by DeLaSalle | | Headlines

DeLaSalle is accredited as a college preparatory high school and takes pride in the various post-secondary successes of its graduates.  Historically, at least 95-98 percent of graduates (or more) make plans to attend college immediately upon graduating from DeLaSalle, while others may choose to take a gap year or enter the military or work force.  The months of September through December are particularly busy.  This fall, the Class of 2017 will finalize their choices and file between 600-1200 separate applications (an average of 3-6 per student), meeting deadlines as set by a broad variety of colleges.  Teachers, counselors, and other DeLaSalle staff are writing hundreds of letters or recommendation as well.

NEW FAFSA DEADLINE:  What’s new this year is that college-bound students and their families may apply for financial aid earlier than ever before, under a change by the U.S. Department of Education to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA.  Previously, families typically had to wait until January 1 to file their application. Now, parents of college students could file their FAFSA as early as October 1 of each year, as the application now allows students and parents to use their tax information from an earlier year — in this case, the 2015 tax year. Previously, students would have had to estimate their tax information and later go back into the FAFSA to update it.

Students and families should note the change as some financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Students may apply for financial aid even if they have not applied for admission to college. Federal education officials suggest students list on their FAFSA all of the schools to which they have applied or might apply.

This Scholarship Bulletin provides useful information about a variety of scholarships for which one may apply. Download this helpful scholarship tracker here.  Get a complete overview of the financial aid process through this presentation from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

COAST-TO-COAST COLLEGE MATRICULATION: In the past decade alone, Islanders have matriculated to over 240 different colleges and universities across the United States to pursue undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Many colleges have visited DeLaSalle and met with students during the day, with more posted on the school calendar throughout the coming months.  Others, such as Dartmouth and Notre Dame, held their citywide presentations in the evening and invited students and families from other schools to join Islanders at DeLaSalle and learn more about their programs.

COLLEGE PLANNING PROGRAM: Developed by the Guidance Counseling Department, the college planning program has always included a full calendar of workshops and other events to meet the needs of students and their families.  Because of this year’s accelerated option to file a FAFSA, DeLaSalle’s Guidance office moved its annual calendar of college planning and financial aid sessions earlier in the school year to better inform and educate seniors – and many have attended and taken advantage of the planning help.

These programs and events are particularly helpful to those students and families going through the college application process for the first time, though all families are invited to participate.  Workshops and meetings are communicated to students through “The Source” daily announcements and to parents via the weekly e-mail blast.  Many also follow the @Beyond DLS Twitter feed for valuable information.  Beginning in the first week of August and continuing throughout the year, Guidance Counseling staff and a variety of guest speakers and experts have been conducting a series of daytime and evening college planning sessions, including:

  • College Planning for seniors and their parents
  • Writing a better college application essay
  • How to best complete the online admission applications
  • Panel Discussions with college representatives
  • College Planning for juniors and their parents
  • Individual interviews with every junior – “starting the plan”
  • Field trip for all juniors to the National College Fair
  • All-day college planning workshop for juniors in January
  • On-Campus ACT testing in April and June
  • Test Preparation and Assessment
  • Financial Aid and Scholarship Application Support
  • Using the Naviance and Scholarship Search programs

As seniors file applications throughout the coming weeks, juniors are reminded to schedule their individual interview with one of the Guidance Counselors.  The Guidance Counseling office is purposefully located right across the hallway from the lunchroom, easily accessible to students for college, academic and personal counseling every day.