College Planning

The OLSH Counseling Center offers several resources to help prepare students for the college application process.

Getting Ready for College Program

Each year, OLSH offers a Getting Ready for College program designed to develop skills that will be helpful as students make the transition from high school to college. The Getting Ready for College (GRFC) program prepares students by giving them a taste of college-level work and teaching them strategies to be successful in this new academic environment.

Financial Aid Information

Funding Your Future Brochure

PHEAA offers a wealth of information regarding applying for college financial aid. The brochure below, Funding Your Future, is a helpful guide to the financial aid process.

Additional Financial Aid Resources

PHEAA provides a number of different avenues for students and their families to use if questions arise concerning the FAFSA application process, how to apply for grants, student employment, career planning and other important issues:

  • You may call 1-800-692-7392 and a representative will personally assist you.

Important Dates for High School Seniors:

January 1, 2016: The 2016-2017 FAFSA can be completed on or after this date.

May 1, 2016: The 2016-2017 FAFSA filing deadline for the Pennsylvania State Grant Program for all new applicants who plan to enroll in baccalaureate degree programs, including those who enroll in college transfer programs at two-year public colleges or junior colleges (excludes community colleges).

August 1, 2016: The 2016-2017 FAFSA filing deadline for the Pennsylvania State Grant Program for all new applicants who plan to enroll in community colleges; business, trade and technical schools; hospital schools of nursing; or two-year non-transferable career programs at two-year public, junior or four-year colleges.

College Planning Guides

In order to help guide students and parents through the college application and admission process, the OLSH Counseling Center has developed checklists of important information and steps each student and parent should be taking during each year of their high school experience.

While each situation is unique and some circumstances may vary, these lists provide a solid list of guidelines.

  • A Guide for Senior Year
    A checklist of important information for seniors and their parents.
  • A Guide for Junior Year
    A checklist of important information for juniors and their parents.
  • A Guide for Sophomore Year
    A checklist of important information for sophomores and their parents.
  • A Guide for Freshman Year
    A checklist of important information for freshmen and their parents.
  • College Speakers

    Throughout the school year, speakers from various colleges and universities come to OLSH to present information about their institutions to OLSH students. These speakers are listed in the Counselor's Corner and the Grapevine.

    Information Sessions

    Each year, the OLSH Counseling Center hosts several information sessions to help guide parents through the college planning process. These include:

    College Information Night - Wednesday, October 5, 2016

    School counselors Mrs. Susan McDonald and Mrs. Caroline Tripodi, along with guest speaker Miles Vida, Associate Director of Admissions at Gannon University, will give a presentation covering a variety of topics, including: college admission testing (SAT/ACT), college selection, the college application and admissions process, and choosing a major. OLSH graduation requirements and policies and procedures related to the release of OLSH transcripts will also be discussed. All OLSH parents and guardians are invited to attend.

    College Financial Aid Night - Monday, September 12, 2016

    Kimberly McCurdy, Regional Director of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), gave a presentation about financing a college education. Topics covered included: grants, scholarships, low interest loans, work-study jobs, federal aid programs, state aid programs, private aid sources, college financial aid, and how need is determined.

    FAFSA Completion Night - Monday, November 14, 2016

    Parents of college-bound seniors are invited to attend the OLSH Counseling Center's annual FAFSA Completion Night on Monday, November 14 at 6:00 pm in the library. Kimberly McCurdy from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) will be on hand to help families complete the online Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA). Federal student aid is available for students who wish to pursue a post-secondary degree at any accredited college, university, trade or technical school, whether public or private.

    You must pre-register for FAFSA Completion Night by emailing smcdonald@olsh.org.

    • FSA ID 2015 (1.67 MB)
      Instructions on how to create an FSA ID
    • FAFSA Tipsheet 2016 (83.2 KB)
      List of the documents and information you will need to bring with you to the FAFSA Completion Night

    College Visits

    Seniors are allowed two (2) excused absences for college visits.

    Students planning a college visit must:

    1. Turn in a completed College Visit Notification Form to the Main Office two weeks prior to the scheduled visit.

    2. Turn in a completed Prearranged Absence Notification form a minimum of one day prior to the planned absence.

    Both forms may be downloaded and printed using the links below. They are also available in the Counseling Center.