Vernonia High School | Middle School Counseling/Career Planning

The mission of the counseling office is to empower all students to maximize their potential in the areas of academic achievement, career planning, and personal/social development.  Our goal is for students use the resources available to be successful in high school and beyond!

Peter Weisel
VHS/VMS Counselor


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 ON THIS PAGE: (click for quick navigation)

·   Loans, Grants, and Local Scholarships Info 

·   Local Scholarship Info

·   College Apps and Entrance Exams

·   Apprenticeships

·   Armed Services

·   Career Resources/Present & Future Planning

·   Mental & Health Awareness

·   VHS Course Info




Information on Loans, Grants, and Local Scholarships

FAFSA Application Click Here

Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Do not begin this application before January 1, 2014 or your online information will be deleted!

You MUST complete the FAFSA in January to be eligible for many scholarships!

Estimate current year income using last year's figures and submit in January!  Colleges expect you to estimate income and to then go back later and update the application.

Vernonia High School Code is 381215


Students can prepare to fill out the FAFSA using Several FAFSA tools here 


Oregon Opportunity Grant Information

$1850 for Community College, $1950 for 4-year College

Students apply for this needs based grant automaticly when they submit the FAFSA

Given on an first come, first serve basis.  Students should complete the FAFSA as close to Jan 1st as posible to compete for this limited grant.


Oregon Scholarship Application 

Click the link for related information and application, which becomes available online some time in November.

The Oregon Scholarship Application is an important application for Oregon High School Students going to College in Oregon. One scholarship application exposes students to 400+ scholarships, and ones they are not eligible for are automatically not displayed.

Students can then choose up to 20 to apply for.

*Of Great Importance* Be sure the choose the Ford Family Foundation Scholarship as one that you apply for. If awarded, this scholarship will pay for 90% of remaining funds needed for school, after all other awards are made.

Oregon Scholarship Essay Questions - Start writing the essays now!

Four questions, 150 words each.
Get feedback from school staff and others, then revise:

1. Explain your career aspirations and your educational plan to meet these goals.

2. Explain how you have helped your familiy or made your community a better place to live. Please provide specific examples. 

3. Describe a personal accomplishment and the strengths and skills you used to achieve it.

4. Describe a challenge or obstacle you faced in the last ten years. What did you learn about yourself from this experience?


Scholarship Websites

Local Scholarship Information


The Local Scholarship Application will be available March 3rd. The list of scholarships offered this year will be available in the Library on March 1st. The deadline for most local scholarships is April 15th. Seniors can start preparing for the application *right now* by:

1. Start listing all significant activities and accomplishments, both in school and in the community. Include work and volunteer experience, sports and club participation, and awards or honors received.

2. Start working on the essay questions, which are:

Essay #1 – Describe your most significant challenge or accomplishment and explain its value to your life. Limit to 250-350 words.

Essay #2 – Explain your long-range goals – for school and career – and describe what you will gain by continuing your education. Limit to 250-350 words.

Local Scholarship Application Form

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SAT Test Dates Click here

It is generally recommended that most students take their first SAT test no earlier than November of their Senior year.

Vernonia High School Code is 381215


ACT Test Dates Click Here

Vernonia High School Code is 381215


Best Colleges - US News & World Report - Click Here

College Rankings and other information to consider when choosing colleges to apply to.


College Search - Click Here search site


The Common (college) Application  Click here

Fill out one college application that is used by almost 350 colleges. Many of these colleges are private and have higher tuitions. *However,* usually they are very well funded. Students may receive higher financial aid packages that make the final cost competetive with public colleges.

You have nothing to lose, and perhaps a lot to gain, by applying to one or more of these schools - Check it out!

Vernonia High School Code is 381215


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Apprenticeship programs pay you to learn and offer excellent medical benefits, retirement packages, and paid vacation.

Great salaries and benefits, but no student loans to pay back!

The Baby Boomer generation is retiring, get their great jobs!

Current Oregon Apprenticeship Opportunities  Click Here

Apprenticeship FAQ - Click Here

State of Oregon Apprenticeship Info - Click Here

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Interested in learning more about opportunities in the Military?  Click the links below for more information:

Coast Guard Information - Click Here

National Guard Information - Click Here  

Navy Information - Click Here

Army Information - Click Here

Air Force Information - Click Here

Marines Information - Click Here

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300 + Career Videos - Click here!

Occupational Outlook Handbook  - Click Here

Look up occupations and find out:

Training and Education Required
Expected Job Prospects
What Workers do on the Job
Working Conditions

Oregon Career Information System - Click Here

Login: vhsaccess
Password: vhsaccess1

Oregon Job Corps Info - Click Here

U.S. citizens or legal residents ages 16-24 whose income meets Job Corps guidelines may apply to enter this federally funded program. While enrolled, young people may earn their GED or high school diploma and train, for free, for any one of a number of in-demand careers. Housing, meals and basic medical care are provided to Job Corps enrollees

Career Advice from - Click Here

Find Work Now - Craigslist Portland - Click Here

Find Work Now - Oregonian Newspaper - Click Here

Find Work Now - Worksource Oregon - Click Here

Find Work Now - Look Around!

Ask people who might have work connections
Check local newspapers, bulletin boards, church bulletins, etc.
Visit and revisit employers you want to hire you - persistance pays!
Offer to volunteer first!

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Children of Divorce Bill of Rights - Click Here 


Drugs or Alcohol Starting to cause a problem for you? - Click Here


Concerned about how things are going for you lately? Answer the 5 minute private survey to take an honest look at your drug or alcohol use. Talk to a trusted adult about your answers. See your counselor or trusted teacher if you want/need help.


Cutting/Suicidal/High Risk Behavior Program for Teen Girls 14 - 18


Download the attached document for more information about this program offered by Columbia County Mental Health. Students eligible for the Oregon Health Plan may be able to attend for free, including transportation.

If you are concerned about your daughters or friend's concerning behavior, read this!


Noticing Concerning Changes in you Daughter or Son?

3% of all individuals develop Psychosis, limiting their ability to function through out life. Psychosis is treatable and when caught early people have a much better chance to function in life. If untreated, psychosis prevents a person from knowing what is real.

If you notice brain memory changes, sensory overload, increased problems in what was normal functioning (and not related to suspected alcohol or drug use), then your child should be screened!

Columbia County Mental Health provides free screenings, and if diagnosed, extensive free services for treatment and family support. Contact your counselor or call CCMH directly at 1.800.294.5211 ext. 282

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Course Description Handbook  [ Download(pdf format)

Early Graduation Plan

A student who, for sound educational and vocational reasons, wishes to graduate from high school in less time than the ordinary grade 9-12 sequence may request permission to complete graduation requirements on an altered schedule. The student and his/her parents wil consult with high school guidance personnel in order to develop a graduation plan. Their intention to accomplish this plan will be stated in writing to the building principal for final approval.

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