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College Counseling Update - December 2020

College Counseling Update – December 2020

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Juniors and their parents are encouraged to join our social media sites, as information pertaining to them will begin being posted in December.


Early Decision
What to do if you get deferred from Early Action or Early Decision?

Christmas Vacation
Please note that the College Counseling Office follows the La Salle school schedule and will be closed December 12th through January 5thAll application materials that are the responsibility of the College Counseling Office to send (official transcripts, letters of recommendation, secondary school report, and school profile) will be processed prior to the Christmas Break. Any additions or changes to your college list must be requested by Friday, December 11, 2002 in order to meet any early January 2021 deadlines.

Seniors have been reminded to inform Mrs. Palopoli in the College Counseling Office (in person or via email about any colleges they are adding to their original list or removing from their original list AND to update Scoir with any changes. Copies of letters of acceptance and scholarship awards should be brought to/emailed to Mrs. Palopoli. Teachers should be notified and thanked for their letters of recommendation.

Important Reminder
Keep in mind, as you are preparing for semester exams that your overall GPA and grades in core college preparatory courses is the most important criteria in the college admission process. 1st semester grades/mid-year transcripts will be automatically sent to the colleges you have been accepted to and applied to in mid-January.

Financial Aid
The clock started October 1, 2020. 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 possibly the college’s own financial aid form which can be found at each college’s financial aid website. Given the increasing cost of a college education, 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.  Check out Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA),, and

The CSS Profile, a service of the College Board, is used by students to apply for non-Federal financial aid at over 400 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 and Parent PLUS Loans. Unlike the FAFSA, which is free to complete, the CSS Profile costs $25 to create and submit to one school. Additional colleges cost $16 per submission. Since the CSS Profile only covers a certain group of colleges, you should check the Participating Institutions List before you spend the time and money to apply.

Scholarship information that comes into the College Counseling Center is posted at under the ‘Scholarships’ tab. 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 some helpful scholarship search sites: Scholly, Going Merry, Fastweb, Scholarships, Cappex, and Raise Me.

NCAA Eligibility
Any senior who is considering playing Division I or Division II intercollegiate sports must make application for eligibility clearance through the NCAA Eligibility Center. Please inform Mrs. Palopoli in the College Counseling Center when you register so transcripts can be sent to the NCAA. NCAA information is explained in the 2020-2021 Guide for the College Bound Student AthleteStudents should be aware that a 2.30 is the minimum GPA in core courses that is needed to play a Division I sport in college as a freshman.


Since juniors do not receive their PSAT results online until Monday, December 7th, and since much of the SAT and ACT content has not been completely covered yet, we strongly encourage students wait until the spring (February ACT/March SAT) before taking an official test. We have seen an increase in students taking the tests as a “baseline” without any preparation and this is a negative in the admission and application process as the PSAT junior year serves as the appropriate baseline test. We encourage juniors to take the SAT or ACT twice prior to the end of the junior year (or at the very least take one test (SAT or ACT) and a practice test (SAT or ACT). The SAT is offered in March, May, June, and August and the ACT is offered in February, April, June, and July.

Please become familiar with the differences between the SAT and ACT. Both tests are accepted by all colleges and are looked at equally. If you think that your son may qualify for a SAT/ACT fee waiver based on financial need please encourage them to ask Mrs. Palopoli.

Juniors are encouraged to take a practice test to find out on which standardized test they may possibly perform better.  Most test prep companies offer these evaluations for free. Now that students have taken the PSAT, many of them will want to decide which test they should take next, the SAT or ACT.  For example, Kaplan is hosting multiple free SAT/ACT Practice Tests. Please visit or for more information.

In addition, Kahn Academy has partnered with the College Board to offer free test preparation. The junior grade level counselor, Mr. Resch has introduced multiple college counseling topics to the juniors in Advisory Class. Students and parents are encouraged to research colleges through Scoir and to avail of the myriad of resources available at including the Junior Monthly Planning Calendar listed on our webpage

The college counselors will begin to meet with the juniors once a cycle in advisory classes beginning in the second semester (January 6, 2021).  The purpose of the advisories is to prepare the students for the college search and application process. The college counselors will also be meeting with the juniors for one on one personal interviews throughout the semester. Students and parents are encouraged to check out for comprehensive information and visit the ‘Planning Timeline’ tab under the ‘Applying to College’ tab to help them see where they should be at this time in the process.

Virtual College Information Night for Class of 2022 Parents and Juniors
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
7:00 pm

Class of 2022 College Counselor Breakdown

Mrs. Maura Diehl
Associate Director of College Counseling
Last Names A-G

Mr. Gerard M. Brett
Director of College Counseling
Last Names H-M

Mr. Jim Sawyer
Associate Director of College Counseling
Last Names N-Z

Mrs. Katie Palopoli
College Counseling Assistant

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