College & Career Development
Why is it important to focus on College & Career Readiness?
The more students can connect what they are learning now to their future, the more prepared they will be for success. Through their planning and learning experiences in high school, students will be exposed to all post-secondary options and learn how to plan for their futures.
Most importantly, students need to develop self-confidence and self-advocacy skills required to persevere when things don’t go as planned.
- Options After High School
- College Application Process
- Transcript Request
- Counseling and Career Center Calendar
- FAFSA & Financial Aid
- NCAA Eligibility
- Scholarship Information
- College Virtual Visits
- Standardized Testing
- Job and Community Service Resources
Options After High School
College Application Process
How do I apply
All applications should be completed and submitted online:
- Wisconsin Technical Colleges: www.wtcsystem.edu
- Wisconsin Public 2 year & 4 year schools: www.apply.wisconsin.edu
- Wisconsin Private Colleges: www.wisconsinprivatecolleges.org
- *Follow specific or out of state College/University application procedures*
Sending your ACT or SAT
- If you did not have your ACT or SAT scores sent directly to the institutions when you took the exam, you can order the scores at www.act.org or www.collegeboard.com for an additional fee.
- Scores have to be sent directly from ACT or SAT. Oshkosh West will NOT send out these scores.
Sending your Transcripts
- Order your Official electronic Transcript and Letters of Recommendation through Parchment. Log in at www.parchment.com. There is a $4.15 fee for each electronic transcript and $0.00 for Letters of Recommendations. Payment are made online. Make sure to give your Letters of Recommendation to Mrs. Whittaker to upload to Parchment.
College Entrance Requirements:
|Math||3 - 4 Credits (Algebra, Geom., Alg2)|
|Science||3 - 4 Credits (with Lab)|
|Social Studies||3 - 4 Credits|
|Academic Electives||4 Credits|
|Total||17 Academic Credits (UW System Minimum)|
Note: Many colleges require 2 consecutive years of the same World Language
*Always check specific school's entrance requirements*
The College Essay
Tips for Writing an Essay
- Write about yourself
- A great history paper on the Civil War might be very well written, but it doesn’t tell me anything about the writer. Regardless of the topic, make sure you shine through your essay.
- Use your own voice
- I can tell the difference between the voice of a 40-year-old and a high school senior.
- Focus on one aspect of yourself
- If you try to cover too many topics in your essay, you’ll end up with a resume of activities and attributes that doesn’t tell me much about you as an in-depth look at one project or passion.
- Be genuine
- Don’t try to impress me, because I’ve heard it all. Just tell me what’s important to you.
- Consider a mundane topic
- Sometimes it’s the simple things in life that make the best essays. Some of my favorites have included essays that reflect on the daily subway ride to school, of what the family goldfish observes from the fishbowl perched on the family kitchen table. It doesn’t have to be a life-changing event to be interesting and informative.
- Don’t rely on “how to” books
- Use them to get your creative juices flowing, but don’t adhere too rigidly to their formulas, and definitely don’t use their example topics. While there are always exceptions, the “what my room says about me” essay is way overdone.
- Share your opinions
- Avoid opinions on anything too risky or controversial. Your essay will be read by a diverse group of individuals from a wide range of backgrounds, so try to appeal to the broadest audience possible.
- Tell a good story
- Show me why you are compassionate; don’t tell me you are. Show me that you have to overcome great difficulty; don’t start your essay with “I have overcome great difficulties.”
- Don’t repeat what is already in your application
- If you go to a performing arts school and all of your extracurricular activities and awards relate to dance, don’t write about how much you love dancing. Tell me something I couldn’t know just from reading the other parts of your application.
- Finally, don’t forget about the supplements
- The supplemental questions are very important - you should plan to spend as much time on them as you do on your essay. A well written essay won’t help if your supplement answers are sloppy and uninformative.
Edit, edit, edit!!
Do not rely on spellcheck. Simple errors can make a good essay look bad.
What is a Brag Sheet?
You may ask teachers and staff to make recommendations for universities, technical colleges, military, scholarships, employment, etc. In order to make your recommendation letter more personal and meaningful, it is important that others get to know as much as they can about you.
When asking counselors, teachers, coaches, administration for letters of recommendations, please make sure to give AT LEAST 2 weeks notice!
Please fill out the following “Brag Sheet”. You should make copies and give it to the person you asked to write a recommendation letter for you. Go ahead and brag!! This is not the place to be modest!
College Application FAQ
Commonly asked questions (and answers!) about applying to college:
Q: How/when should I do college visits?
A: Students should begin touring colleges during their junior year of high school- typically during the spring semester! You can set up a college visit by calling the college's Admission Office or by visiting the college's Admissions office website. Most colleges will have preview days set up for potential students to tour their campus, but you are always welcome to schedule a one-on-one tour with an Admission Representative.
Q: How/when do I apply for colleges?
A: The application process for most colleges begins in August/September and you should have the college applications completed by Thanksgiving! There are a number of ways to apply to colleges:
- For colleges within the UW System you will use the UW System Application
- For select Universities you may apply through the Common Application
- Most Private Universities utilize the Common Application OR their own application linked on their website
- Technical Colleges will have their own application linked on their website
Q: Do I qualify for a fee waiver?
A: Students who receive free/reduced lunch may qualify for a fee waiver for college applications as well as the ACT. Please bring proof of your free/reduced lunch status to your School Counselor and they can help you with necessary fee waivers.
Q: If I am taking a CAPP, Early College Credit, or Start College Now course, how do I get that college transcript sent?
A: All dual credit courses will show up on your high school transcript, but if you are planning on earning college credit for them, you will need to send a college transcript to each school you are applying. When applying to colleges, note the dual credit courses on your application and request a transcript from UW Oshkosh or Fox Valley Technical College by visiting their website and completing the transcript request form.
Q: I haven't taken the ACT yet- how do I do so?
A: All juniors will take the ACT test in January/February at West. If you would like to take the ACT before or after the required test at West you may sign up online. Please visit ACT.org to register or receive more information.
Q: I took the ACT but haven't sent my scores- how do I send them to colleges?
A: If you did not indicate on your ACT where you would like your scores sent, you will need to go to the ACT website (www.ACT.org) and request additional score reports to be sent. It costs roughly 15-20 dollars per school to send additional reports.
Q: Where can I find scholarship information?
A: You can find scholarships in a number of places! You can check the counseling website under the College & Career Development tab for updated scholarship opportunities! We advise you to check frequently as it is updated every time a new scholarship comes into the office. You may also wish to ask the Financial Aid office at schools in which you are applying- many colleges will have scholarship opportunities! Finally, you can look for scholarships from local clubs, churches, community organizations, and parents' places of employment!
Q: How do I fill out my FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)?
A: You cannot fill out the FAFSA until after October 1st of your senior year (using tax information from the previous year). We will have planned FAFSA assistance events for seniors and families! Check emails regularly for details and upcoming events!
Current Students and Alumni Transcript Request
Request a Transcript through Parchment
Create an account
Use an email that is different than your Oshkosh West Email.
Use the order button to order and send transcripts for a fee of $4.15
Students must sent their Final Transcript after graduation to college, technical schools, the military etc.
You must request this!
Not submitting your Final Transcript could affect your school admission and/or financial aid.
Counseling and Career Center Calendar
FAFSA & Financial Aid
College Goal Wisconsin (in person and virtual FAFSA application assistance).
What is Xello?
Xello is an all-new software that helps students create their very own, unique roadmap for future success—enabling them to discover their own personalized pathway through self-knowledge, exploration and planning. Built on a proven model for student success, Xello is aligned to Academic and Career Planning (ACP) process at Oshkosh West High School.
Students will be exploring Xello during W Hours throughout the school year.
Feel free to login to your Xello account or using your ClassLink Profile.
The NCAA, or the National Collegiate Athletic Association, has an eligibility center certifying the academic and amateur credentials of all college-bound student-athletes who wish to compete in the NCAA division I or II athletics. It is the responsibility of the student/family to complete the following:
Freshman and Sophomore Year:
- Enroll in college-preparatory courses, preferably one in each of the following areas:
- Social Studies
- Foreign Language
- Students should compare course selection against the list of NCAA-approved courses.
- Register at the NCAA Eligibility Center and complete the amateurism questionnaire
- Register for the ACT and use the Eligibility code (9999) as a score recipient
- Student is responsible to send an official transcript using Parchment to the Eligibility Center after completing your junior year
- Continue taking college-preparatory courses
- Continue taking college-preparatory courses
- Review your amateurism questionnaire responses and request final amateurism certification on or after April 1st
- Graduate on time (8 semesters)
- After graduation the student is responsible to send a final official transcript using Parchment to the Eligibility Center
If student-athletes don’t take the required courses or get the required grades in high school, they won’t be able to make it off the bench in college.
For more information, please visit the
Welcome to the Oshkosh West Scholarship page. Scholarships are a great way to earn money toward college expenses. Please follow the live link below, which will have updated scholarship applications and deadlines. If you have any questions please see Mrs. Whittaker in the Records Office or by email at email@example.com.
View available scholarships
College Virtual Visits
Meeting with representative from colleges, universities and technical schools is a great way to gather valuable information about each school. This information can play a vital role in the decision making process for post-secondary plans. Please follow the live link below, which will have updated virtual visits from local and national schools.
College Virtual Visits
ACT at West
Juniors take the ACT in early March each year as part of the state mandated testing requirements. This will be provided by the school without any cost to the student.
This score can be used for admission applications, so please take the test seriously. Students can have their scores sent to 4 seperate colleges for free at the time of the test OR they can wait to see their score and submit scores for a fee.
Even though all juniors will take the test in March, students have the ability to take the ACT multiple times. In general, schools will accept the highest composite score submitted for acceptance purposes.
Sending your scores
When you receive your score report in the mail, SAVE IT. You will need your ACT Student ID to access your scores online. Follow the instructions via this link to send your scores to different scores than you request upon taking the test.
Registering for additional ACT Test
Please follow the link to register for the ACT. Please be sure to follow instructions closely and pay attention to deadlines.
Register for the ACT
Oshkosh West High School Code: 501730
The SAT is an entrance exam used by colleges and universities to make admissions decisions. The SAT is a multiple-choice, pencil-and-paper test created and administered by the College Board. The purpose of the SAT is to measure a high school student's readiness for college, and provide colleges with one common data point that can be used to compare all applicants.
Students may choose to take the SAT for specific College/University admission, but it is not a requirement of Oshkosh West High School.
All sophomores and juniors are invited to participate in the PSAT. The PSAT is a great primer for the SAT, and even the ACT, but it's more than just a trial run. PSAT scores are used to identify National Merit Scholars and award merit scholarships.
Students must complete the information by the noted due date if they wish to take the exam.
The following options are available for students who would like to participate in ACT Prep courses:
- UW Oshkosh ACT Test Prep - Register Now
- Xavier, Kimberly, Neenah - Various workshops throughout the Fox Valley via Fox Valley Test Prep
- ZAPS: - Various ZAPS locations throughout the Fox Valley - Enroll Now
Job and Community Service Resources
Have you considered working or volunteering your time in the community? Click on the links below to get involved now!
Please reach out to your counselor with any questions about the process, timeline, or options available after high school. We are here to help students as they develop and implement their specific post graduation plans. Our counseling team offers various W Hour sessions reviewing the information posted on this page. We facilitate those sessions towards the end of the year for juniors and again during the fall for seniors. Students are encouraged to attend those informational sessions. Please follow up with your counselor regarding questions specific to your plan.