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College Counseling Update - September 2020

College Counseling Update - September 2020

The college search and application process can be a challenging experience for students and their families. Our goal in the College Counseling Department at La Salle College High School is to educate your sons regarding the process, to support them in their efforts, and to assist them in identifying colleges and universities that match their academic abilities and will offer success in a suitable environment for continuing intellectual development. Finding the right college or university is about “fit”, therefore, we expect each young man to play an active role in his college search and admission process.

This year, more than ever, students must be checking their email, the Daily Bulletin, and College Counseling’s social media accounts on a daily basis.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling has provided information and resources for students and families adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic. We strongly encourage you to bookmark and visit this page throughout the college search and application process.

Each of the College Counselors is responsible for one-third of the senior class for the upcoming school year, and one-third of the junior class for College Counseling beginning in January 2021. The alphabetic division of the Senior Class of 2021 is:

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
(215) 402-4845

The College Counseling Department exists in addition to the Guidance Department. The guidance counselor will work with the seniors (Mrs. Sara Martin and juniors (Mr. Tony Resch with grade level academic, personal, and emotional issues. One of the greatest strengths of our College Counseling Department is our ability to work as a team. Our collaborative efforts allow us to share insights about the process as well as the latest happenings in the field with our students.

The world of college admissions changes each year. In order to bring clarity to the college process in general and the specific process here at La Salle College High School, we request that you attend our Virtual College Question and Answer Night for Parents of Seniors on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 7:00 PM. Please complete the to indicate your attendance at this meeting and list any questions you might have. Our goal is to make the evening as informative as possible and as brief as possible given your many responsibilities. A link to the meeting with be sent at a later date.

In the meantime, we recommend that you become familiar with our page on the La Salle website,, paying special attention to the ‘Apply to College’ and ‘Application Process’ tabs. section. Our College Counseling page will be an invaluable resource. The content contained on this website is crucial to understanding the college search and application process. The link to Scoir, a useful and important college research tool, has been emailed to you.

Students are strongly encouraged not to submit applications until after Tuesday, September 8, 2020. They may, however, begin, working on their applications. Transcripts are not considered official from Academic Affairs until after this date.

Common Application

All students are expected to use the Common Application which is accepted and preferred by close to 900 colleges and universities. Please visit the Apply to College and Application Process tabs for a step by step overview of the process here at La Salle College High School. Students are expected to open a Common Application account before the school year begins. The first two Group Advisory classes will be dedicated to completing a large portion of the Common Application and to answering any questions students may have.

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

Social Media
Recent parents and students have found our social media sites to be an invaluable resource throughout the senior year. To keep you as informed as possible throughout the entire admissions process, these sites will provide information on dates and deadlines, college visits to La Salle, the latest in college admissions, and relevant articles on subjects of interest. We strongly encourage students and parents to sign up. The Twitter account is embedded at

College Counseling Twitter

College Counseling Facebook   

College Counseling Instagram

College Visits
Last year La Salle hosted over 170 colleges and universities throughout the fall on our campus. This year we will be hosting virtual visits which can be found at as well as in Scoir. Students must sign up in Scoir. If a college visit occurs during a scheduled class, the student must have permission from their teacher before attending the visit. Students can log on from home or from La Salle. For students who are in school we will also have limited seating availability in the College Counseling Office to watch a live stream on our digital screens. 

For information on registration and possible cancellation of testing please visit and  In almost all instances, both tests count for the November 1st Early Action/Decision deadlines and all colleges look at both tests equally.

1) Test scores do not appear on the transcript.
2) Students must send their standardized test scores directly from the testing agencies to the colleges to which they are applying. 
3) There are close to 200 colleges that allow students to self-report test scores within the Common App.

Test Optional/Flexible/Blind Colleges
More than half of colleges will be test-optional for fall 2021 admission including 85 of the US News Top 100 National Liberal Arts Colleges and 60 of the Top 100 National Universities.

Service Academy Applications
Any student who is applying to one of the United States Service Academies should see Mrs. Palopoli by Friday, September 11, 2020 in order to ensure timely submission of materials.

Early Action/Early Decision
Any student planning to meet an official Early Action/Early Decision deadline (typically 11/1 or 11/15) must officially notify Mrs. Palopoli, in the College Counseling Office, by Monday, October 5, 2020. Counselors and teachers need sufficient time to write letters of recommendation and process materials to meet those early deadlines for 241 seniors.

College Financial Aid Night
Mount Saint Joseph Academy, will host the annual College Financial Aid Night, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 at 7:00 pm. Bonnie Lee Behm, Director of Financial Assistance at Villanova University will present. Details to follow. Please visit the numerous financial aid and scholarship links available at

Virtual College Interview Day
This annual event for seniors will take place virtually on Tuesday, October 6th. Admission officers from approximately 50 colleges and universities will be available to conduct interviews with our seniors. Seniors will receive a list of attending college and universities in Group Advisory during the third week in September. The overwhelming positive feedback we have received yearly from our past students and college admission officers clearly indicates the value of this event.

NCAA Clearinghouse Eligibility
Any student interested in playing intercollegiate sports must meet NCAA Clearinghouse standards, file an electronic eligibility form with the NCAA at, and inform Mrs. Palopoli. Please become familiar with the information and please note that the minimum core GPA for the Class of 2021 to participate in NCAA Division I sports is a 2.30. Questions can be directed to the athletic director, coaches, college and guidance counselors. 

Senior College Visit/Application/Essay Days
Seniors should take advantage of the two long weekends in September and October to make additional visits to colleges and to work on college applications and essays. There are no classes for all La Salle students Monday, September 28th, Monday, October 12th, and seniors are off Wednesday, October 14th. Seniors who are traveling to visit a college may also miss school on Tuesday, October 13th.

We cannot wait to get started!  This is a challenging and rewarding time in your son’s life and we are happy to play a part in it.

La Salle Social Media