Palos Verdes High School

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CEEB Code: 052358 PVPUSD

Counselor Letter of Recommendation Process

Gayle Carpenter Associate Principal | 310-378-8471 Ext. 204 |
Mrs. Paula Stapleton | Gr. 9-12: A-Da | Ext: 220 |
Ms. Megan Lichter | Gr. 9-12: De-H | Ext: 246 |
Ms. Kristin Nelson | Gr. 9-12: I-Mc | Ext: 293 | |
Mrs. Merika McHugh | Gr. 9-12: Me-R | Ext: 217 |
Ms. Heidi Shulman | Gr. 9-12: S-Z | Ext: 216 |


How to Request a Counselor Letter of Recommendation

Deadlines to request a letter of recommendation from your Counselor or a Teacher:

September 28th 2018 – Early Decision or Early Action

November 2nd 2018 – All other Applications



Step 1: List the colleges you are applying to on the front of your senior packet and complete the checklist. To find out if you need a letter of recommendation for a college you must visit their website and check admissions requirements. (UC’s and CSU’s do not need or accept Letters of Recommendation)

Step 2: Sign on to Naviance à CLICK Colleges I am applying toà CLICK the + button to add colleges to your application listà search the college name à select the application type and how you are submitting your application CLICK Add Application.  Please make sure your Naviance list of colleges matches the list on your packet. Please DO NOT request transcript or test scores via Naviance. You must order transcripts as directed below.  WE DO NOT SEND test scores, you must order them from College Board (SAT) or ACT directly.

Step 3: If you are ONLY applying to UC and CSU schools you DO NOT need a Letter of Recommendation.

If you are only applying to UC’s and CSU’s: SKIP to Step 9 (Lucky you!)

Step 4: If you are using the Common Application to apply to schools, register with Common Application and create a username and password.  (Do not forget your username/password.) Add the colleges you are applying to the My College list on your Common Application account. If you do not do this your letters cannot be sent to your common application schools electronically!

Step 5: In your common application account go to the My Colleges tab CLICK My Recommenders and FERPA. Under FERPA release authorization CLICK release authorization link. Read and follow the prompts asking if you agree to allow your records to be released (ie transcripts and letters). It is our strong recommendation that you DO waive access to review your recommendations. Sign your name and date the release of authorization to complete the FERPA release. (Speak with your counselor if you have any questions or concerns about this!)

Step 6: Sign on to Naviance à CLICK Colleges I am applying toà In the Pink Banner CLICK   Match Accounts à input your Common Application email address and date of birth  CLICK Match Accounts. Your Naviance and Common Application are now matched allowing teachers and counselors to send their letters electronically.

Step 7: If you need a Counselor Letter of Recommendation: CLICK About Meà CLICK My Surveys à Surveys Not Started à Counselor Letter of Recommendation àAnswer each question thoroughlyà CLICK Save and Come Back to save information.  CLICK  Save and Finish when have completed the entire questionnaire.

***You MUST complete this questionnaire, including a parent Letter of Recommendation, if you want a letter from your counselor!***

Step 8: Put a copy of your resume in the senior packet.

Step 9: There is a purple Request for Transcript form in your packet.  Complete the Request for Transcript Form:  Fill out your personal information. Indicate how many transcripts you need electronically and how many you need mailed. (Not sure about electronic submission or mail? see step 10.)

***Most UC’s and CSU’s do not need an initial transcript but we recommend you check each campus requirement individually to determine if you need to send a transcript.

Step 10: To determine whether your colleges accepts electronic documents: Sign on to Naviance à CLICK Colleges I am applying to à In the Submissions Type column, check for the symbols below:

And = Documents can be sent electronically

 = This school does not accept electronic documents. All documents must be mailed.

Step 11: Option 1: Pay for transcripts in the student store:  Bring the Transcript Request form and $5 for each transcript requested to the student store.  Put the Transcript Request Form, stamped “paid”, in your senior packet.

Step 12: For each school that does not accept electronic documents ( ) you must provide a 9x12 manila envelope addressed to the college admissions office with 3 stamps. The return address on each envelope needs to be:

Palos Verdes High School

600 Cloyden Road

Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274

Step 13: There is a PVHS Secondary School Report Form (SSR) in your packet.  Complete the Student Portion of the SSR including a parent signature and put it in your senior packet.

Step 14: Turn your completed senior packet into the Counseling Office. If you need a letter of recommendation your counselor will call you in for a senior interview prior to writing your letter.

Congratulations on completing this portion of your application process!!!!



Senior LOR Packet: Frequently Asked Questions

When is it due?
If you have an Early Application deadline (Early Action, Early Decision, Restrictive Early Action) you must have the packet in by September 28th 2018.  The deadline for all other applications is November 2nd 2018.
Why should I waive my rights on Naviance?
If you waive your rights, your counselor and teacher can write an honest and comprehensive letter of recommendation.  Most students (if not all) will waive their rights.  If you do not waive your rights, your counselor and teachers are limited in what they can say.  For example, they might just stick with the facts and not write about all the amazing things you’ve done in school.  Colleges prefer to see that you waived your rights.
***Even if you do not waive your rights you will not be able to see your letter of recommendation until you matriculate from your college.***
What do I need to do before filling out the counselor letter of recommendation packet?
You should have a list of colleges that you are planning on applying to.  If you are using the Common App, you need to create a username and password for Common App.  Decide if you will be applying early to any schools.  Create a resume.
What is the Common Application?
A standardized undergraduate admission application you can use to apply to over 450 college campuses. This allows you to fill out one application for multiple colleges and saves you time. For more information or to access the application go to:
What are UC and CSU schools?
The University of California (UC) schools are: UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC Merced, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Santa Cruz. **For more information on UC’s or to access the application go to:
The California State Universities (CSU) are: Cal Poly Pomona, Cal Maritime, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CSU Bakersfield, CSU Channel Islands, CSU Chico, CSU Dominguez Hills, CSU East Bay, CSU Fresno, CSU Fullerton, CSU Long Beach, CSU Los Angeles, CSU Monterey Bay, CSU Northridge, CSU Sacramento, CSU San Bernardino, CSU San Marcos, CSU Stanislaus, Humboldt State, San Diego State, San Francisco State, San Jose State and Sonoma State.     
** For more information on the CSU’s or to access the application go to:

What is my class size?

See the Secondary School Report in this senior packet for the senior class size

Does PVHS Rank Students?

            No per district policy we do NOT rank

How do I request a teacher letter of recommendation?

See the How to Request a Teacher Letter of Recommendation page in this packet for instructions.

When using the common application what is my counselors name and title?

            All counselors at PV High titles are: Counselor

            See the Secondary School Report in your packet for your counselors name and email address

How do I send my ACT and SAT scores?

You must send them directly from the SAT or ACT websites to the colleges you are applying to. It is your responsibility to send your test scores, counselors are not able to send them on your behalf.

            To send the SAT scores go to

            To send ACT scores go to

How do I pay for transcripts?         

There is a purple transcript order form in your senior packet.  Once you have filled in the necessary information you will pay for the transcripts in the student store or online. Transcripts are $5 for an official transcript and $3 for an unofficial transcript. Once you have paid for the transcripts return the form to your senior packet to hand in to your counselor.