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Pioneer Valley High School is ranked 6th in the state when it comes to students having financial aid for next year’s educational pursuits, according to the California Student Aid Commission Race to Submit Dashboard.

PVHS had 71.72 percent of their seniors complete FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)/Ca Dream Act applications. The Panthers have about 600 seniors and even though the March 2 deadline has passed, financial aid applications can still be submitted and processed.

It is recommended that high school seniors continue to complete the FAFSA since it is also a required step to be eligible for the Hancock Promise.

The paperwork allows the students to draw financial aid such as Cal-Grants, Pell Grants and other scholarships from the FAFSA starting as early as this summer.

Principal Shanda Herrera called the news “amazing”.

“It shows we have prepared kids for the next step even if they may not be sure what they plan to do next year,’’ Herrera added.

Herrera credited senior classroom outreach visits and efforts by college counselors, guidance counselors, guidance technicians, college and career specialists, the early academic outreach specialist and a Cal-Soap (California Student Opportunity and Access Program) tutor.

“The Race to Submit Dashboard allows us to know where we are and helps us target seniors who have not completed their applications,” said Central Coast Cal-Soap Director Diana Perez, adding they also made calls during school breaks to remind students about the financial aid application and offered Cash for College events at area schools.

“The Race to Submit provides progress updates on the number of FAFSA and Dream Act completed applications and the leaderboard spotlights the top ten high schools based on high school senior enrollments. On behalf of the Commission, I want to extend our congratulations to Pioneer Valley High School in Santa Maria. They ranked 6th statewide among California high schools with enrollments between 500 and 700 students this year, a notable accomplishment for a large comprehensive high school with such a diverse student population. The California Student Aid Commission is grateful for the high school staff - the Central Coast Cal-SOAP Consortium, UC EAOP as well as all the educational partners -- who contributed to their success. The efforts on behalf of Pioneer Valley High School is a great example of what can be done when educational institutions and community organizations work together to assure that students complete a financial aid application,” said Lande Ajose, (CSAC) Commission Chair.


NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or kplatt@smjuhsd.org. You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.