Life, College Pressure JR Article, as well as all future Junior Year Follow Ups (there will be several in coming weeks/months). 
    College Application Guide - download and review.

    Review Senior Advice to Juniors   

    Spring Workshops with Sheila/Molly/Lisa!  Wednesday tutorials - SIGN UP IN ADVANCE ON NAVIANCE
    • Determining Your Post High School or College Values (3/6 - Tutorial #1 or #2)(EXCEL Examples for YOU)
    • College Search assistance (3/13 - Tutorial #1 or #2)
    • Financial Aid/Scholarship Preview (Lisa Neumaier, College & Career Specialist) (3/20 & 4/3 - Tutorial #1 or #2, attend only one date)
    • Common Application Essay (3/27 & 5/1- attend only one date, but this workshop takes up both Tutorials on each date)
    • UC Personal Insight Questions (4/17 & 5/8 - attend only one date, but this workshop takes up both Tutorials on each date)
    • JC Transfer Workshop with Guests from College of Marin. Find out why starting your college career at a Community College may set you up for more success, more options and less debt   (4/24 - this workshop takes both tutorials)
    • Common App Supplemental Essays & General Essay Tips (5/15 - Tutorial #1 or #2)
    • In addition to the above, we will be meeting with all Juniors in their English courses to assist you with opening your Common App account and understanding how to start the application process

    Thanks for your time and energy.  See us often throughout the next two semesters for on-going support with your post high school planning! 

    "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind."  - C.S. Lewis


    Last modified by Sheila R Souder on 12/13/2018