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Sign up for College REMIND to get important college text messages from Ms. Hammell sent right to your phone.
SENIORS Enter 81010 Text @3ffe5 JUNIORS Enter 81010 Text @5dcad
SOPHOMORES Enter 81010 Text @3efk33FRESHMEN Enter 81010 Text @gfkk6e

  • CSU & UC Application submission period is now CLOSED! 
  • Hanshaw Scholarship: Were you one of the lucky ones to attend the Hanshaw Scholarship presentation in Nov?  If so, it's time apply and email your counselor TODAY at to request a copy of your current transcript.  Deadline to complete this task online is March 15th.  Late documents will NOT be accepted!
  • COMMON APPLICATION Reminder:  If you applied to a private college using the common application then make sure you let the college counselor (Mrs. Hammell) know.  It will NOT be known that you need supporting documents, such as your transcripts, secondary school report, mid-year reports, letters of recommendations sent to your private or out of state college unless you communicate with the college counselor that you need that done! Before stopping by during your lunch period to confirm that you are ready to electronically send these documents through Naviance, make sure you’ve updated your college list in Naviance otherwise supporting docs cannot be sent for you. (NOTE: the student screen in Naviance isn’t very clear about determining whether letters of rec are uploaded and ready.  If in doubt, see the college counselor or ask your recommender).
  • CSS Profile: Some private universities require that you fill out the CSS Profile to be considered for financial aid. (CSU and UC do NOT require this form!) Many of these CSS profile deadlines are approaching! Please visit  to see if your private college requires this form and then check individual college websites for deadlines.
  • You’re responsible for reporting, to colleges/universities you’ve applied to, about changes in your schedule that affect you’re A-G requirements and any semester “D’s” and/or “F’s” you’ve earned!
  • Oops… “I made a mistake on my college application, what do I do?” You will need to contact each individual college that had the error on the application. Give them all of your contact info. & university student ID # or SSN. Explain very clearly the incorrect information and give the correct information.
  • Sending SAT/ACT test scores:  It is the student’s responsibility to send SAT/ACT test scores to all colleges applied to.  DO NOT DELAY SENDING TEST SCORES!  In the past students who forgot to send their test scores have had their application/acceptance withdrawn.  Don’t let that happen to you!  You can place an order to send your scores through College Board SAT/ACT website (see links). NOTE:CSU’s will “Super Score” and take the highest math and reading SAT test score from multiple test dates. UC’s will ONLY take the highest SAT test score from one sitting.
  • Create portal/accounts for college correspondence.  Once you've submitted your application, the campus(es) you've applied to will send an email inviting you to create an account with them. It's imperative you set up a portal account with each of the colleges you applied to. This is how the admissions office, financial aid department, housing etc. will communicate with you regarding acceptance, offers of scholarships, deadlines, missing documents, etc. Check your college accounts on a regular basis and respond immediately to any requests on your college “TO DO LIST”! NOTE: Be sure to add the CSU's, UC’s and Private campuses to your email safe sender list. Turn off spam filters and make CSU and UC safe sites so you can receive important emails from the colleges you applied to.
  • Cash for College Community Workshop Events (hosted by California Student Aid Commission): Seniors, don’t miss this opportunity to get help from those who are experienced in answering your questions about the FAFSA application and Financial Aid. These community events are very popular, so plan to get there early. To find out where one is taking place near your area, visit

Thursday, January 31th @ Thomas Downey High School in English & Spanish at 5:30

  • Financial aid filing period for FAFSA closes March 2, 2018. If you haven’t already done so, APPLY NOW! Before starting the application, REMEMBER you and ONE parent need to each register for your FSA ID#. Watch following video for FSA ID# help: For help filling out the FAFSA app, watch the following video: . Remember deadline to file your FAFSA is March 2, 2018. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
  • Important FINANCIAL AID Reminder:SENIORS, remember it is your responsibility to check your transcript or PowerSchool account to make sure your legal name and birth date is correct and EXACTLY matches your Social Security card. If you discover an error, notify the counseling office as soon as possible before submitting your FAFSA, otherwise the state will reject your FAFSA submission and you risk NOT qualifying for Financial Aid/Cal Grants. IT’S IMPORTANT THAT THE SAME PERSONAL INFORMATION IS CORRECTLY POSTED ON BOTH YOUR COLLEGE & FAFSA APPLICATIONS! !!!  NOTE:If you do not have a social security number, see the college counselor about filling out the Cal Dream Act Application.
  • Remember to write a letter of thanks to the teachers, counselors, administrators and staff members who have written a letter of recommendation for you. This gesture would be greatly appreciated as they all spend many extra hours outside of school writing letters on your behalf.
  • All seniors will be required to take a Senior Exit Survey in May on Naviance before being cleared for graduation. So it’s a MUST that all seniors know how to log in to their Naviance account. Go to and follow the simple directions on the Naviance log in page.

Juniors, what should you be doing NOW to prepare for college?

►Learn Downey’s  High School Code (052000) as you will need to know it for your upcoming college entrance exams
►Keep earning high grades! When you begin to submit college applications, you will only have 9th‐11th grades to submit, so this is the last year you’ll have to raise your GPA.
►Attend college fairs, college preview days and attend college rep visits scheduled on Downey’s campus
throughout the year.
►Review your transcript NOW to be sure you are on track to meet A‐G college entrance requirements.  See your academic counselor for a copy of your transcript.  You may discover that you need to enroll in ESS or summer school, to repeat classes that you earned D’s/ F’s, or to enroll in a class needed for A-G college entrance requirements.
►Spring SAT/ACT is right around the corner.  Sign up to register NOW!!! (see SAT or ACT link).  Fee waivers are available, if you’re on free or reduced lunch program (see college counselor in the career center during your lunch hour).
►Juniors, selecting a college major may seem so far away, but it’s coming very quickly! Some colleges will ask you to declare a major on your application, and in many cases it can be quite difficult to change your major in college. Start doing some research now at

Quick checklist of A-G Requirements to attend CSU or UC:  (all grades earned must be “C” or better) For more detailed information, see Downey A-G college checklist/worksheet link under “other information”.  See your academic counselor for a copy of your unofficial transcript.
4 years of CP English
3 years of Math (Algebra, Geometry, Advance Algebra)
2 years of Lab Science (CP Bio, CP Chem)
2 years of Social Studies (CP World History, CP US History)
2 years of SAME Foreign Language
1 year of Visual Performing Art (Art, Dance, Drama, Photo, Ceramics, Band, Music, Choir)
1 year of CP elective

—there are many universities that offer summer enrichment programs. I’ve listed a few below, but there are more out there. Simply attending a summer program doesn’t necessarily help you get into a competitive college, but the experiences you gain may improve your personal statement for the college application. If participating in a collegiate summer program doesn’t work out for you, be sure to expand your experiences locally during the summer. Basically: don’t sit around on social media and watch TV all summer!  Here’s a link providing general info about summer programs for high school students

Summer Discovery Program:
Internship programs for high school students:
UC Davis Pre-College program:
UC Davis Summer Opportunities for High Achieving Students:  
Stanford Pre-Collegiate Studies:
UCLA summer program:
UC Berkeley summer program:
UC Santa Barbara summer program:
Saint Mary’s summer program:
Santa Clara University: Young Scholars Program:
Santa Clara University: School of Engineering summer program:
Princeton University Preparatory Program (PUPP):
Yale’s Young Scholar summer program:
Duke University:
University of Chicago Summer Session for high school students:
►Bezos Scholars:
George Washington University Pre College Summer Program: Make the nation’s capital your classroom!
COSMOS is a four week summer program that focuses on the science and math field.  The program is taught by UC professors on UC campuses. To learn more and obtain additional information visit:
USC Summer Program: Students currently in 10th, 11th or 12th grade will learn to balance challenging academic coursework with college life. Visit  for more information.    
Coswell College Summer Program: If you dream about becoming an animator, game designer, entertainment engineer or sound designer, now is your chance to begin realizing that dream.  Spend the summer building the skills you need to enter these highly-specialized, exciting career fields. Visit:
Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project (CLYLP): Only students in 10th and 11th grade are eligible to apply.  All CLYLP high school programs are FREE to students. (Room and board, and transportation are included). To learn more visit:
Smithsonian Latino Center -Young Ambassadors Program (YAP): Yap is a college preparatory and leadership program that encourages Latino participants to explore various academic and career opportunities through the lens of the Latino experience.  Selected students will participate in a weeklong all expenses paid interdisciplinary training seminar in Washington DC.  To learn more visit:
Carnegie Mellon Summer Pre-College Program: Are you going to be a junior or senior in high school? If so, consider spending the summer with Carnegie Mellon and enroll in courses such as architecture, art/design, drama, music and game academy.  For more information visit:
Cornell University has a 3 and 6 week summer program.  Visit: for more information.
Boston University Summer Pre-College Summer Program: Experience college life in a number of fields of study. Visit for application and more information.
Harvard Summer School Secondary School Program: Open to high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors who will have the opportunity to experience college life in a number of fields of study including those offered online as well.  Visit to learn more.
Marist Pre-College Summer Programs: Open to high school sophomores and juniors who want a taste of college life in NYC, both in the classroom and on campus.  Visit for more information and application (accepted on rolling/space available basis)
Barnard’s Pre-College Summer programs:  Junior and Senior girls will be challenged and stimulated while living and learning like a college student in NYC.  Visit learn more.
Air Force Academy Program:  For students who will be graduating from high school between 2018 and 2022 register for Air Force Future Falcons Program.  For more information about this program and other opportunities available through the Air Force visit:
California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSA) is looking for talented teen artists, writers, and performers. To learn more about CSSSA summer program or obtain application forms and instructions, visit or call the Sacramento headquarters at (916) 229-5160.
Neubauer Family Adelante Summer Scholars for Hispanic and Latino students, free of charge: 
Exploring College Options: Want to know more about Duke, Georgetown, Harvard, Penn, Stanford?  Then plan to attend a student/parent information session this spring.  For more details regarding dates, presentation locations, registration etc… visit /parent



●SAVE THE DATE! Attend the LAST FAFSA/Cal Dream Financial Aid Presentation at Downey! This FREE event begins at 5:30 on Thursday, January 31st in the Downey cafeteria for English or in Downey auditorium for Spanish.

MJC App Workshop: If you plan to attend MJC this summer or fall, then this is the LAST CHANCE, to apply to MJC by attending this Downey workshop Monday, February 4th during 2nd or 3rd period. Otherwise you will have to apply online yourself ( Sign up in Naviance, 3 days prior to workshop.

MJC Orientation Workshop: If you already applied to MJC, then this is the LAST CHANCE to complete MJC orientation by attending this Downey workshop, Monday, February 4th during 6th or 7th period. Otherwise you will have to take it online yourself ( Sign up in Naviance, 3 days prior to workshop

MJC Ed Plan/Assessment Workshop: ONLY CHANCE THIS YEAR to complete your 3rd Step Ed Plan/Assessment at Downey on Wednesday. Feb 13th during 2nd, 3rd, 6th or 7th period. Otherwise you will have to contact MJC counseling office yourself at 209-575-6080 to schedule an appointment to meet with an MJC counselor.  Sign up in Naviance, 3 days prior to workshop.

MJC Counselor Advisement Workshop: ONLY CHANCE THIS YEAR to complete your 4th Step Advisement with an MJC counselor at Downey on Wednesday, February 20th during 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th period.  Otherwise you will have to contact MJC counseling office yourself at 209-575-6080 to schedule an appointment to meet with an MJC counselor.  Sign up in Naviance, 3 days prior to workshop.

●MJC New Student Days will be held April 13 & June 13 at 8:00.  Students will have the opportunity to complete the application, orientation, assessment/ed plan and college advising steps in order to register completely for MJC. There will be counselors, financial aid advisors and lots of help there to answer all of your questions. No cost to attend, no pre-registration required.

Seniors:  E & J Gallo Winery would like to invite “QUALIFIED” seniors to the Winery for an informational meeting about Gallo’s Scholarship Internship Program.  This presentation will be held Wednesday, January 30th from 4:15-5:00 in Gallo’s Dry Creek Building seminar room.  If interested in learning more, stop by the Career Center to pick up an informational flyer before Wednesday, January 30th.

YOU CAN GO TO COLLEGE TOO!  Save the Date invitation to Downey students and their parents to attend this free College Awareness Night at Johansen High School on Thursday, February 28th at 6:00. Presentation is in English and Spanish and free is child care provided. Begin learning about A-G college entrance requirements needed to attend a 4yr CSU, UC or private college & also learn about admission requirements needed to attend a 2yr community college.

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s Student Leaders® Program is accepting applications for the 2019 Student Leaders® program. Sophomores & Juniors can apply for the program by going to Please note the application deadline is February 1, 2019. There will be no deadline extensions.

Open ONLY to Sophomores & Juniors! Stanislaus County Office of Education is now accepting applications to apply for their 2019-20 Leadership Academy! Deadline is April 19th. Visit the following link for more detailed information and make a request for an application (

●Historically Black Colleges and Universities:  Apply to one or all 43 HBCU with one application and only pay one $35.00 application fee.  Visit  for application and more information.

CSU East Bay Education Summit for First Generation, African American, Asian American, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander students and their families on Saturday, February 9th from 9am— 1pm. For more information

Scholarships: Research and apply for all the scholarships you can! Check out Modesto City Schools Scholarship Bulletin on a regular basis for posting of monthly scholarships

●Great website that is free to all users is  It lists all 2 and 4 year colleges in California, allowing you to compare and contrast them, gives great tips regarding cost, size, application, financial aid, etc.  Be sure to check out this website!


Research and apply for all the scholarships you can! Check out Modesto City Schools Scholarship Bulletin on a regular basis for posting of monthly scholarships!

Scholarship searching???Naviance also has a great feature called “National Scholarship Search”. Log into your Naviance account, click on “Colleges” tab, scroll down to heading labeled “Scholarships and Money”, then click on “National Scholarship Search.”

Check out For a complete list of scholarships and application deadlines visit
Check out For complete list of scholarships and application deadlines visit
Check out For a complete list of scholarships and application deadlines visit
Check out For a complete list of scholarships and application deadlines visit
Check out This is a free scholarship matching service that once you create your profile will match you up with scholarships that are unique to you. Visit
Check out This is a free scholarship matching service that once you create your profile will match you up with scholarships that are unique to you. Visit
Check out This is a free scholarship matching service that once you create your profile will match you up with scholarships that are unique to you. Visit

Scholarship Tip: Once you've decided what college you will attend in the fall, be sure to check out the scholarships that are being offered by the college/university you chose. The single largest source of scholarships comes from the colleges themselves. Always check the financial aid/scholarship link at the websites of the colleges you want to attend. It might make a difference in which college you choose.

Scholarship Tip: Corporations or unions that your parents work for often sponsor scholarships for dependent children. Ask your parents to check with their company or union to see if scholarships are offered through their workplace.



SAVE THE DATE! Attend the LAST FAFSA/Cal Dream Financial Aid Presentation at Downey! This FREE event begins at 5:30 on Thursday, January 31st in the Downey cafeteria for English or in Downey auditorium for Spanish.

FAFSA applications are available to fill out online from October 1st – March 2nd. Both you and one parent will EACH need a Federal Student Aid identification number (FSA ID#) when you file your FAFSA. You and your parent can register for your FSA ID# NOW at  For video help filling out the FAFSA app go to .  Remember deadline to file your FAFSA is March 2, 2017. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!  NOTE: If you do not have a social security number, you will need to fill out the Cal Dream Act Application at:

Cal Grant GPA verification: Our school district office electronically submits GPA verifications for ALL seniors to the California Student Aid Commission. I’ve heard of graduates not receiving their Cal Grants because they failed to report a hyphenated last name or two last names. Be careful of ultimately it is your responsibility to make sure your legal name, address, birth date and other personal information on your transcript and PowerSchool account is accurate. If you discover an error, please notify the counseling office ASAP, otherwise the state may reject your FAFSA submission and you risk NOT qualifying for Financial Aid/Cal Grants. NOTE: IT’S IMPORTANT THAT THE SAME PERSONAL INFORMATION IS CORRECTLY POSTED ON BOTH YOUR COLLEGE & FAFSA APPLICATIONS!

CSS Profile: Some private universities require that you fill out the CSS Profile to be considered for financial aid. (CSU and UC do NOT require this form!) Many of these CSS profile deadlines are approaching! Please visit  to see if your college requires this form and then check individual college websites for deadlines.



SAT/ACT: Seniors you’re done with this!  Juniors…It’s your turn!!! If you plan to apply to four year colleges, NOW is the time to register online and take the SAT/ACT (writing required if planning to apply to UC and some private colleges).  All SAT/ACT testing must be completed by December 2019 if applying to a CSU or UC campus, however some colleges such as Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU Long Beach, San Diego State and Chico State want October test date scores. Oh, don’t forget to print your admission ticket & bring a photo I.D. to the testing site!

SAT Test Date:    March 9             May 4                    June 1
Register By:         February 8          April 5                   May 3

ACT Test Date:   February 9          April 13                June 8
Register By:         January 11          March 8               May 3

SAT Subject Tests:If applying to a UC, SAT Subject Tests are NO longer required, but recommended if you plan to major in math, science or engineering. The subject tests must be in different subject areas. If you choose Math as a subject test, it must be Level 2. To view which UC colleges are recommending subject tests visit:

What’s a good test score? Depends on where you are applying, what you’re major is, and how competitive the college is! Check out “scattergrams” on your Naviance account at  to see how your test scores compare to other students from Downey for each college you are interested in! 

Sending test scores: Juniors, if you want your SAT scores sent to multiple CSU’s or UC's, all you have to do is enter one CSU or UC campus code when you register or include it on the answer sheet of your test and it will be sent to all 23 CSU campuses or all 9 UC campuses. ACT scores will have to be sent individually to each CSU/UC you applied to. NOTE:CSU’s will “Super Score” and take the highest math and reading SAT test score from multiple test dates. UC’s will ONLY take the highest SAT test score from one sitting.

AP testing:  Here's a question that often gets asked:  Will my AP test scores earn me college credits at every university?  Many UC and CSU campuses accept AP exam scores of 3, 4 or 5.  Some private colleges handle these scores differently.  It's strongly recommended you check individual college websites to determine how credit is awarded.  To view AP credit policies by universities, go to:



●Remember it’s your responsibility to know your PRIVATE OR OUT OF STATE college application deadlines and meet them!!!



College Visits to Downey: Juniors interested in learning more about specific colleges and universities are invited to attend their presentations about their campus.  Listen/read daily bulletin for dates and times of visits.  You must sign up in Naviance 3 days before the scheduled visit and get clearance from your teacher to attend, otherwise you risk their consequences.  All visits will be held in the Career Center unless otherwise stated. Once you sign up, it’s your responsibility to remember the date & period you signed up for, since NO passes will be sent to your class reminding you to attend the presentation. 



Athletes planning to participate in a Division 1 or Division 11 college sport, must be certified by the NCAA Eligibility Clearinghouse (see NCAA link to register online). Interested students should start this process NO later than the spring of their 11th grade year in high school.

It is the student’s responsibility to make sure the Clearinghouse has the following documents:
●A signed student release form and payment fee
●An official transcript mailed directly to Clearinghouse from every high school attended (see Ms. Garrett in Records Office room 8 to request your official transcript)
●SAT or ACT scores have to be sent to the Clearinghouse by the student

 JUNIORS:  If you plan to enroll in college as a freshman and want to play a Division I or Division II sport in college, you MUST register with the NCAA Clearinghouse and meet their course & test requirements (see NCAA link). Their high school course requirements are a bit different than the college A-G course requirementsNOTE: NCAA will NOT accept ESS or SS classes to help meet required NCAA coursework, so you will need to retake D/F classes in your schedule. Download the online form on NCAA link, fill it out, then send it with your official transcript to NCAA office or take a copy of the completed form to Debbie Garrett, our registrar in room 8.  She can forward the form and a copy of your official transcript to the Clearinghouse.  It’s your responsibility to request the registrar send follow up transcripts as needed by NCAA Clearinghouse.  NOTE:  You can have your SAT/ACT scores sent directly to the NCAA clearinghouse by using code 9999, otherwise it’s your responsibly to submit an order through ACT/SAT website to have them send all your SAT/ACT test scores to the Clearinghouse.  We do NOT send them from Downey.


What is Naviance? Navianceis a powerful tool to help guide you through the sometimes confusing path of college and careers. It is designed to help you plan and prepare for YOUR future! For example, you can create your student profile, research colleges and careers, create a resume, find scholarships and learn more about yourself and what interests you through our career and personality inventories. Naviance can also track the colleges you applied for and have been accepted to. Whether you plan to attend a college or vocational/trade/tech school, go into the military or work right after high school, visit the Naviance site regularly and become familiar with the many resources available to help you stay at the top of your future.

Here's a question that gets asked often: How do I find colleges that will best fit my major and areas of interest? Visit Naviance!!! (see link on this webpage) If you take the "Career Interest Profiler" it will match you to careers that best suit your personality and strengths. It also provides a list of career possibilities and colleges that have majors which match your interests. So not only is Naviance is a great web based internet program for students to use as a college search engine, but it’s also super to use for career searches.

►Every single student at Downey should have a Naviance account! It’s important that all Downey students know how to log in to their Naviance account. Go to on your school device and follow the simple directions at the top of the Naviance log in page. Make sure you’re accessing your account and using all that Naviance has to offer!  Listed below are some things you can do on Naviance:
*Create a personal profile
*Research colleges and careers
*College match
*Create a resume
*Take a personality test that will match you with careers
*Scholarship search (local & national)
*Scattergrams allow you to view your chance of acceptance at the college of your choice
*SAT test prep (FREE!)
*ACT test prep (FREE!)   

►Don’t forget in Naviance, under the “Colleges Tab”, is a Scholarship list search tool.  You’ll see all the scholarships available from local, state and across the nation!  This is a GREAT resource at your fingertips!!!  USE IT!!!


If you’re a senior and plan to attend MJC in the fall next year, you should think about enrolling in a MJC class this coming spring. Taking an MJC class in the spring of your senior year, will give you an earlier registration appointment date for fall enrollment. Before you can register for class(es), visit MJC website at then click on “apply now” to apply online and set up your account.

Interested in getting a jump start on college credits?  Many students opt to take a course or two at MJC during their sophomore, junior and/or senior year in high school. Tuition is waived for high school students, but only students who are on track to graduate and have demonstrated that they can handle the additional coursework, do well with dual enrollment. Most courses in 100 level are transferable to CSU’s, UC’s and many private universities.

What do I do first to take MJC coursework NOW while I’m still in high school?  Make sure you first apply on MJC website at then print out & complete the following high school petition form at Once the form is filled out, give it to the College Counselor or Principal for approval/signature, then submit the form to MJC Enrollment Office for processing. Remember classes taken at MJC are free while you’re still in high school!!! Suggested courses to take: Guidance 110, Guidance 111 (for students who don’t know what to major in) Health 110, Music Appreciation 101, History 101 or 102, College Skills 100, Public Speaking 100 and various elective classes. To find MJC course schedule, click on the “magnifying glass” in upper right hand corner of MJC homepage and see what is being offered each semester.

►Taking the SAT and/or ACT is NOT required if you plan to attend MJC or any other California Community/Junior College. You MUST however, take the Math & English assessment in the spring, if you plan to apply in the fall. (See below for NEW MUTIPLE MEASURES NOW IN PLACE AT MJC)!

NEW Multiple Measures for Assessment at MJC!
MJC is now accepting new assessment options which may exempt students from having to take the Math and English placement tests. Your EAP, SAT, ACT or AP test scores may also show you’re ready for college level Math and English classes at MJC. Visit the following website for more detailed information:

►If you still have questions about MJC, stop by the career center on Tuesday’s or Thursday’s during your lunch period or afterschool, to speak to our MJC TRIO representative.