Portland Public Schools
Portland, Oregon

Image of Lincoln logoLincoln High School

Home of the Cardinals

1600 SW Salmon St | Portland, OR 97205
Phone: (503) 916-5200 | Fax: (503) 916-2700

Senior College and Career Planning

Senior Year

A Senior College News & Calendar is updated with news and calendar information.

Key Resources for Senior Year College Planning at Lincoln

  • Each senior gets a copy of the College Planning Handbook when counselors present information on post LHS planning in senior English classes in the fall. This handbook guides students through the actual application process. The center pages of this handbook must be filled out and given to the counselor about 3 weeks before their college application deadline. See the Senior College News & Calendar for deadlines.
  • See the LHS College Flow chart to help map your progress toward college applications.
  • Naviance is the online website that should be used by all LHS students and their families to organize their post LHS planning, help them search out college and financial aid options, and organize their data (resume, standardized test scores, GPA etc).

Student Athletes

Other Resources

  • Check out College Bound, a college admissions newsletter that Lincoln subscribes to. Example articles: "College Essay Writing Tips" or "Coolest Colleges"
  • A list of helpful College Tips articles have been collected which have been previously posted on the counseling website.
  • Get to know schools - if you haven't yet, now's the time! Visit school in person and virtually.
  • Our Counseling Center parent volunteers are in the counseling center every school day from 8:00 to 3:30 and are there to help our students through the application process, too. They are a helpful resource for one-on-one help with the process. They usually have chocolate, if you ask!
  • Admissions: New York Times sub-section solely about College admissions and planning.
  • A list of local independent college counselors (updated November 2011) is available, but please check them out for yourself. These advisors are not endorsed nor have they been screened by Lincoln High School.
  • Links and information about SAT and ACT.
  • Not sure about career directions? Check out the LHS Career Center web site.

Schedule of the College Application Process: Deadlines for applications and requests for recommendations are important to track - see the College Planning Handbook.

Application Requirements

  • Counselor Recommendation (also called the Secondary School Report by some colleges): Our counselors need time to create these recommendations so it is critical to get materials to them by the deadlines. The counselor draws on many sources to write letters of recommendations for the students. One of the most important sources comes directly from the students and are the center pages of the College PlanningHandbook which includes a general questionnaire, a resume, a parent brag page and evaluation form to give to 5-6 teachers (different than a teacher recommendation that might go directly to a school) to give the counselor a brief evaluation of the student. This information gives the counselor a more complete picture of each student to write the best letter of recommendation. Students may also download these pages and complete them during the summer between their junior and senior year, especially if they have a demanding course load or extracurricular schedule in the fall.
  • Teacher Recommendation: If you need a teacher recommendation to be sent directly to a school, you should ask the teacher(s) (very politely) at least 6-8 weeks before the recommendation is needed by the school. In addition, you may give evaluation forms (short forms in the College Planning Handbook) to your teachers that they will return to the counselors to give a better overall picture of you as a student. You may need to specify which teachers are writing letters of recommendation in the My Colleges portion of Naviance.
  • Common Application: Most private schools applications are completed through the Common Application online. With the online application, the student only needs to enter their data once and it is shared with all the schools they select for application. Note that many private schools have supplements to the Common Application, so there is still specific additional things that may be required. If needed, the Counseling Center Fax # is 503-916-2731.
  • Student Essays: Students should spend time on their college essay(s) and tell the schools something about themselves that they can not glean from the rest of the application. Students should be aware that most schools require supplemental essays and students should be prepared to write several short essays, too.
  • Transcripts: Students can request transcripts to be sent to their school by submitting a blue slip in the Counseling Center.

    The transcript is the official record of all courses taken and credit earned. It is maintained by the school and is updated twice a year with grade reports in February and June. It is this transcript that colleges and/or employers utilize when they evaluate the student’s academic record. Requests to have an official transcript sent to colleges and/or employers are to be made to the counseling office secretary or the counselor; the first five (5) are free. Thereafter, transcripts cost $1.00 each. Transcripts are released only after a student’s/parent’s permission is received.

Information about the Oregon University System and other West Coast Schools

  • Check out http://www.ous.edu/ for information about all the Oregon Universities.
  • Do you want to attend a state school outside of Oregon but are worried about the high cost of out-of-state tuition? Or are you concerned that you won’t be accepted as a nonresident? WUE may be your answer! WUE is the Western Undergraduate Exchange, a program that allows students in Western states to enroll in many two- and four-year colleges at a reduced tuition (150% of in-state tuition, which is considerably less than nonresident tuition). Their web site is http://wiche.edu/wue .
  • Visit Oregon Universities. Check out the schedule for visits on Naviance and in the Counseling Office for the Oregon University System schools.

Parent Information

  • The counselors also present Senior Parent Night in late Sept/early Oct which gives senior parents and guardians a guideline of the senior year, including college applications, financial aid, graduation plans, senior portraits etc. Links to: Slide show from 2012 Parent Night, Class of 2013 Josten Information, Parent Brag Sheet.

Financial Aid

• Financial Aid Night: Seniors and their parents or guardians are invited to attend Lincoln’s Financial Aid Night to learn how colleges determine financial need, understand the application process and become aware of upcoming deadlines. Application forms including FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and the CSS Profile will be introduced. This event is typically held in December. Check the Lincoln calendar or visit the College & Career Corner in Counseling to learn the date.

FAFSA, the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, can be filed starting January 1st of your senior year and should be filed as early as possible. You don't have to wait for your W2s but can do a best estimate based on your family's previous year tax return and amend it once your parents file their current year federal taxes. The earlier you apply for aid, the better your chances of getting aid.

CSS Profile is a FAFSA follow-up tool used by about 400 colleges to better understand a family’s financial position before they offer financial aid from their institution. Visit your college’s financial aid website to learn if they require your family to submit the CSS Profile.

Learn More

SALT is a free, nonprofit-backed educational program that helps every student who wants a college degree to get it in a financially responsible way. SALT’s neutral advice, practical information, and interactive lessons help students gain money knowledge for college and beyond, keeping them on the path to success.

FinAid was established in the fall of 1994 as a public service. The site is a free, comprehensive, informative and objective source of student financial aid information, advice and tools.

Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) is a nonprofit student loan guaranty agency interested in promoting financial literacy and provide resources to support student loan borrowers to successfully repay their loans. Their foundation annually produces the Oregon Opportunities: Preparing for Colleges Guide and Workbook, available online or in Lincoln’s College & Career Corner in the Counseling Center.

Federal Student Aid, an office of the U.S. Department of Education, is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation. This office provides more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 13 million students paying for college. Their website is a good introduction to federal grants, work-study and loans.

Looking for Scholarships?

• Like or visit the Beyond Lincoln Scholarship Facebook page, updated by College & Career Corner volunteers.

• Log in to your Naviance Family Connection portfolio to find scholarships. Naviance > college tab > scholarships & money > scholarship list or scholarship match.

• More than 3800 national, regional and local scholarships are listed in Oregon Career Information System (CIS). If you haven’t used your Lincoln subscription to CIS yet, stop by the College & Career Corner in Counseling to get the user name and password. Oregon CIS > education tab > Financial Aid Sort.

• Oregon’s Office of Student Access & Completion (OSAC) administers scholarships and grants for Oregon students. Apply online to OSAC by early bird deadline of February 15 to be considered for one of eight $500 early bird scholarships. The actual deadline is March 1.

• Consider using one of the big national scholarship databases. You create a profile so they can “match” you to scholarships that might be a good fit for you. These services are free for students because they generally sell your profile information to educational partners for marketing purposes. This can lead to a lot of e-mail in your in box, so consider setting up an e-mail just for scholarship search. Alternatively, look for the “opt out” check box when you register at a scholarship search site and indicate that you do not want communication from other organizations. Typically, you can change your privacy preferences at these websites. Examples include fastweb.com, scholarships.com, meritaid.com and CollegeNet’s Mach 25.

No post graduation plans?

  • In Feb or March, seniors who have not requested a transcript and/or told their counselors of their post graduation plans, will be called into the counseling center. Our volunteers and/or counselors will check to see if the senior has post secondary school plans. If the senior does not have plans, our volunteers and/or counselors will offer some guidance and help while respecting all students' choices and confidentiality.
  • Not sure about career directions? Check out the LHS Career Center web site.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How many schools should I apply to? Most private counselors recommend students apply to 3-8 colleges: 1-2 safety schools that they would be happy to attend, 1-3 schools they have a good shot at acceptance, and 1-3 reach schools. Your mileage may vary.
  • Does my school have my LHS transcript? Go to Naviance and
    • click "my colleges"
    • go to "college applying to"
    • click "view detailed status"

It will tell student whether counselor recommendation and transcript is confirmed (received) or requested. (if transcript receive, student can infer school profile etc received). Further down it may tell a student if teacher recommendation is "in progress" if teachers are doing recommendation via Naviance. Most teachers forget to click that they are done.. so take home message: kids need to check with teachers if recommendations are done.


Helpful College Planning Links

College Tips

Below is a list of helpful "College Tips" articles which have been previously posted on the counseling website. You may download them in pdf format.