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College Counseling Corner

Welcome to the College Counseling Corner  


Joe Bernard has served as Valley Catholic's College Counselor since 2000. With more than 25 years of college counseling experience, he is Oregon’s first school-based Certified Educational Planner, the highest professional credential possible for College Counselors.

One of the most outstanding features of a Valley Catholic education is the amazing personal attention all our students receive throughout their four years here. I am available to provide individualized counseling and guidance for the Valley Catholic High School community. All high school students are invited to seek assistance at any time they have questions or concerns, but priority is given to the current senior class. This information is intended as an aid to students and families to help them make the college search and application process a fruitful, educational quest. Remember my motto: 
“College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won.”

Scholarships, Financial Aid, Exploratory Programs and More


Please continue to check back. Information will be posted as it is received.


Valley Catholic regularly receives announcements for scholarships. The scholarships below have been forwarded to this location to make the applications more accessible for students. Scholarships are also posted on the scholarship board next to the main office. Please be aware of deadlines and requirements for submission.

Outstanding Visual Art Scholarship - $1,000
Outstanding Performing Arts Scholarship - $1,000
Beaverton Arts Commission
Application Deadline: April 13, 2015 

The following scholarships will be awarded (more than one scholarship in each category may be given):

  • $1,000 for the Outstanding Visual Art High School Senior (includes all traditional media, design and moving image)
  • $1,000 for the Outstanding Performing Art High School Senior (includes music, dance, singing, drama, as well as including tech crew members, etc.)

Scholarships will be presented by Mayor Denny Doyle at a Beaverton City Council meeting in June 2015. Scholarship information and link to online application form are available at

Harry S. Chandler Memorial Scholarship - $1,000
Oregon Southwest Washington Industry Liaison Group (OSWILG)
Application Deadline: April 24, 2015

Oregon Southwest Washington Industry Liaison Group (OSWILG) will award scholarships of $1,000 each to deserving graduating seniors from Multnomah, Clackamas, Washington, Marion, Columbia, Umatilla or Coos County, Oregon, or Clark County, Washington. OSWILG is a non-profit organization formed in 2003 by a group of federal contractor employers and other interested parties committed to working towards equality in the workplace. Harry S. Chandler was a founding member of OSWILG.

OSWILG is interested in students who not only voice a commitment to diversity, but who demonstrate their commitment in their schools, within their families, and in their communities. OSWILG will consider all students and encourages applications from students who may not otherwise be considered for scholarships. 

All submissions must include:

    • Completed scholarship application (download from
    • 2 letters of recommendation; one from a teacher or counselor and one from an employer or family friend.
    • Copy of the student’s high school transcript.
    • A typed, double-spaced, two-page essay on “How diversity has influenced my life and the role it will play in achieving my education goals.”

All completed scholarship applications should be returned to OSWILG, PO Box 1086, Sherwood, OR  97140, no later than April 24, 2015.  All applications will be reviewed and the scholarships will be awarded by May 30, 2015.

Alyce Marcus Scholarship - $1,000
Northwest Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Association
Application Deadline: April 24, 2015 

It is the mission of the NW EEO/Affirmative Action Association (NW EEO) to provide education, information and resources to individuals, groups and institutions in support of their efforts with regard to equal employment opportunity, diversity and affirmative action planning. In concert with our mission, NW EEO offers the Alyce Marcus Scholarship to eligible high school graduates in the Portland metro area. This is a $1,000 scholarship that may be applied toward tuition, books and/or other educational expenses for college, university or trade school (as approved by the Scholarship Committee).

Read more about the scholarship and download the application at Applications should be postmarked no later than April 24, 2015.

Pointe Pest Control Scholarship - $750
Pointe Pest Control
Application Deadline: April 30, 2015 

This one-time scholarship is available to any high school senior or college freshman from the state of Oregon. The scholarship is judged primarily on need basis, but does not exclude achievement standards.

All rules, elgibility requirements and scholarship application can be found at

Adanech Gives Hope Scholarship - $1,000
Ethiopian Orphan Relief, Inc. 
Application Deadline: May 1, 2015 

Ethiopian Orphan Relief, Inc. is a 100% volunteer 501(c)(3) non profit organization that works to improve the living conditions and lives of orphaned and vulnerable children in Ethiopia. It is a project-based organization that grants money to fund carefully chosen projects that meet our partners’ needs.   

“Adanech Gives Hope” Scholarship is in honor and memory of Adanech, a beautiful young girl who was part of the Children's Heaven program for five years. Tragically, she was murdered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in October 2013. Her death was devastating to the girls at Children's Heaven; many of them considered her their sister.  

This scholarship will be presented to one girl from Children's Heaven and will provide one year of private schooling for her. In addition, a $1,000 scholarship will be presented to a high school senior in Oregon who will be attending an accredited college in the fall of 2015.  

The Adanech Gives Hope Scholarship is created to assist a female graduating high school student who faced and overcame great adversity in their young lives or their families' lives, including victimization.

One $1,000 scholarship will be awarded. Qualified applicants must be Oregon residents pursuing a bachelor's degree at an accredited U.S. University or College, and display integrity and perseverance by overcoming obstacles. A 200-500 word essay and one letter of recommendation from a personal/school counselor or teacher is required. 

To learn more about the scholarship, including application, please visit the Ethiopian Orphan Relief website.

Scholarship - $1,000 plus $500 per year with 3.0 GPA
Data Processing Management Association/Portland Chapter
Application Deadline: May 31, 2015

Data Processing Management Association/Portland Chapter is a small group of IT professionals that for the last 19 years have been providing an annual scholarship award to an Oregon or Washington high school senior ready to attend an Oregon or Washington college or university majoring in a technology-related curriculum. 

In addition to the initial $1,000 scholarship, if the student maintains a minimum 3.0 GPA each year, we will provide an additional $500 per year as a continuation scholarship. 

Please visit for more information and a scholarship application. Applications and the required information must be received by May 31, 2015 to be considered.

The scholarship application and related information packet should be mailed to DPMA, P.O. Box 61493, Vancouver, WA 98666.

Abbott & Fenner Scholarship - up to $1,000 
Abbott & Fenner Business Consultants
Application Deadline: June 15, 2015

Students will submit an essay on the topic that appears on the scholarship page:


As these opportunities become available, we will post the information here. Please check back regularly.

College Planning Curriculum

Preparing for college begins upon entrance to Valley Catholic.  Students receive excellent preparation through rigorous coursework in order to successfully navigate the academic demands of college.  I envision all students participating in the following four-year, college planning curriculum. 

FRESHMAN YEAR:  I typically meet with the freshmen class two to three times during the school year to emphasize the importance of their high school performance.  I encourage freshmen to strive for the best academic performance possible, make new friends, and explore new activities.  Freshmen typically participate in a guided, mock admissions activity that introduces them to the multiple facets of a qualified college applicant.

SOPHOMORE YEAR:  Students are required to take the PLAN exam in October.   The PLAN is a preliminary ACT exam and the results are not reported to any colleges.  Students have the opportunity to experience an age appropriate college readiness exam.  The PLAN includes a thorough career exploration component that provides students feedback to possible career interests.   Sophomores typically participate in a school wide, state system college visitation program.  I connect with all sophomores through a formal in- class presentation addressing the importance of academic preparation, continued diligence and pursuit of rigor.

JUNIOR YEAR:  Junior year begins the formal start of the college search and application process. Through a series of required events, students begin to enter into the world of college selection. In October, all juniors take the PSAT exam. The PSAT is a preliminary SAT exam and the results are not reported to any colleges. Students, once again, have the opportunity to experience an age appropriate college readiness exam. Juniors are encouraged to attend the Portland National College Fair to visually experience the vast assortment of college options. In the first week of second semester, Juniors and one parent or guardian attend “College Planning Night” where students are introduced to the philosophy behind the college search, how to begin the college search, receive a timeline for college selection and what features private and public universities seek in their freshmen class. Students also begin attending unlimited one-on-one appointments with me to discuss and tailor make their college selection plans, discuss testing needs, and arrange SAT or ACT exams. 

SENIOR YEAR:  Students regularly attend appointments with me to finalize their application needs. I assist seniors with all aspects of the admissions process. In the first full week of school, seniors and one parent or guardian are expected to attend “College Application Night” where the intricacies of the application process are discussed in detail, including in depth information about writing the college application essay. Throughout the fall, seniors attend regular on- campus college visits from universities around the country, attend college fairs, sit for ACT or SAT exams, and eventually submit their college applications. In November, students and parents are invited to attend a “College Funding” evening discussing financial aid. I encourage all students to have the majority of their college applications filed before the start of Christmas vacation. 

College Search and Interest Inventories

Many sites exist that help students consider their college and career options.  Most are low cost, some require registration, all can give you information as you consider college and beyond.  The links below are only the beginning!

Testing Registration

Juniors and seniors are advised to register and take the either the ACT or SAT or both exams starting in their junior year. The registration process takes about 45 minutes on each site as both agencies ask for in depth information. Follow the links to get started.  Have your credit card handy.

ACT registration:                                  
SAT registration:

Financial Aid and Scholarships

The web is rich with financial aid and scholarship information. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid is where the world of need based financial aid begins. To start the process go to Detailed Financial Aid information is available each year through our “College Funding Night" program.

Student Forms

Students are required to complete the personal information sheet, print their responses and submit the completed form to Mr. Bernard no later than four weeks before the letter of recommendation is due. Please do not send an electronic copy of your responses unless you have spoken with Mr. Bernard. Click here to access the Personal Information Sheet.

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