Academics

College Counseling

La Salle Academy’s College Counseling Department seeks to promote the personal growth of students and to provide them with the strategies necessary for educational, career, and social development.
La Salle Academy's experienced College Counseling team provides comprehensive advisement to students and their families throughout the college selection and application process. By working closely with class deans and faculty, counselors help students find a post-secondary option that best fits their strengths, interests, and goals. Beginning sophomore year, students have access to information specific to the college selection process. Then, at the start of their junior year, students are assigned their college counselors.

During this process, students and parents have access to a selection of resources, including Naviance Student. This web-based resource provides data and historical statistics on colleges and universities; giving students insight on how particular schools fit with their academic history.

Each fall, the College Counseling Office hosts more than two hundred college and university admissions representatives from across the world. Seniors are encouraged to meet with them in order to learn specific application requirements. In addition, college counselors host evening events for parents that cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • College search process.
  • Applying to colleges.
  • College essay.
  • Standardized testing.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Financial aid.
  • Merit scholarships.
  • Searching for private scholarships.
The College Counseling Office has two primary goals: have students take responsibility throughout the college admission process and ensure open communication by creating partnerships with parents.

Our counselors look forward to working with your family during this exciting time.

College Counseling Timeline

List of 5 items.

  • Junior Counseling

    While the mission of La Salle Academy’s Counseling Department remains unchanged, students will notice that junior year is different from previous years. As students grow, mature, and prepare for the future, counselors adapt to serve the changing needs of their students.

    This includes supporting students as they:

    • Transition from school counseling to college counseling.
    • Strive for academic success in preparation for college.
    • Decide on a standardized test plan (SAT and/or ACT).
    • Explore ways to showcase their strengths and individual talents.
    • Take on leadership roles in school clubs and athletics.
    • Further developing their time management skills.

    This is an exciting year – one full of planning and dedication. We encourage students to work to their fullest potential and experience everything La Salle Academy has to offer.
  • Junior Year - Fall

    • Review your current course schedule and work with your college counselor to make changes, if needed.
    • Take the PSAT/NMSQT in October, during the school day, unless we’ve moved to full distance learning. This is the last practice for standardized testing and a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship competition. Each student’s registration is completed by the College Counseling Office.
    • Register through your College Board/ACT account to take a standardized test in December, March, May, and/or June.
    • Mark your calendar for the Junior College Admissions Program – it’s in January, at the start of the second semester.
    • Schedule to visit the campus of local colleges/universities and attend a college fair. Be prepared with a list of questions to ask college representatives.
  • Junior Year - Winter/Spring

    • Attend the College Admissions Program, it’s where students and parents learn how to navigate the college search process and develop a standardized test plan.
    • Schedule a family college planning meeting with your college counselor.
    • Review the list of colleges you want to research and map out a campus visit.
    • Choose your senior year courses with advisement from your college counselor. Course selection can be included in your college planning meeting.
    • Register through your College Board/ACT account to take a standardized test (SAT and/or ACT).
    • Plan additional in person or virtual campus visits at the schools you’re considering.
  • Junior Year - Summer

    • Complete your senior survey in Naviance Student.
    • Complete your parent brag sheet before sending it to your college counselor.
    • Request two to three teacher recommendations in Naviance Student.
    • Complete the common application and attend the summer workshop (optional).
    • Complete the standard 650-word college essay and attend workshops (optional).
    Ongoing:
    • Complete the list of colleges/universities where you plan on applying.
    • (Re)visit the colleges/universities that you’re most interested in.
  • Senior Year Counseling

    • Meet with your college counselor to finalize your school list and the college application process.
    • Complete your senior survey, list of activities, parent brag sheet, and teacher letter of recommendation form (if it wasn’t completed over the summer).
    • If you plan on competing in Division I or II athletics in college, meet with Mrs. Casey to review the requirements and register with the NCAA Eligibility Center.
    • Register for college appointments through Naviance and meet with representatives from schools that visit La Salle in the first and second quarters.
    • Be aware of college application deadlines (most are due between October 15, and February 1).
    • If you’re applying early decision, schedule a meeting with your college counselor to review the requirements for that college/university.
    • Complete the common application, school-specific applications, and your college essay.
    • Create an FSA ID, complete the FASFA (starting on Oct. 1), and CSS Profile (if required).
    • Match your common application to your Naviance Student account and add any non-common application schools to the list of colleges you’re applying to.
    • Complete the transcript request form. This allows your college counselor to submit your official documents to colleges and universities. Transcript forms must be submitted ONE MONTH IN ADVANCE of any college application deadline.
    • Request your teacher recommenders in Naviance.
    • Submit your standardized test scores from College Board/ACT to colleges, as students are responsible for electronically sending these scores to colleges/universities.
    • Continue to work hard in the classroom; your senior grades count in the college application process.
    Ongoing:
    • Update your list of colleges if you’re applying to additional schools.
    • Visit colleges you’re interested in, attend college open houses, register for information sessions that are specific to your major, and/or interview with admission representatives.

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Eric Simonelli

    Eric Simonelli 

    Director of College Counseling
    (401) 351-7750 ext 125
  • Photo of ConiSue King

    ConiSue King 

    Director of School Counseling/College Counselor
    (401) 351-7750 ext 124
  • Photo of Erin Casey

    Erin Casey 93

    College Counselor
    (401) 351-7750 ext 145
  • Photo of Anne Clawson

    Anne Clawson 

    College Counselor
    (401) 351-7750 ext 295
  • Photo of Lee Matteson

    Lee Matteson 

    School and College Counseling Secretary
    (401) 351-7750 ext 128

Counselor Assignments

List of 2 items.

  • Class of 2021

    Erin Casey 
    A- Diaz

    ConiSue King 
    DiDomenico - Lanni

    Eric Simonelli 
    Larkin - Oneppo

    Anne Clawson
    Pacheco - Zullo
  • Class of 2022

    Erin Casey
    A- Diaz

    ConiSue King
    DiBiasio - Lemos

    Eric Simonelli
    Li - Raulino

    Anne Clawson
    Regan - Z

College Counseling FAQ

List of 16 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What should I write about in my personal essay?

    Ultimately, colleges are looking to hear your unique voice and how clearly you articulate your point of view. The essay should communicate some important characteristics of your personality without coming right out and mentioning them directly, and you should stay away from writing an overly contrived and maudlin essay. Keep in mind that you are writing something personal and meaningful to you, so stay away from gimmicks. The essay should be well written and proofread by you and a few other trusted people, such as an English teacher. Most importantly, be sure to answer the question asked and share information not found in other parts of your application.
  • Q: How do I find out about and apply for financial aid and scholarships?

    The Counseling Office provides scholarship information monthly through our newsletter. In addition, a financial aid information night is held each year for senior parents. 
     
  • Q: What do colleges look at the most in making a decision about who to admit to their school?


    Colleges take into consideration a variety of components including the high school transcript, the difficulty of the courses taken, grade point average, grade trends, standardized tests (SAT Reasoning Test, SAT Subject Tests, ACT ), personal essay, letters of recommendation, extra-curricular activities, and in some cases a personal interview.
  • Q: Letter of recommendation:

    First, students should know how many letters of recommendation a college requires, if any, and if they want the letter(s) to be from specific subject teachers.   It is important to ask a teacher who knows you well and who will emphasize your strengths and skills. The letter of recommendation should add something to your application, not be a retelling of the grade earned in a class.  Students should cultivate positive relationships with teachers during their high school years so teachers will be able to write outstanding recommendations. 
  • Q: How many colleges should I apply to?

    There is no limit to the number of colleges to which students may apply. Sometimes the $50 average cost of a college application may help a family to decide to limit them to some degree. In general the college counselors at La Salle encourage students to apply to a couple of schools that may be what is considered “reach” or ideal schools; to a couple of schools that may be considered “target” schools or schools whose profiles is a good match with a student’s profile; and to a couple of schools that may be considered “safe” schools or schools where the student’s admission is reasonably certain.
  • Q: What is a “good” college?

    A “good” college is a college where a student can be most successful. It’s a school where he/she feels comfortable intellectually, socially and emotionally. A “good” school is one where a student fits in. Sometimes a ‘good’ school is in Rhode Island, sometimes it’s an hour or so away from home or three hours away. Sometimes it’s far from home. Sometimes a ‘good’ school is a large or a small one, a Catholic or a public one. A “good” school is NOT necessarily one of the top 10 schools in the country. Your college counselor can help you find colleges that are “good” for you.
  • Q: What courses do I need to take to get into a “good” school?

    At La Salle all students take a college preparatory program and graduate with 25.5 credits. All students are encouraged to take the most challenging courses that they are capable of taking and in which they can do well. In addition to four years of Religion, the most challenging courses consist of four years of Math, English, Science, Social Studies and Foreign Language. This is ideal. There are many exceptions. A student may be talented in Art or Music and wants to take courses in those areas. Another student may have an interest in business and may choose courses in that area. Also, some students don’t do well in one of the subjects mentioned and it would be better not to take it than to get a “D”. And finally, the college to which the student wants to apply requires 2 years of a Foreign Language or three years of Science.
     
  • Q: When are college applications due?

    Every college has its own application deadline. Frequently, many colleges have the same deadline. Students must be sure they research the college deadlines for all the colleges to which they apply. College counselors are always on hand to assist students in finding the information they need.
     
  • Q: What is “legacy”?

    Legacy is the situation where an immediate family member is a graduate from the institution to which the student is applying. Sometimes it also involves being an active alumnus/a.
     
  • Q: What is Early Decision?

    Early Decision (ED) is a binding plan; the applicant, parent/guardian, and college counselor must all sign an agreement that the student understands he/she is making a commitment to attend the university if accepted.  ED requires a student to submit an application to a University by a set date, (usually by November 1st or November 15th) in order to find out well before April 1st if the student is accepted. By applying ED a student has made a commitment to attend that college if admitted and to withdraw all other applications upon acceptance. Because of the binding nature of ED a student may apply to only one college under the ED plan. ED is not recommended unless the applicant is absolutely sure that he/she will attend the university if accepted.
  • Q: What is Early Action?

    Many colleges and universities have an Early Action (EA) Plan. EA is a non-binding plan that requires an academically qualified student to submit an application by an early deadline so that the student may know at an early date whether or not she/he is accepted. A student may apply EA to more than one institution, unless their policy is Early Action Single Choice. A student may even apply Early Decision and Early Action but the Early Decision is binding and all other applications must be withdrawn upon an Early Decision acceptance. (Individual institution’s regulations and interpretations may differ from and take precedence over this general explanation).
  • Q: When should I take the SAT Reasoning Test?

    The SAT Reasoning Test is administered many times throughout the year.  Juniors are encouraged to take their first SAT before the end of junior year, in either March, May or June, then again in the fall of their senior year, if needed. They may register on-line at www.collegeboard.org.
  • Q: How many times should I take the SAT’s?

    Students may take the SAT as many times as they like and try for their optimal score. Colleges generally look at the best scores, even the best scores on different tests. (Individual college preferences always apply).
     
  • Q: What are the SAT Subject Tests?

    The SAT Subject Tests are tests in specific subjects like Biology, Chemistry, Spanish and many more. They are one hour tests and three may be taken in one day.  SAT Subject Tests are required by some colleges in addition to the SAT Reasoning Test. Students can register online at www.collegeboard.org.
  • Q: What are the ACT’s?

    The ACT’s are an alternative college entrance examination accepted by almost all colleges. They assess a student’s general educational development and his/her ability to complete college level work. The multiple choice tests cover four skills areas: English, Math, Reading and Science. The writing test, which is optional, measures skill in planning and writing a short essay. (see www.act.org).
  • Q: How do I pick a college?

    A student should develop a profile of all he/she is looking for in a college and of what a college has to offer. The student should consider the kind of school he/she is looking for in terms of distance from home, size, public or private, relative cost, etc. Secondly, the student should make sure the school offers a major and alternatives that he/she would like to study. Extracurricular interests may be a factor in choosing a college. The student should then consider his/her academic profile in terms of PSAT or SAT scores, subjects taken, and cumulative average against each college’s profile to determine what his/her chances are of being accepted. Resources to help in this task can be found on a college’s website, through a student’s Naviance account, and at www.collegeboard.org. A student’s college counselor can help in this process.