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Navigating Senior Year


Is Your Senior on Track to Graduate?

To ensure your senior student is on track to earn their high school diploma in June, you may view your child’s current graduation status via the Parent Portal by selecting “Graduation Status” under the “Grades” tab.

The Graduation Status is comprised of five columns.  The first and second columns list the subject requirements and maximum number of credits needed per subject to earn a diploma.  The third column, “Credit’s completed,” lists the credits your child completed by the end of their junior year.  The fourth column lists the credits that your child is currently enrolled in and needs to complete for the fall semester, and the fifth column represents the credits that will need to be completed during your child’s final semester, spring.

By the end of junior year, students should have completed 170 credits to be considered “on track” to earn a diploma.  Students who have fewer than 170 credits are considered “at-risk.”   Students “at-risk” of earning their diploma will most likely be enrolled in one or more of the following:  6 or 7 classes, the Academic Intervention class or the CUSD Online Credit Recovery Program.   

Please note that the Graduation Status reflects graduation requirements only, not college admissions requirements. To ensure that your child is meeting college admission requirements please refer to the “Grades” tab and select “College Entrance Requirements.”

Please be advised that your child must pass all required courses indicated in the fourth and fifth columns under “Graduation Status” in order to earn their diploma and participate in the commencement ceremony on June.  We encourage you and your child to monitor grades via School Loop to ensure success.  If you have questions or concerns regarding your child’s graduation status or college admissions status, please contact your Academic Advisor.

Thank you,

Dana Hills High School Guidance Staff

Important Information for Seniors

College Application Deadlines

Both the California State University (CSU) and the University of California (UC) application filing periods have opened. 

October 1, 2017               Begin submitting CSU applications

November 1, 2017           Begin submitting UC applications

November 30, 2017         Deadline to submit CSU and UC                                                               Applications

November 1, 2017           Early Action Deadline.  

                                         Please see your Academic Advisor                                                           ASAP.


Letters of Recommendation

The Common Application (as well as many other private and out of state schools) as well as some scholarships will require you to obtain letters of recommendation from counselors, teachers and other professionals who know you well.  Be sure to give your recommender plenty of time to write your letter.  Please adhere to the following deadlines in submitting your letter of recommendation packet to your academic advisor.  Make sure the packet is neat and that you have answered all of the questions thoughtfully and completely.

Click here for Letter of Recommendation packet


Senior Scoop and Scholarships

You can visit the Dana Hills website on a regular basis to read the Senior Scoop and find opportunities to help you finance your college education.  Pay close attention to deadlines.  Please see your Academic Advisor to obtain a local scholarship application package. 

Click here for Local Scholarship application.

Click here for the Senior Scoop!


Saddleback College visits

Beginning soon, a representative from Saddleback College will be available at DHHS outside of the guidance office at lunch every Friday to answer any questions you may have regarding concurrent enrollment, Freshman Advantage Program, Counseling 100,  the application process etc.


Saddleback College Counseling 100 (College Success)

This course is offered on the DHHS campus during the spring semester.  It meets once weekly and must be taken as a 6th class.  Students must be on track to graduate and not need these credits.  It is designed to introduce students to college and life success skills.  It focuses on the attitudes, habits and behaviors of successful college students.

College Planning Checklist


  •  Narrow your list of colleges to 5 to 10.  Meet with a counselor about them and, if you've not yet done so, download college applications and financial aid forms.  Plan to visit as many of these colleges as possible.
  • Create a master list or calendar that includes:
    • tests you'll take and their fees, dates, and registration deadlines.
    • college application due dates.
    • financial aid application forms required and their deadlines.  (Note: Aid applications may be due before college applications.)
    • other materials you'll need (recommendations, transcripts, etc.).
    • your high school's own application processing deadlines.
  • If you can't afford application or test fees, a counselor can help you request a fee waiver.
  • If you have not had your test scores sent to the college to which you are applying, be sure to contact the College Board or ACT to have your scores sent.


  • Try to finalize your college choices
  • Prepare Early Decision, Early Action, or rolling admissions applications as soon as possible.
  • Ask for counselor or teacher recommendations if you need them.  Give each teacher or counselor an outline of your academic record and your extracurricular activities.  For each recommendation, provide a stamped, addressed envelope, and any college forms required.
  • If you're submitting essays, write first drafts and ask teachers and others to read them.  If you're applying for Early Decision, finish the essays for that application now.
  • If you have not had your test scores send to the college to which you are applying, be sure to contact the College Board or ACT to have them sent.


  • November 1-15: For Early Decision admissions, colleges may require test scores and applications between these dates.
  • Complete at least one college application by Thanksgiving.
  • Counselors send transcripts to colleges.  Give counselors the proper forms at least two weeks before colleges require them.


  • As you finish and send your applications and essays, be sure to keep copies.
  • If your college wants to see seventh-semester grades, be sure you give the form to your counselor.


  • If you apply to colleges online, be sure to have your high school send a transcript--it goes to colleges separately, and by mail.


  • No senioritis, please!  Accepting colleges do look at second-semester senior grades.


  • Keep active in school.  If you are wait-listed, the college will want to know what you havea accomplished between the time you applied and learned of the decision.


  • You should receive acceptance letters and financial aid offers by mid-April.  If you've not done so yet, visit your final college before accepting.  As soon as you decide, notify your counselor of your choice.
  • If you have questions about housing offers, talk to your counselor or call the college.


  • May 1:  Colleges cannot require a deposit or commitment to attend before May 1.  By that postmarked date, you must inform every college of your acceptance or rejection of the offer of admission and/or financial aid. (Questions? Talk to your counselor.)
  • Send your deposit to one college only.
  • Wait-listed by a college?  If you will enroll if accepted, tell the admissions director your intent and ask how to strengthen your application.  Need financial aid?  Ask whether funds will be available if you're accepted.
  • Work with a counselor to resolve any admissions or financial aid problems.


  • Ask your high school to send a final transcript to your college.


Source:  The College Board

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Capistrano Unified School District prohibits discrimination, harassment, intimidation, and bullying in all district activities, programs, and employment based upon actual or perceived gender, gender identity, gender expression, race, ethnicity, color, religion, ancestry, nationality, national origin, ethnic group identification, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, pregnancy, age, physical or mental disability or on the basis of a person’s association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. Reference: AR 1312.3, BP 1312.3 and BP 5183.

Rich Montgomery, Executive Director, Human Resource Services/Compliance
33122 Valle Road, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
(949) 234-9200

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