Palos Verdes PeninsulaHigh School

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College Career Center » 2020 Virtual College Knowledge Series

2020 Virtual College Knowledge Series

The College Career Centers of Palos Verdes Peninsula High and Palos Verdes High School are proud to team together this year with the shared mission to provide safe, up to date and extensive resources to our PVPUSD community of students and their families. By collaborating on a platform to share our events, we are pleased to free up time and resources that institutions can now share with other public schools in and around the South Bay and Greater Los Angeles region.


All presentations will require pre-registration. Links to register are located in the description of each event below.  Registration will open about 1 week prior and close the day before the event.


 Please make note of the calendar of events for the next few weeks to SAVE THE DATES! Many events are confirmed, with others currently being scheduled on a daily basis. Check this site often for updates and newly added events. Considering the fact that we are working together with colleges and universities from around the nation, as well as abroad, some grace & flexibility are requested in accommodating any change in schedule.



Keynote Address presented by Tim Brunold, Dean of Admissions at University of Southern California. Mr. Brunold will discuss the ever changing landscape of College Admissions in this world of COVID, the overall college application process and the impact to Class of 2021 and the continued importance of students finding the right fit.

Overview of University of California System is presented by Cuca Acosta, Associate Director School Services at University of California, Santa Barbara. Ms. Acosta will present details of the UC admissions and application process, including GPA and entrance test changes due to COVID-19, deadlines, and UC application updates.

Students and their parents are invited to participate in a virtual mock admissions event, known as a Case Study on September 16th at 6:30P. This case study has been adapted to reflect current COVID-19 changes to the admissions process. Participants will need to prepare in advance by reading a university profile and three sample college admissions applications. A link to these resources will be sent to you upon completion of your registration. 


During the Case Study event, students and parents will meet in small groups with an experienced admissions officer who leads a discussion on what colleges looks for in an applicant, as well as what a college values especially with the affects of COVID-19 on students resumes and college testing. Students learn first-hand how they will be evaluated, which helps them begin thinking of the qualities and strengths they bring to the process and what they will need to do to prepare for the application process.


Financial Aid Overview presented by Jessica Medina, Associate Director, Outreach of Financial Aid at University of Southern California. Ms. Medina will present Understanding Financial Aid. This information session will cover four main topics relating to financial aid for college: Types of financial aid available, how schools determine eligibility, how to apply and how to find merit scholarships.


Every college uses some form of a college evaluation sheet or matrix to assess/grade the application you submit.  Now more than ever, you’ll need to use your ENTIRE college application to share every compelling window into your life.   This is a four-hour crash course led by David Reynaldo, founder of College Zoom, a top-rated full- service college application consultancy, whose clients are generally admitted to one of their top 3 hoped-for colleges. This crash course teaches you some great strategies in four jam packed hours on a Minimum Day at the high schools!  You’ll learn how best to approach and flesh out every section of your application in order to bring YOU to life for the admission officer. 

The course is open to all PVPHS & PVHS Class of 2021 students and will be presented online via Zoom.    

Sample topics include:

Topic 1: College Evaluation Sheets:  How what you write affects how you’re rated.

Topic 2: Activity sheet: Most people undersell themselves because the activity sheet prints out differently for admissions officers than it looks when you complete it.

Topic 3: Main Essay and Supplemental Essays: Sharing the right windows into your life maximizes your chances of success.

Topic 4: College Matching (with a twist): Learn how to change your odds of acceptance, don’t simply accept them.

Attending Out of State Colleges presented by James Gilbey, Regional Representative of Southern California at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Annie Mills, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admission at De Paul University. Mr. Gilbey and Ms. Mills will discuss the benefits of going to an out of state college, the myths and the realities of going out of state and the cost opportunities.

How to Complete the FAFSA presented by Jessica Medina, Associate Director, Outreach of Financial Aid at University of Southern California. Ms. Medina will present an a detailed information about how to complete the 2020-2021 FAFSA which opens on October 1.


The CSU​:

  • is the nation’s largest four-year public university, ​​with 23 campuses and eight off-campus centers.
  • educates the most ethnically, economically and ​academically diverse student body in the nation.
  • is renowned for the quality of its teaching and preparing job-ready graduates.
  • educates approximately 482,000 students.
  • employs more than 53,000 faculty and staff.
  • ​stretches 800 miles from Humboldt in the north to San Diego in the south.
  • has conferred degrees on more than 3.8 million alumni.
  • ​turns 60 years old in 2020, celebrating six decades of readying graduates to fuel California’s economy.


Please join us on Oct. 14th @ 6:30pm as Cailin White, Outreach and School Relations Counselor from Cal State Dominguez Hills, presents an overview of the CSU SYSTEM. Cal State colleges are public universities that share the same governing board, however they differ due to their locations, sizes, majors and percentage of commuter students. You will gain a better understanding of what makes certain campuses unique, the most popular majors, freshmen retention rates, impaction and much more.

Many students choose to attend Community College and transfer to a four year university.  Veronica Palafox, Student Support Specialist and Susan Polnisch, Counselor, Outreach and School Relations of El Camino College will discuss the benefits of attending Community College, both academic and financial.  


Learn about the opportunities/advantages of a 2-year community college/ priority transfer college option. Any student thinking of applying to any California Public College should learn about priority and guaranteed transfer opportunities available through the Community College Transfer program. 


Seniors through freshmen and their parents, are all encouraged to attend!!  Learn about the South Bay Promise which can cover enrollment fees and additional services and counseling for up to two years! The presentation will cover how a student can qualify for the South Bay Promise, what the enrollment steps are and the benefits of the two-year community college experience. 


Overview of California State University Application is presented by Cailin White, Outreach & School Relations at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Ms. White will go through the CSU application in detail.


Cal State Apply is a Centralized Application Service (CAS) that simplifies the process of applying to California State University (CSU) programs. Students start by selecting the programs they wish to apply to, then submit one application that includes all necessary materials. Once received by Cal State Apply, an application and materials are transmitted to all of the selected programs/campuses. 


It seems straightforward, however we will have the expertise of Cailin White, to go line by line through the Cal State Application.  Be certain to have started the application, and come with your questions which can be addressed that night!