College Counseling - January Update
College Counseling Update – January 2014
College Counseling Website of the Month www.collegedata.com
FINANCIAL AID: Be aware of the deadlines for filing the FAFSA, CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, and colleges’ own financial aid forms. You can begin filling out the FAFSA starting January 1, 2014. The suggested deadline for FAFSA is February 15, 2014. When listing colleges that you are applying to on the FAFSA please do so in alphabetical order. You should have already filled out the CSS/PROFILE if the college requires it.
Each college will have its own deadline for filing these forms. Since the forms are sent to a central site to be processed you must meet the earliest deadline from the student’s list of schools. Keep in mind that the demand for financial aid is increased because of the increased cost of a college education and the state of the economy. Meeting deadlines is imperative. Check our website site for financial aid and scholarship information and links.
The following are helpful articles regarding the financial aid process:
FIRST SEMESTER GPA: Study for semester exams. College admissions will look very closely at these senior grades and interim GPA. Mid-year grades for seniors will be automatically sent after the end of the first semester to all of the colleges to which the seniors have applied. Please keep in mind that colleges reserve the right to rescind an offer of admission based on poor academic performance.
ACCEPTANCES AND FINANCIAL AWARDS: Seniors are reminded to inform Mrs. O’Connell in the College Counseling Center about any acceptances and scholarships or grants by bringing in the letters/printed emails of acceptances and awards. Keep in mind the importance of informing teachers who have taken the time to write letters of recommendation on the student’s behalf about these outcomes.
All juniors must purchase a copy of College Match by Dr. Steven R. Antonoff by January 22nd. This book serves as the textbook for Group Advisory and is an invaluable resource for students and parents. The book can be purchased for $10.00 in the La Salle Campus Store.
COLLEGE INFORMATION NIGHT for parents of juniors conducted by the college counselors will be held on Wednesday, February 5th at 7:15 P.M. in the school auditorium. This College Information Night is for parents only. Students will receive this information and more in their advisory classes.
The information given those nights will explain the college search and application process in general and specifically here at La Salle College High School. It will include the step-by-step processes covered in your sons’ advisory classes and the required homework assignments. We strongly encourage you to attend this evening given the ever changing college admissions landscape.
The college counselors – Bro. William DiPasquale, Mrs. Mary Kay Mullen, and Mr. Gerard M. Brett – will begin to meet with the juniors once a cycle in advisory classes beginning second semester (January 22, 2014). The purpose of the advisories is to prepare the students for the college search and application process. Students and parents are encouraged to visit the Junior Monthly Planning Calendar to help them see where they should be at this time in the process.
Encourage your son to make an appointment with his college counselor at the beginning of the second semester. The class is divided alphabetically by student’s last name:
Bro. William DiPasquale A-F
Mr. Gerard M. Brett G-N
Mrs. Mary Kay Mullen O-Z
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) latest survey regarding the state of college admission again measured the top factors in admission decisions. The top three are
grades in college preparatory courses
scores in standardized admission tests
grades in all courses
The application essay, counselor and teacher recommendations, and extracurricular activities were reported as “tip factors” – factors not considered as baselines for admission but could figure prominently in differentiating similarly qualified candidates. Please keep these factors in mind as the students prepare to take their first semester exams, begin second semester courses, and register in March for courses for senior year.
STANDARDIZED TESTING: During first semester advisory class, juniors were introduced to the ‘Prep Me’ Test Preparation component in Naviance, available through the student portal. This free program contains a sample electronic SAT and ACT that allows the students to experience both formats. Electronic test prep packets are available for each type of test along with practice tests and tutorials for each section of the tests. Having experience with both types of standardized testing (SAT and ACT) will allow the students to determine the format where they will be most successful in follow-up testing. Each junior should have taken two of the same test – either the ACT with writing component or SAT – by the end of second semester junior year. Create a timeline for registering and taking standardized tests keeping in mind any academic, extracurricular, or personal commitments, e.g. athletic schedules.
The complete schedule of test and registration dates and information about the tests is available at www.collegeboard.org (SAT), and www.actstudent.org (ACT). Students are responsible for reporting their scores from the testing services to the colleges to which they are going to apply.
When registering for the SAT or ACT, the student is reminded to use his legal name, the name that is on his transcript, to avoid confusion in the college application process. Also, we recommend that students use suitable email addresses (preferably their La Salle school email) when corresponding with colleges keeping in mind the impressions they are creating. Our school code – 393370 – should be entered on the registration so the college counselors receive the test scores.
ATHLETES: Students interested in participating in Division I and II athletics at the collegiate level must be aware of the NCAA Clearinghouse requirements listed on www.eligibilitycenter.org.
COLLEGE COUNSELING WEBSITE: In preparing for the college search and application process we invite you to become familiar with our website – www.lschs.org/college. You will find general and specific information and links to many useful sites.