College Counseling - December Update


College Counseling Center
Mr. Gerard M. Brett
Director of College Counseling


College Counseling Website of the Month
http://collegecost.ed.gov/


Christmas Vacation
Please note that the College Counseling Center will be closed for Christmas from December 21, 2013 through January 1, 2014.


SENIORS
Students must send their standardized test scores directly from the testing agencies to the colleges to which they are applying. Test scores do not appear on the high school transcript.


Financial Aid
Information about financial aid – forms to be completed, deadlines, loans, etc – can be found at our website: www.lschs.org/college in the “Links and Resources” section on the left hand side. Scroll down and click on the “Financial Aid” link. Check out the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), www.studentaid.ed.gov, and www.finaid.org. Be aware of the financial aid forms needed for each college since each college has its own requirements and deadlines. The possibilities are the FAFSA, the CSS PROFILE, and the college’s own financial aid form which can be found at each college’s financial aid website. BE AWARE OF DEADLINES FOR THESE APPLICATION FORMS. Given the increasing cost of a college education and the current economy, we urge students and their parents to be diligent about filing the forms in a complete and timely manner and to take advantage of every scholarship opportunity.

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) cannot be filed until January 1, 2014. However, students and parents should apply for a Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) before beginning the process. This four-digit number will serve as your electronic signature and it also can be used whenever corrections need to be made to the FAFSA. The number remains the same throughout the student’s college years and should be kept in a secure place.

The
CSS Profile, a service of the College Board, is used by students to apply for non-Federal financial aid at over 350 colleges and universities. In other words, it is used to apply for grants and aid programs offered by individual colleges. The FAFSA, on the other hand, is used to apply for federal programs such as Federal Direct Student Loans, Parent PLUS Loans, Perkins Loans, and Pell Grants.Unlike the FAFSA, which is free to complete, the CSS Profile costs $25 to create and submit to one school. Additional schools cost $16 per submission. Since the CSS Profile only covers a certain group of colleges, you should check the Participating Programs List before you spend the time and money to apply.

Scholarship information that comes into the College Counseling Center is posted on www.lschs.org/college on the left side under “Scholarship Information”. Seniors applying for scholarships from a college or university often need to meet an early deadline. Take note of the specific requirements. The following are scholarship search sites: www.fastweb.com, www.schoolsoup.com,  www.scholarship.com, www.meritaid.com, and the La Salle College Counseling Scholarship List. Any grant or scholarship money is money that does not have to be borrowed or earned!


College Acceptance and Scholarship Notification
Copies of letters of acceptance and scholarship awards should be brought to Mrs. O’Connell in the College Counseling Center.


Important Reminder
Seniors and Juniors must keep in mind as you are preparing for semester exams that your GPA in college preparatory courses is the most important criteria in the college admission process. Keep up the good work!


JUNIORS
The college counselors suggest that the juniors make plans to take standardized tests in the second semester. Check out the test preparation module in Naviance. SAT and ACT sample tests and preparation packets are available.  Students and parents can access Naviance through the Parent Portal and Student Portal. Click “PrepMe” to begin the test preparation.  On this site students have the ability to practice taking both the SAT and ACT and determine areas of strength and weakness. Please keep in mind that all colleges accept both the SAT and ACT and no preference is given to either test. For a list of differences between the two tests please visit Princeton Review, Study Point, and Kaplan. Juniors should have taken two of the same test – either SAT or ACT – by the end of second semester junior year. A complete schedule of tests and registration deadlines is available at www.collegeboard.org (SAT), and www.actstudent.org (ACT). The CEEB number for La Salle College High School is 393370 and must be included on test registration forms.

Advisory classes for juniors regarding the college search and application process will begin on January 22, 2014 with the first cycle of second semester. In the meantime check out our website for comprehensive information as well as a Junior Monthly Planning Calendar.


SAVE THE DATE
College Information Night for Parents of Juniors
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Auditorium
7:15 pm
Details to Follow


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