- A-G CSU, UC Requirements
- Letters of Recommendation Requests
- Concurrent Enrollment
- College Admissions
- College Application Links
- Virtual College Events & Fairs
- College Rep Visits (Virtual & In-Person)
- Prospective College Athletes
- Promise Program
- SVUSD High School Educational Planning Guide
- Saddleback College Counseling
- Family Guide to Making College a Reality
The A-G / College Entrance Requirements are a sequence of high school courses that students must complete (with a grade of C or better) to be minimally eligible for admissions to the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU). They represent the basic level of academic preparation that high school students should achieve to undertake university work.
Letters of Recommendation:
Most private university and scholarship applications will require that students submit secondary school reports and letter(s) of recommendation. Please Note: California public universities (Cal States and UCs) do not require or accept letters of recommendation. DO NOT complete this packet if these are the only types of colleges to which you are applying
Refer to the table below for the El Toro staff member who will be responsible for writing your counselor letter of recommendation. Please note that your letter writer may not be your regular assigned counselor:
NEW ALPHA CUTS
|A - Cro|
|Kami Kurisu||Cru - Hern|
|Carlyn Morones||Herr - Mom|
|Dionne Coleman||Mon - R|
|Rebecca Clark||S - Z|
|Packet Due Date||College/Scholarship Deadline|
|Friday, September 29, 2023||November or December|
|Tuesday, October 31, 2023||January 1st & Beyond|
Please keep in mind that recommenders will not be available to complete college evaluation paperwork or recommendations during Thanksgiving Break or Winter Break.
Late requests may result in a letter submitted to a college after the due date, and/or a generic letter, or no letter written at all (at the discretion of the letter writer, depending on their workload and/or timeframe provided).
Students currently enrolled in High School may be eligible to concurrently enroll at a community college. This program is designed to enhance, not replace, the regular school experience. The student may enroll in courses that help prepare for their future goals or help alleviate schedule conflicts. Students are allowed to concurrently take courses at the community college only for high school elective credit and not for any of the high school required core classes. Students can visit the specific community college for the permission form and instructions. Student will also need complete the SVUSD Concurrent Enrollment Application in addition to the college’s form. Both forms require a parent signature and must be submitted back to the counselor for signatures. Please allow 24 hours for the forms to be processed.
Students have several options around Orange County to consider for community colleges. Most students attend Saddleback College, followed by Irvine Valley College, and then several others.
Community College Educational Goal Options:
OPTION 1: Certificate Program
A specific occupational program is selected and courses are completed from the list in the college catalog
for that skill area. Examples include automotive technology at Saddleback College, administration of justice
at Irvine Valley College, culinary arts at Orange Coast College, etc. General education courses are not
required; the focus is earning a certificate to prove proficiency in your occupational area. The certificate
programs range from 18-30 units.
OPTION 2: Associate Degree Program
The Associate Degree is granted upon completion of 60 college units, general education courses, a major and a minimum 2.0 grade point average. Each Community College has a list of required general education
courses for the AA and AS degrees.
OPTION 3: Transfer Program
Lower division university course requirements can be completed at a California Community College.
Students may then enter a four-year college as a junior to complete their bachelor’s degree. There are two
general education transfer patterns- CSU and IGETC – that students must meet, have 60 transferable units,
and maintain a required GPA, as well as meet prerequisite coursework for their major.
OPTION 4: Associate Degrees for Transfer
Senate Bill 1440 required California Community Colleges to develop associate degrees for Transfer (AA-T
or AS-T) in collaboration with CSU. Students are given guaranteed admission into a CSU upon granting of
an associate degree and meeting specified general education and major requirements. This is in place for
certain majors at each school campus.
Refer to Pages 16-17 of the High School Educational Planning Guide for more details
California State University (CSU) System:
- CSU Website: CSU Freshman Application
- Cal State Apply - overview of CSU application
- Cal State Apply Applicant Help Center - tutorials for completing each section of the CSU application
University of California (UC) System:
- UC Admissions Website
- Presenting Yourself on the UC Application - guide for completing the UC application
- UC Application Tutorial - YouTube video provided by UC Santa Barbara
- UC Freshman Admission Data
Private and Out of State Universities
Private & Out of State Universities eligibility requirements vary for each institution. Check individual websites for specific information regarding how to apply, deadlines, and requirements.
The Common Application (Common App)
- Over 800 colleges - one application! (Note: UC/CSU Campuses do not use this service. For UC and CSU applications and information, refer to our UC/CSU Information link.)
- Common App - Apply
- Common App Toolkit - Helpful Videos
Need help with the Common App? Collegewise (in Partnership with Reach Higher) has created a great guide to help simplify the process: How to Make Your Common App a Lot Less Stressful
Coalition for College
- A diverse group of more than 140 distinguished colleges and universities across the U.S. that is committed to making college a reality for all high school students through its set of free, online college planning tools that helps them learn about, prepare for, and apply to all member colleges. Coalition for College Access
23 - 24 College Visits schedule coming soon!
- 23 - 24 Military Visits schedule coming soon!
VIRTUAL COLLEGE VISITS - additional information
- Baylor University
- Boston University
- California Baptist University
- Chapman University
- Concordia University
The Promise Program at community college provides one or two years of free tuition (enrollment fees) for first-time, full-time students. Along with a free first year or two free years, some colleges will also provide bookstore vouchers.
How to qualify for the Promise Program at our local community colleges:
Saddleback College – Student must complete FAFSA or Dream Act application. Saddleback offers a Counseling 100 class to seniors during the spring semester. It is not required to qualify for the Promise Program. Saddleback College Promise Program
Irvine Valley College – Provides one year of free tuition and voucher for books for full time students. Students will also receive a bookstore voucher. Students must complete the FAFSA or Dream Act. IVC Promise Program
Orange Coast College – Eligible students can receive two years of free tuition and textbook support. Eligibility includes applying to OCC, completing the FAFSA or Dream Act application, and enrolling in 12 units. OCC Pirates Promise Program
Rancho Santiago Community Colleges – Provides one year of free tuition and voucher for books for full time students who maintain a 2.0 GPA. Students will also receive a bookstore voucher. Student must complete the FAFSA or Dream Act application.
If a student is interested in a different community college, simply look on the college’s website for Promise Program requirements.
This resource provides a wealth of information including:
- Graduation Requirements
- Post-High School Options
- Trade/Technical Schools
- Community Colleges
- 4-Year colleges (CSU, UC, Private, etc...)
- Military Options
- College Admission Testing
- Ideas for Career Preparation
Our Saddleback College Counselor, Ms. Jimenez, will be on campus on Thursday’s from 9 am - 1 pm. She will be available during snack for questions and information in the lower and upper quads. Students can also make a one-on-one appointment with her. Please note the student must have a teacher signed approval form in order to attend any one-on-one meeting. Any questions, please see Ms. Jimenez in the quad on Thursday’s or email her at email@example.com. She is available to meet with any student in grades 9 - 12 regarding questions pertaining to community college. Topics include (but not limited to):
- Concurrent Enrollment - taking a college class during high school (grades 9 - 12).
- Freshman Advantage/Promise Program - Admissions process for current seniors.
- Counseling 100 (College Success) - Spring semester elective for seniors.
- Information on different educational goals (certificate, associate degree, transfer).
The College Board has provided our students with this great resource, covering very important topics. We hope you get a chance to take a look at this great resource with your student.
- You Know Your Child Best
- Talking About Careers Makes It Real
- Yes, You Can Afford College
- Six Ways to Help Your Child Be College Ready
- Encourage Your Child to Reach High
- What You Need to Know About College Admission Tests
- A College for Your Child
- What To Do When—Freshmen, Sophomore and Junior Year
- Big Future (CollegeBoard) College Search
- Cal State Pre-Admissions Webinar - hosted by CSUF
- California State University Application Information:
- eCampus Tours
- Fair Opportunity Project
- RACC Virtual College Series
- Virtual Campus Visits - hosted by RACC
- YOUniversity TV
- Applying for Financial Aid
- Financial Aid Information and Links
- Financial Aid Webinars & Workshops
- Scholarships & Scholarship Search Links
All parents of students attending college in the fall should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) starting December 2023. Visit FAFSA Application Website.
If you’re applying to colleges in California and you’re also applying for financial aid, you may also qualify for California aid through the state of California. El Toro High School will send the GPA for the entire senior class to the California Commission. If a student submits the FAFSA and meets the income and GPA qualifications, then a student will receive a Cal Grant towards their school. In 2019, the amount per year for: Community College - $1,094, CSU - $5,742, UC - $12,570, and Private California Colleges - $9,084.
California Dream Act – Students who are not US Citizens, residents, or hold a valid non-immigrant visa but have completed at least three years of high school in California and will graduate from a high school in California may fill out the Dream ACT form instead of the FAFSA form. Students who qualify for this will receive the same amount of Cal Grant monies as see above.
If you're applying to private colleges anywhere in the United States and also applying for financial aid, fill out the CSS Profile in addition to the FAFSA. Visit the College Board website to see a list of the colleges requiring the CSS Profile as well as to apply.
While you're looking for scholarships and other ways to fund a college education, it is important to exhaust all of the other available resources. Below you will find some links that provide valuable tips about financing your future...
How much money is my family expected to contribute to my college education?
Financial aid is intended to fill the gap between the cost of a college education and what a family is expected to contribute toward that cost. For example, if a family is expected to contribute $7,000 per year and the cost to attend the student's selected university is $35,000, the financial aid package will cover the remainging $28,000. If your expected family contribution is $7,000 and you'll be attending a community college for less than that cost, your financial aid package may be slim to none. The types of financial aid include: grants (free money), loans (money that has to be paid back), and work study (income earned through a job on campus). Use the "net cost calculator" or "net price calculator" on each college's website to ESTIMATE what your expected family contribution will be. All colleges are also supposed to have a Net Cost Calculator or Net Price Calculator on their websites. This will give you an idea of how much money from your family, savings, work, and/or scholarships that you will need to come up with in order to fund your college education. Nothing is final until your FAFSA (see below) with very detailed information is processed. The categories include grants (free money), loans (money that has to be paid back after graduation), and work study (income earned through a job on campus). Scholarships from the colleges may also be included as part of your financial aid package.
Federal Website with a Wealth of Information
- Financial Aid Toolkit - This site has a wealth of information
FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
All Seniors should fill out the FAFSA. This form, once you fill it out completely and send it off, gives the government finance people a chance to review your financial needs and to offer you some options regarding your eligibility for different types of aid. It is an intense application that needs to be completed by your parents using their tax return information. The FAFSA can be submitted between January 2 and March 2 of your senior year. Visit the following website to get started:
If you follow all the steps related to the FAFSA, you will receive a financial aid package that will detail the financial aid for which you qualify. The categories include grants (free money), loans (money that has to be paid back), and work study (income earned through a job on campus). Grants can come from the federal government or from California. Federal grants will be included in the financial aid package based on the information included on your FAFSA.
Some private schools will require you to fill out the PROFILE in addition to the FAFSA. This is used to find financial info that is not provided on the FAFSA. The PROFILE has different due dates depending on the college so check your college/university financial aid websites to determine if this is required and when it is due. The PROFILE can be found at the following website:
Students who may possibly attend a 2 or 4 year college in California should apply for a Cal Grant. There are specific GPA/income/family size criteria to qualify but typically it covers the cost tuition to a CA public college. You must submit a "Cal Grant GPA Verification Form." Visit the following website to download the form. This form also needs to be submitted between January 2 and March 2 of your senior year. The FAFSA is required in addition to the Cal Grant form. It's an easy form that just needs a signature from someone in the guidance department so print it out and bring it in.
For other information regarding federal aid and scholarships, review these sites:
- California Student Aid Commission
- Financial Aid Toolkit
- U.S Department of Education Financial Aid
- College Scholarships
- Quest Bridge
Don't forget to check the scholarship page regularly for new scholarships. They come in all shapes in sizes with varying criteria.