Applying to College

Planning Timeline

Junior Monthly Planning

September

  • The work junior year will be more demanding.
  • Become familiar with the requirements for each of your courses. Then resolve to meet and exceed those requirements.
  • Establish good relationships with your teachers. You will be asked to have two of them write letters of recommendation for you for college applications.
  • Get involved in activities that you enjoy. La Salle is known for the number and variety of activities offered. Take advantage of this opportunity to develop your interests, initiative, and leadership.
  • A Financial Aid Information Session is held at either La Salle, The Mount or Gwynedd H.S. in late September. Check the calendar for this year's date.

October

  • Plan to attend local college fairs and open houses. Dates and times will be posted on our website and on the bulletin boards outside the College Counseling Center.
  • The PSAT will be administrated at La Salle in October. Take advantage of sample questions and practice tests.
  • Begin to develop a list of interests, educational goals, special talents and abilities, and personal qualities.
  • Be aware of the NCAA eligibility requirements.

November

  • Stay focused on the quality of your school work.
  • Create a timeline for registering and taking standardized tests keeping in mind any academic, extracurricular, or personal commitments, e.g. athletic schedules. Juniors should make plans to take at least one, but more likely two standardized tests by May of junior year. Since juniors do not receive their PSAT results mid-December we strongly encourage students not to begin taking the SAT or ACT until January/February of junior year at the earliest.
  • Please become familiar with the differences between the SAT and ACT. If you think that your son may qualify for a SAT/ACT fee waiver based on financial need please encourage them to ask Mrs. Diehl.
  • Please keep in mind that colleges accept either the ACT or SAT. No preference is given to either test.
  • Be aware that there are over 900 colleges and universities that are test optional.
  • Be aware of individual college requirements regarding specific SAT Subject Tests.
  • Begin to investigate colleges and careers. Take advantage of the career section in Naviance.
  • Make plans to visit colleges during breaks and on weekends. Discover what type of college suits you best.

December

  • Review your first quarter grades. Check with your teachers if you are having any difficulties.
  • Review your PSAT score report.
  • Mark your calendar with dates and deadlines for the upcoming SAT and ACT test dates.
  • Take advantage of the free SAT test prep offered through Kahn Academy.

January

  • Prepare for 1st semester exams. Your GPA is an indicator of how you will perform in college and is the number one factor in college admissions.
  • Become familiar with information about the college search process by visiting www.lschs.org/college. Talk to your counselors, teachers, family and friends about your thoughts and expectations.
  • Group Advisory classes begin in second semester. These classes will help you in a step-by-step fashion through the college search process.
  • Meet with your college counselor.
  • Please become familiar with the differences between the SAT and ACT. If you think that your son may qualify for a SAT/ACT fee waiver based on financial need please encourage them to ask Mrs. Diehl.
  • Please keep in mind that colleges accept either the ACT or SAT. No preference is given to either test.
  • Take advantage of the free SAT test prep offered through Kahn Academy
  • Be aware of individual college requirements regarding specific SAT Subject Tests.
  • Begin to investigate colleges and careers. Take advantage of the career section in Naviance.

February

  • There is a College Information Night for Junior Parents that is held in early February. Check the calendar for this year's dates.
  • Review your academic performance from 1st semester. Take any steps needed to perform to the best of your ability.
  • Meet with your college counselor.
  • Review the course selection catalog to plan your roster for senior year. Plan to challenge yourself with rigorous courses. Consider taking AP courses in your strong subjects. Discuss your interests with the AP teachers.
  • Become familiar with course requirements for college. Continue to clarify your goals, interests, and needs.
  • Compile a list of possible college choices. Discuss college costs and application fees with your parents.
  • Begin to make plans for summer enrichment programs or jobs.
  • Be aware of SAT and ACT dates and deadlines. Review scores from previous tests. Take advantage of the free SAT test prep offered through Kahn Academy.
  • Be aware that there are over 900 colleges and universities that are test optional.
  • Be aware of individual college requirements regarding specific SAT II: Subject Tests.

March

  • Meet with your college counselor.
  • Be aware of SAT and ACT dates and deadlines. Review scores from previous tests. Take advantage of the free SAT test prep offered through Kahn Academy.
  • Be aware that there are over 900 colleges and universities that are test optional.
  • Be aware of individual college requirements regarding specific SAT II: Subject Tests.
  • Identify at least one teacher to ask to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
  • Make plans to visit colleges over Easter break. Since college students will be on campus your visit will be much more informative.
  • Begin to make plans for summer enrichment programs or jobs.
  • Complete the work required for the advisory classes in a thorough and thoughtful way. The information you provide will help your counselor write a meaningful letter of recommendation and will help you in the search process.

April

  • Finalize your activities and employment resume in Naviance. Save a copy for revision so you can include summer activities.
  • Meet with your college counselor.
  • Be aware of SAT and ACT dates and deadlines. Review scores from previous tests. Take advantage of the free SAT test prep offered through Kahn Academy.
  • Be aware that there are over 900 colleges and universities that are test optional.
  • Be aware of individual college requirements regarding specific SAT II: Subject Tests.
  • Identify at least one teacher to ask to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
  • Complete the work required for the advisory classes in a thorough and thoughtful way. The information you provide will help your counselor write a meaningful letter of recommendation and will help you in the search process.

May

June

  • Start to think about application essay topics. Prepare writing samples, portfolios, audition or athletic materials for the fall application season.
  • Read during the summer. Maintain and strengthen your skills.
  • Visit college campuses.
  • Be aware of summer open houses.
  • Take time for family, friends and fun. Have a great summer!

Senior Monthly Planning

September

  • Be aware of all application and financial aid deadlines.
  • Group Advisory will continue through the end of October with a concentration on the college application process.
  • Meet with your college counselor.
  • Create a Common Application account. The Common App is accepted by nearly 700 colleges and universities.
  • Ideally you should narrow down your college choices to between 6 and 8. However, every individual is different and this may not apply in your situation.
  • Discuss these choices with your parents and counselors.
  • Please refer to the Application Process tab located on the website.
  • Students and parents are urged to check the College Counseling Website, read the weekly Belcroft, and access the Daily Bulletin for details regarding scheduled visits of colleges, SAT/ACT test dates & deadlines, and college fairs/open houses.
  • Follow us on our social media channels - Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Parent College Information Night is held in September. Check the calendar for this year's date.
  • A Financial Aid Information Session is held at either La Salle, The Mount or Gwynedd H.S. in late September. Check the calendar for this year's date.
  • Ask one teacher to write a letter of recommendation. It is your responsibility to know if a college requires more than one teacher letter of recommendation. Click on ‘Applying to College’ and the ‘Application Process’ for your responsibilities in applying to colleges.
  • Take time to write thoughtful and original essays for the college applications. Essays are a critical part of the application. Ask an English teacher to review the content and to proof read what you have written.
  • Become familiar with Early Decision, Early Action, Early Action Single Selection/Restrictive Early Action types of applications.
  • A good web site to answer financial aid questions is https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/
  • Use each college’s Net Price Calculator to get an estimate of what your cost of attendance may be.
  • 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/Financial Aid PROFILE, and the college’s own financial aid form which can be found at each college’s financial aid website.
  • Inform Mrs. Diehl in the College Counseling Center of your initial list of college applications.
  • It is your responsibility to send your test scores directly to the colleges.

October

  • Be aware of all application and financial aid deadlines.
  • FAFSA for federal and state aid should be filed as soon as possible after October 1st. You can apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • 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/Financial Aid PROFILE, and the college’s own financial aid form which can be found at each college’s financial aid website.
  • Mrs. Diehl must be notified of all colleges that you plan on applying to Early Action or Early Decision by the first week in October.
  • Meet with your college counselor.
  • Be aware SAT/ACT test dates & deadlines. Tests taken BEFORE November typically count for Early Action/Decision with 11/1 deadlines.
  • It is your responsibility to send your test scores directly to the colleges.
  • Arrange college visits and campus interviews keeping in mind seniors typically have 3 school days off in mid-October during PSAT administration.
  • The earlier you apply the better.
  • Send application, essay, activities resume, and application fee directly to the admissions office.
  • Inform Mrs. Diehl, in the College Counseling Center, of your college selections as soon as you know where you intend to apply.
  • Students and parents are urged to check the College Counseling Website, read the weekly Belcroft, and access the Daily Bulletin for details regarding scheduled visits of colleges, SAT/ACT test dates & deadlines, and college fairs/open houses.
  • Follow us on our social media channels - Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

November

  • Be aware of all deadlines.
  • Be aware SAT/ACT test dates & deadlines. Tests taken BEFORE November typically count for Early Action/Decision with 11/1 deadlines.
  • Keep Mrs. Diehl informed of any additional applications.
  • Grades are critical as colleges will automatically receive mid-year grades in late January.
  • It is your responsibility to send your test scores directly to the colleges.
  • Students and parents are urged to check the College Counseling Website, read the weekly Belcroft, and access the Daily Bulletin for details regarding scheduled visits of colleges, SAT/ACT test dates & deadlines, and college fairs/open houses.
  • FAFSA for federal and state aid should be filed as soon as possible after October 1st. You can apply online at www.fafsa.ed.gov.
  • 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/Financial Aid PROFILE, and the college’s own financial aid form which can be found at each college’s financial aid website.

December

  • Be aware of all deadlines for applications and scholarships.
  • Mrs. Diehl must be notified of all colleges that you plan on applying to by December 1st.
  • The College Counseling Center will be closed the entire Christmas vacation.

January

  • Be aware of all deadlines for applications and scholarships.
  • Study for semester exams. College admissions will look very closely at these senior grades and interim GPA.
  • Transcripts including your 7th semester grades senior year will be automatically sent to colleges in late January.

February through May

  • Be aware of all deadlines.
  • Inform the College Counseling Center of all acceptances and scholarships and provide the necessary documentation.
  • Revisit campuses, if necessary, once you have been accepted.
  • Deposit at only one college and notify the other colleges that you are withdrawing your acceptance. There are forms available in the college Counseling Center to expedite this process.
  • May 1st is the deposit deadline.
  • Notify the teachers who wrote for you of your decision and thank them for their efforts.
  • Provide Mrs. Diehl with verification letters regarding scholarships and grants.
  • Scholarships are posted periodically in the College Counseling Center and only after verification is received will these scholarships be listed in the graduation booklet.

College Links/Resources

College Planning & Search

Campus Tours - Source for virtual college campus tours.

Career & Major Search - Each profile summarizes a major and lists related occupations, typical employers, and examples of jobs

Catholic Colleges - Search a national database of U.S. Catholic colleges.

College Answer - Research colleges, majors, and financial aid.

CollegeBoard - Search by location, majors, cost, and more.

COLLEGEdata - Choose, prepare, and calculate your admission chances.

CollegeMajors101 - College major search and database

COLLEGENavigator - U.S. Department of Education search and data tool.

College Portrait - No rankings, no spin....just the facts.

College Rankings - A comprehensive list of college and university rankings.

EducationPlanner - One stop career and college planning site.

Forbes - College Rankings List

National Center for Education Statistics - The primary source for data on U.S. colleges and universities.

NACAC - National Association for College Admission Counseling

Occupational Outlook Handbook - Bureau of Labor Statistics

PACAC - Pennsylvania Association for College Admission Counseling

SCOIR - State of the Art College Search Site

Princeton Review - College and major search tool.

UCAN-University and College Admission Accountability Network - Get the facts on private colleges and universities.

Unigo - Get the unvarnished scoop from students (from the Wall Street Journal)

Washington Monthly - Rankings based on contribution to the public good (social mobility, research, and service)

Standardized Tests

FairTest - National Center for Fair and Open Testing - List of college that do not require ACT or SAT scores

ACT v SAT - Key distinctions between the tests

SAT vs ACT - Conversion Calculator

ACT - Registration information, strategies, and sample questions

SAT - Registration information, strategies, and sample questions.

SAT Frequently Asked Questions

SAT Subject Tests - SAT Subject Tests are college admission exams on specific subjects.

SAT Subject Tests - Selective colleges that require SAT Subject Tests.

SAT Prep - Free test preparation provided by CollegeBoard

Test Prep Courses - Free online standardized test preparation from Number2.

Applying to Colleges

Common Application - Apply to over 700 colleges and universities using one application.

College Admission Requirements - Standardized test and college admission guidelines for colleges.

Early Decision vs. Early Action - Compare different admission plans.

Financial Aid

College Cost - College Affordability and Transparency Center

COLLEGEdata - Financing your college education.

CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE - Financial aid application service of the College Board.

Colleges that require the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE

FAFSA - Free Application for Federal Student Aid

Federal Student Aid - Comprehensive guide to federal aid and loans.

My Smart Borrowing - See how college and career choices may impact your financial future.

Net Price Calculator - Tool to estimate the net price to attend a particular college.

PHEAA - Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency

Scholarships

FastWeb - Search over 1.5 million free scholarship listings.

GoodCall - Free online scholarship search tool

La Salle College Counseling Center Scholarship List - Search for scholarships that are listed in the College Counseling Center

MeritAid - A comprehensive directory of merit scholarships and academic scholarships from U.S. colleges.

My Scholly - Free online scholarship search tool.

Scholarships - Free online scholarship search tool.

Athletics

Athletic Aid - Sports scholarships, financial aid, and college research sources for student athletes.

NCAA - National Collegiate Athletic Association

NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse - Prospective Division I & II student-athletes must complete the amateurism certification questionnaire.

NCAA - Guide for the College-Bound Student-Athlete - Guidelines relate to recruiting, financial aid and college freshman eligibility requirements.

National Letter of Intent & Signing Dates - Know the rules before you sign.

Student Athlete Initial Eligibility Presentation

NCAA DI Initial Eligibility Academic Requirements

ROTC

Military ROTC Programs - ROTC Programs

College Newspapers

College Newspapers - Free access to hundreds of college newspapers.

Application Process

Students are strongly encouraged not to apply to any colleges until after September 15, 2017.

  • 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
  • MEETING ALL APPLICATION DEADLINES IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY. PLEASE BE AWARE OF THESE IMPORTANT DATES:
    • Wednesday, September 13, 2017 – If applying to a U.S. Service Academy, all information must be given to Mrs. Diehl by this date
    • Friday, October 6, 2017 – Deadline to inform College Counseling Center of any Early Decision or Early Action applications
    • Friday, December 1, 2017 – Deadline to inform the College Counseling Center of any remaining Rolling or Regular Decision applications
  • Please note that if you are applying to a Common Application college you must use the Common Application in order for your information from La Salle to be sent electronically and in a timely manner. Failure to do so and using the college's own application (such as VIP applications or any other application) will most likely delay the admission process. Please use the helpful Requirements Grid as you work your way through the application process.

  • When applying to a college that is that is not a member of the Common Application you must use the college's own electronic application.

  • Please use the links below if you are applying to these colleges:


  • The student should sign up for an appointment with his college counselor in the blue spiral notebook adjacent to Mrs. Diehl’s desk as soon as possible.

  • In the fall, the student enters the College Counseling Center and gives his list of prospective colleges and admission deadline dates (Early Action/Early Decision/Regular Decision/Rolling) to Mrs. Diehl, who writes the colleges down on a tracking sheet. As soon as a student knows the colleges to which he will apply he must inform the College Counseling Center. Please note that he does not have to have already applied to the colleges at this time and he may inform Mrs. Diehl that he is adding or deleting colleges at any time, while being mindful of the above-mentioned deadlines.

  • Academic letters of recommendation are sent electronically to the colleges. The student should have asked one faculty member for a letter of recommendation in the spring of his Junior Year. It is the student's responsibility to check the Requirements Grid if a college requires more than one teacher letter of recommendation. The student should have asked the teacher in person and he should have presented the teacher with a Gold Sheet that lists the colleges to which they are applying. These Gold Sheets were distributed in the Junior Year Group Advisory Class and are available in the College Counseling Center as well as on the Student Portal. The recommendations will be sent electronically by the appropriate admission deadline.

  • The application, the standardized test scores, the application fee, the activities resume, and the essay are completed and sent directly to the colleges by the student using the electronic Common Application when applying to a Common Application college or university or by using the college's own electronic application when applying to a college that is not a member of the Common Application.
  • The student’s transcript, secondary school report, the high school profile, the teacher(s) letter of recommendation, and the college counselor letter of recommendation are sent by the College Counseling Office directly to the colleges. Please be aware that the college counselors are completing forms and writing letters of recommendation for over 270 students and approximately 2600 applications.
    This is a time consuming, deadline driven process, that requires the student’s cooperation.

College Admission Terms

THE APPLICATION PROCESS

WAYS TO APPLY

  • Regular Decision: the standard application process for most schools. This is a non-binding process, and you may apply to as many schools as you wish. Applications are usually due around January 1st, decisions are released on pre­determined dates, (often in March) and you decide where you are attending by May 1st. Be sure to double check the deadline for each school to which you are applying.
  • Early Action: an early application process that allows you to apply to multiple schools. If you are admitted, you are not required to attend.
  • Early Action Single Choice: an early application process where you may only apply early to one school. If you are admitted, you are not required to attend.
  • Early Decision: a binding, early decision plan. You may only apply to one school ED, because if you are admitted, you must attend, regardless of other influencing factors.
  • Rolling Admission: an application process where you receive your admissions decisions based on when your application is submitted.

HOLISTIC REVIEW

Holistic Review: the name of the process selective colleges use to evaluate applications. This means a school will review all parts of your application together, no one part of the application is more important than another, and there are no "pre-screenings" or "cutoffs" for things like GPA or test scores.

TYPICAL APPLICATION COMPONENTS

  • Consortium Application: a system that allows you to submit your basic information once, then send it to multiple colleges and universities. The Common Application is the most popular examples.
  • Application Supplement: questions specific to each school tied to a consortium application. Many colleges require a school-specific supplement to the consortium application with multiple questions or essays specific to the institution.
  • Standardized Testing: ACT, SAT, AP/18 Testing, SAT Subject Tests, TOEFL.
  • High School Transcript: a record of your academic history in high school. Colleges will consider your grades, courses taken, and the overall rigor of your curriculum.
  • Extracurricular Activities: a list of everything you do outside the classroom, including your role and the total amount of time spent.
  • Letters of Recommendation: letters that describe your classroom presence and personality. Usually, two are required from academic teachers (ie. Math, Science, English, etc.)
  • Essays: your opportunity to share your personality. Be thoughtful about your topic choice (is this something you want the college to know about?) and always proofread!
  • Supplemental Materials: may include interviews. portfolios, and/or auditions.

FUNDING YOUR EDUCATION

Most selective schools are private, meaning they are supported by tuition; they can be more expensive, yet o􀀴en offer more financial aid. Public colleges are meant to benefit their state, so they offer different tuition for in-state and out-of-state residents.

Schools that are 'need-blind' will not consider your ability to pay when making admissions decisions, while schools that are 'need-aware' or 'need-sensitive' will.

TYPES OF FINANCIAL AID

  • Need-Based Financial Aid: awarded by taking into account your family's need for financial support. In other words, your eligibility for aid is based on your family's ability to pay.
  • Need Based Aid is awarded in a variety of forms, including:
    • Grants: awarded by the U.S. government or a college to be used towards your tuition and fees. Grants do not need to be repaid.
    • Loans: issued by the government, a private financial institution, or a college to be used towards your tuition and fees. Loans must be repaid; however, student loans have low interest rates and deferred payments that don't begin until after graduation.
    • Work Study: a program run through the US Government in which students work in paid campus jobs and use their income to pay for a portion of their college expenses and/or tuition.
    • Merit-Based Financial Aid: a type of aid awarded to students for things like a high GPA. high test scores, athletic ability, leadership, research experience, or other accomplishments without taking into account your need for financial support.

APPLYING FOR FINANCIAL AID

To apply for financial aid, colleges will request a variety of documents in order to understand your family's unique financial circumstances. They will use these documents to determine your family's Expected Family Contribution, or EFC, which is the amount your family can afford to pay towards your education. Your family's EFC should be similar for every school.

Commonly requested forms include:

  • The FAFSA: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is an important part of any financial aid application. This is offered for free by the US Department of Education and can be filled out on line at fafsa.ed.gov.
  • College Specific Forms or the CSS Profile: forms that are often available online and seek to provide colleges with a more rounded view of your family circumstances than can be obtained from the FAFSA alone. Each college will have different requirements, so be sure to check the policies at each of the schools to which you are applying.

Finding the Right Fit

THE COLLEGE SEARCH: FINDING THE RIGHT FIT

Just like students, all colleges are different. As you're getting to know schools, you'll want to explore how each one fits your personality. Here are a few questions we think are important to consider as you begin your college search. Use them to build your own list of the most important things you're looking for in a college.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • Size & Location: How many undergraduates study at this school? Are undergraduate and graduate students in class together? Is the setting urban, suburban, or rural? Close to a big city?
  • Type of School: Public university or private school? Major research university? Religiously affiliated? Liberal artscollege?
  • Academic Programs: Does this school offer a major that I'm interested in? How much flexibility will I have to explore and change majors?
  • Faculty: What percent of classes are taught by professors vs. teaching assistants? Are professors available outside of class? What is the student-to-faculty ratio?
  • Class Sizes & Formats: What is the average class size? Are most classes conducted in a lecture format? Seminar format?
  • Research: What opportunities are there to participate in research? How many students conduct research? Do professors work with undergraduate students? How does the school help students find research opportunities?
  • Student Life: Can I continue to be active in extracurriculars that I enjoyed in high school? Are there new activities that interest me?
  • Housing & Dining: How are the dining halls? Is housing guaranteed for four years? Are students required to live in residence halls? What types of living arrangements are available in the dorms?
  • Athletics: What is the athletic culture like? How are the athletic facilities? What levels of involvement are available?
  • Arts/Music/Drama: What extracurricular opportunities are available in the arts? What facilities are available? Will there be opportunities to perform or showcase my work?
  • Career Advising: How does this school prepare me to achieve my professional goals? Does the school have an internship program? Do employers recruit on campus?


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