College financial aid form deadline is March 2 / scholarships — including VCCF Jan. 29 deadline


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 To help keep track of the maze of deadlines and applications, Ojai Unified School District is providing important links and helpful information on applications, financial aid workshops, scholarship opportunities and college air links.



The Ojai Unified School District College and Career Center is open for appointments via zoom Monday through Friday, 2 to 3 p.m. Send a message to Sarah Escobar to request an appointment. Parents and students can also join the OUSD College and Career Center ParentSquare group for the latest updates and information. Call 805-640-4343, ext. 3, to learn how to join that group.


For ANY financial aid, families MUST fill out "FAFSA" form by March 2, 2021
— the sooner, the better

Families who want to be eligible for any type of financial aid need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form:

Deadlines for many state financial aid programs: March 2, 2021 (date postmarked). 


Cal Grant also requires submission of a school-certified GPA by March 2, 2021. 


For additional community college Cal Grants: Sept. 2, 2021 (date postmarked) 

 Ventura College is hosting multiple virtual workshops to assist students with the FAFSA and California Dream Act applications. These workshops are free and open to the public. Students do not need to apply to Ventura College to attend. The workshop wlll be held on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. Click on the link to register.  Additional dates will be announced soon.

Ojai Unified School District has a "College and Career Ready" handbook that can be found online at:

 OUSD also has an excellent site for information about colleges scholarships, college visits, financial aid information AND MORE at:


Financial aid information

The Financial Aid Nights held last month provided important information, presented by college financial aid experts from Ventura College, offering financial aid information for students applying to all institutions, from college to vocational school. For those who missed the presentation, the presentation materials can be seen in English and Spanish at:

Click on the top bar for "Financial Aid - Scholarships," then in the next window, scroll down on the right-hand column and click on "Presentations & Materials."

The Ventura College financial aid staff can also answer questions for students applying for financial aid or filling at the FAFSA form for other institutions. They can be reached Monday through Thursday at: 805-289-6369.


Scholarship information

The Ventura County Community Foundation Scholarship Program is open for seniors applying to both community colleges and four-year universities. The application is available on  and the

deadline to submit the application is 10 p.m. Jan. 29. 

Because this application requires letters of recommendation, the OUSD college counselors recommend students get in their requests for letters before the winter break to give teachers, counselors, etc., time to write the recommendations.

To view scholarship databases for all institutions, visit: and scroll down near the end to "Other scholarships."


Ventura County Community College District Information —


Students can attend Ventura College FREE for two years!


 Community College Apply information line: (877) 247-4836 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ventura College: (805) 289-6457



Students can attend Ventura College FREE for two years through VC Promise, available to students who are first-year community college students who take a full load of courses.  (VC Promise is not based on income.)

Ventura College Foundation’s first-year VC Promise waives tuition fees for qualified first-year community college students who can now attend two consecutive school years at Ventura College tuition-free.

 Visit the Ventura College Office of Financial Aid's website or contact them at 805-289-6369 for more information. For more information on VC Promise, visit:

Ventura College also offers a "First Year Experience" program that provides free college counseling and priority course registration to first-year community college students. For more information on the First Year Experience, visit: To sign up for the First Year Experience, call: 805-289-6438 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To help students and their families make important decisions about investing time and money in a college education, the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has created a website called Salary Surfer.

Visit it at:
It provides comparative information about the earnings of recent California community college graduates who received an award in a specific program of study. Salary Surfer uses the aggregated earnings of graduates from a five-year period to provide an estimate on the potential wages to be earned two and five years after receiving a certificate or degree in certain disciplines. 
This tool also provides information on which colleges offer programs in those specific disciplines. Salary Surfer does not contain information about wages earned by community college students who transfer to a four-year institution. While it is useful to know the potential earnings after receiving a certificate or degree, other important considerations, such as personal interest and skill, should be used in selecting an educational program. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have additional questions or need more information about the data and methodology used to develop Salary Surfer.


University of California and California State University application deadlines 


For information on applying for spring 2022 at the University of California visit


For information on applying for CSU campuses, visit:



California DREAM Act for students who are not U.S. citizens

If you’re a noncitizen without a Social Security card or had one issued through the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, you should fill out the California Dream Act Application found at Contact the California Student Aid Commission or your financial aid administrator for more information.

 More student scholarship, loans and grants information

The U.S. Department of Education has excellent information on student loans and grants at:


Charlie Maynard, co-founder of a free scholarship search service, provides a free platform, called “Going Merry ( ) to help students find and apply for private scholarships, college financial aid and government grants, in one place.

According to the founder, some 350,000 students and 7,500 school counselors use the service.


It also has links to:


— the “Common App,” which allows students to use one application to apply to multiple colleges/universities:


— MyIntuition ( ), which provides an online calculator to give students a financial aid estimate based on six simple questions. 


— Fair Opportunity Project ( ) provides free college application and financial aid guides to every public school in America.


To read Maynard’s June 30, 2020 New York Times Op-Ed, “Billions in College Aid Hiding in Plain Sight,” visit:


Students who want to be eligible to apply to a California public university, (UC or CSU),
need to take "a-g" courses in high school and get a grade of C or above in those classes

Page 12 of the Nordhoff High School college handbook lists the "A-G" list, which lists the courses that University of California and California State University schools want students to take to be eligible to apply for their schools. The list notes that many other universities have similar requirements. Because the grades for those classes cannot be below a "C," students who receive a D or F in any of the "A-G" courses can make them up through summer school or other online courses offered through OUSD or elsewhere. It is important for those seeking admission to any UC or CSU to make up the classes for which the student has earned a D or F.

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OUSD 2019 Dashboard for College and Career Readiness 


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Ojai Unified School District and individual Ojai public schools' "Dashboard" by the California Department of Education for 2019:

En Español: Haga clic en idioma español:

(Haga clic en la parte superior derecha para "Select language" /  Seleccionar idioma.")

Information on the Dashboard can be found at:

It includes this definition:

What is the California School Dashboard?

"The California School Dashboard (Dashboard) is an online tool that shows how local educational agencies and schools are performing on the state and local indicators included in California's school accountability system. The Dashboard is a key part of major shifts in California K-12 schools, changes that have raised the bar for student learning, transformed testing and placed the focus on equity for all students. The Dashboard provides information that schools can use to improve."
The website also states:

"The California School Dashboard goes beyond test scores alone to provide a more complete picture of how schools and districts are meeting the needs of all students."



 Number of OUSD students meeting UC/CSU course requirements for
2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19


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* Ed-Data — an education data site that provides statistics for all manner of student achievement, resources, salaries, staffing, etc. — has a graph that shows the number of Ojai Unified School District students who satisfy the minimum requirements to be accepted into a California State University or University of California — two of the most economical and best college systems in the country.

The latest available data from 2018-19 show that 47.2% of all seniors in Ojai Unified — 77 in 2018-19 — met the CSU/UC requirements, down from 88.8% (150) in 2016-17.

The percentage of socioeconomically disadvantaged students in Ojai Unified who met the UC/CSU requirements in 2018-19 was 35.5% (33). The percentage in 2016-17 was 84.6% (88).

To view the graphs and see how different groups of students perform, visit:

Click under "College and Career Readiness."

Ed-Data is a partnership with the California Department of Education, EdSource, and the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team/California School Information Services, designed to offer educators, parents and the public quick and timely access to comprehensive data about K-12 education in California.


In comparison, Ventura Unified School District had 60.5% of seniors — 689 — who met UC/CSU course requirements in 2018-19 and 49.1% (570) in 2016-17.

The percentage of socioeconomically disadvantages VUSD students who met CSU/UC requirements was 61.25% (391) in 2018-19 versus 32.9% (201) in 2016-17.


 Number of Nordhoff High School students meeting UC/CSU course requirements
for 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19


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Ed-Data ( breaks down the numbers and percentages by specific school, as well as by student groups.

In looking at the Nordhoff High School graph — where most OUSD seniors are — the students who met the UC/CSU requirements in 2018-19 (the latest year Ed-Data has numbers for) was 52% (77 students); in 2017-18, it was 52.3% (58 students); and in 2016-17, it was 89.8% (141 students).


The numbers and percentages of socioeconomically disadvantaged Nordhoff High School students who meet the UC/CSU requirements in 2018-19 were 40.7% (33 students); in 2017-18, 41% (34 students); and in 2016-17 85.3% (81 students).











Early Academic Outreach Program helps more students prepare for higher education

UC Santa Barbara has a video on its Early Academic Outreach Program to help high schools get more students to prepare for higher education:


Reports and articles on California student readiness for higher education 

• California State Auditor released a well-publicized report, released in February 2017, called "College Readiness of California’s High School Students The State Can Better Prepare Students for College by Adopting New Strategies and Increasing Oversight." It can be viewed at:

• The University of California provides online courses to assist students meet the A-G requirements called UCScout:

• News organization CalMatters published an article in February 2020 about disparities in education:

• The Ventura County Star reported in April 2017 on the few numbers of high school students in Ventura County meeting minimum public university admission standards:

• To view the California Department of Education College/Career Readiness Calculations visit: 

 • To view the California Department of Education College / Career Measures Reports and Data for Ojai Unified School District, visit:



* Editor’s note:

The Ojai Valley News contacted a representative for the Ed-Data Partnership on Oct. 27 regarding the accuracy of its data.

Ed-Data is a partnership with the California Department of Education, EdSource, and the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team/California School Information Services, designed to offer educators, parents and the public quick and timely access to comprehensive data about K-12 education in California.

In an Oct. 27 response, an Ed-Data representative wrote:

“The data on Ed-Data come from the California Department of Education (CDE). School districts report their four-year adjusted cohort graduation data to the CDE through the CALPADS (California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System) data system and the school district must certify that the data are correct before the department releases the data publicly. 


“I compared the data on the Ed-Data graph for Ojai Unified to what is on the Ed-Data graph for Ojai Unified to see what California Department of Education (CDE) DataQuest website and they match exactly:


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“On both DataQuest and Ed-Data, the data for Nordhoff High also match exactly for the three years 2016-17, 17-18, and 18-19. The data for Foothill Technology High School also match exactly on both sites. I don't know why Foothill Technology's report only shows one student (0.5%) as having met the UC/CSU course requirements in 2018-19, but that appears to be what the district reported and certified to the CDE. 


“So to answer your question, we do not believe there is any error or inaccuracy in the graduation rate data for Ojai Unified or Nordhoff High on Ed-Data. These are the data that the district reported and certified to the California Department of Education.”



Also, on Oct. 28, the administrator for the California Department of Education, Analyst, Measurement & Accountability Reporting Division reported that he personally “confirmed that the 2017-18 and 2018-19 counts posted on DataQuest (the California Department of Education’s web-based data reporting system for publicly reporting information about California students, teachers, and schools) match the 15.1 CALPADS report for this LEA (Local Educational Agency — Ojai Unified School District).
“Prior to 2017-18, these calculations were performed outside of CALPADS and there is not a 4-year cohort report in CALPADS against which to verify the data; however, the 2016-17 counts posted on DataQuest correspond to the data CDE (California Department of Education) extracted from CALPADS to calculate the rates.”