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College Counseling Update - November 2020

College Counseling Update - November 2020

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FAFSA and CSS Profile



Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to electronically forward from College Board or ACT any SAT or ACT scores to the colleges to which you are applying. It is also the student’s responsibility to know which colleges need official scores from the testing agencies and which colleges allow self-reporting. There are hundreds of colleges that allow a student to self-report their scores in the Common App. If you plan in applying test optional to any colleges it is recommended that you do NOT self-report your scores in the Common Application.

Approximately 50 colleges required students to self-report their grades in the Common Application. In addition. Colleges such as Delaware, Pitt, and Penn State require submission of the Self-Reported Academic Record (SRAR) and Temple requires their own form. Each college has their own requirements for how this information must be submitted. La Salle does not send an official transcript to these colleges until the student has been accepted.

Please do not be alarmed by delays in items posting to the college’s portal and/or being officially received by the colleges. This is a normal occurrence as colleges are receiving thousands of application items from hundreds of students on a daily basis. It can take them weeks and sometimes months to accurately compile all of the parts of the application on their end. Please be assured that all items will be sent from La Salle’s College Counseling office by the official documentation deadline for the college or university. It is the student’s responsibility to accurately inform the College Counseling Office of all colleges and application deadlines and to update Scoir.

Please note that it is the student’s responsibility to send senior report card grades. Sending senior report card grades is up to you and optional, unless the college specifically requests these grades. These grades will be available by November 6, 2020 and can be found in the student portal next to the initial unofficial transcript. The report card (scanned or screenshot) can be emailed to the admission office or the college rep responsible for reading applications from La Salle. The name and contact info of the college rep can be found on the college’s own website. The College Counseling Office will automatically send first semester grades electronically in mid-January to all of the colleges that a student has applied to. Cumulative GPAs are not updated until the end of the first semester.

Seniors are reminded to inform Mrs. Palopoli in the College Counseling Office by Monday, November 30, 2020 about any colleges they are adding to their original list or removing from their original list. The counselors need time for processing these requests before Christmas Vacation.  Copies of letters of acceptance or scholarship awards also need to be brought to the College Counseling Center. 

Please note that the College Counseling Office follows the La Salle school schedule and will be closed December 12, 2020 through January 5, 2021. All 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.

In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act, a college must post a Net Price Calculator on its website (typically the financial aid webpage) that uses institutional data to provide estimated net price information to current and prospective students and their families based on a student’s individual circumstances.

The clock started October 1, 2020. Understanding financial aid is an important part of the college application process. Meeting requirements and deadlines for financial aid is crucial and is the family’s responsibility. In order to qualify for Federal or State funds, parents and students need to complete the FAFSA which may be submitted beginning October 1, 2020. Go to for information. Prior to completing the FAFSA, students and parents must create an FSA ID which gives access to Federal Student Aid online systems and serves as a legal signature.

In addition to the FAFSA, over 400 colleges require their own financial aid form or the CSS Profile.  Information is available on the College Board site and may be submitted beginning October 1, 2020. Please pay special attention to the deadlines which are listed on each college’s website. Three particularly useful financial aid website are,, and for an excellent overview of financial aid.

PHEAA is also offering Financial Aid Assistance Webinars on Understanding Financial Offers and Balances and Covering the Gap in a financial aid offer through November.

Click the ‘Scholarships’ tab at for information on individual private scholarships that are sent to our College Counseling Office. Going Merry  and Scholly are excellent sites for scholarships.

Any senior who is considering playing Division I or Division II intercollegiate sports must apply for eligibility clearance through the NCAA Eligibility Center. Read the directions carefully. Inform Mrs. Palopoli in the College Counseling Center if you plan on playing a sport at the college level and 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-Athlete. Coaches and counselors are available to answer any questions. Students 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 7, 2020, 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).

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 an SAT or ACT fee waiver based on need, please encourage them to ask Mrs. Palopoli in the College Counseling Office.

Juniors are encouraged to take a practice test to find out 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. Advisory classes for juniors regarding the college search and application process will begin January 6, 2021.

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

As we head into November and the holiday season is on the horizon, keep in mind that the GPA in college preparatory courses is the most important criteria in the college admission process. 

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