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Senior Newsletter and Scholarships

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Welcome to the
Class of 2020
There are many decisions you will have to make in the next few months concerning your plans after high school.  Organization and being aware of deadlines can be the key to a successful senior year. This is your first senior newsletter.  You will receive a newsletter each month that will provide you with information on scholarships, college applications, financial aid and other pertinent information.

Senior College Night

In the fall, counselors will be speaking with all seniors to continue the formal college and post-high school planning program that began in junior year.  The fall Senior College Night will be held on Thursday, September 26, 2019, at 7pm at Lakeland Copper Beech Middle School.  This is an essential program for both students and parents.  Completing applications takes a good deal of dedicated time and energy, so plan ahead; one of our past graduates may have written it best in a message posted to seniors, reading, “Start early! Don’t wait until the last minute or you will be overwhelmed and more stressed than you actually have to be!”

Pay strict attention to deadlines and requirements, and understand that counselors and teachers require a minimum of ten school days to process your letters of recommendation and transcripts.  Remember that you have an abundance of resources available to you, from your counselor, to Naviance, to the district’s Guidance & Counseling web page, to college guidebooks; use your resources wisely!

College Admission Counselors Visit WPHS

From September through December you have the opportunity to talk with college admission counselors who visit the Guidance Office.  Be sure to check the dates and times on the attached Naviance College Rep Visit calendar or look on Naviance for the most up to date list. Not sure what questions to ask a college representative?  Pick up a list of questions in the Guidance Office.

Your Official Transcript is Available 

Go onto the Home Access Center in eSchool and check your transcript carefully.  Let your Counselor know immediately if you find an error, and no later than Friday, September 27th.  A copy of your transcript will be sent to the colleges you apply to.  Senior grades will also affect admission decisions. Keep your grades up.  Colleges will be sent a copy of your mid-year report card.

College Fair

The NORTHERN WESTCHESTER/PUTNAM COLLEGE CONFERENCE for Seniors and Parents will be held at Yorktown High School on Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 6:30 to 9:00 pm.  More than 300 representatives will be attending.  This is your opportunity to ask questions, set up college interviews, pick up literature and learn about financial aid.

SUNY (State University of New York)

The 2020 SUNY viewbook contains instructions for the online application process.  Campus overviews are provided as well as information about academic programs, costs, financial aid and athletics. 

Viewbooks, application worksheets, etc. are available online at State University of New York .  NOTE:  SUNY recommends that regular decision applicants apply by December 1st.

College Applications

When you begin filling out your college applications, keep the following in mind:
  • Complete the application.  Review the application requirements of any colleges to which you will be applying; take note of deadlines and how many, if any, teacher letters are required.
  • Make sure you have completed a Student Autobiographical Record, as well as the Official Transcript Request form which can be found in the College Application Packet.  Both documents should be submitted together to your School Counselor.
  • Request 2 teacher letters of recommendation through Naviance (at least 3 weeks before your deadline).
  • The NAVIANCE Program is an excellent tool that will assist you through the college application process. To access this useful site, go to, and click Departments, Guidance, College & Career Links, Naviance Student, LHS or WPHS Login.  If you have lost or forgotten your registration code, see Mrs. O’Neill (LHS) or Ms. Zadra (WPHS) in Guidance.
  •  Send your SAT or ACT scores (if required), though College Board or ACT.
  • Prepare for scholarship and college applications by creating a resumè.  Include academic awards, honors, school and community activities/service as well as work experience.  A resumè template is available in the Guidance Office.
  • Need Help Getting Started?  Pick Up “College Essay Do’s & Don’ts” handout in the Guidance Office.
  • You are responsible for all deadlines!

Note:  Be sure to submit the Transcript Request form to your Counselor at least 10 school days prior to any deadline.  The Guidance Office will be sending transcripts and recommendation letters electronically to colleges.  Students and parents should review the directions in the “College Application Packet” on the Guidance web page.

Open House, Information Sessions, etc.

There’s no substitute for seeing a college yourself!  Call the college admissions office or visit their website to register for an open house, schedule a day or overnight visit or set up an interview.

Buffalo State Coll: Open House, Oct. 12, Nov. 16, Buffalo State Admission
Pace Univ.:  Westchester Oct. 20, NYC Oct. 12, Pace University
Sacred Heart:  Open House, Sept. 21, 10am-2pm, Sacared Heart Admission
Salve Regina Univ:  Oct. 20, Salve Regina University
Seton Hall Univ.: Oct. 27, Nov. 24, Feb. 17, Apr. 14, Seton Hall University
SUNY Albany: Oct. 19, Fall Open House SUNY Albany
Univ. of Conn:  Sept. 21, Oct. 20, Open House UConn
SUNY:  Visit SUNY Open House Schedule Falll 2019 for all Fall Open House programs.
Yale Multicultural Open House:  Sept. 28, 8:30am-5:30pm, Yale Open House 2019
Service Academy Information Night, sponsored by Nita Lowey, Congresswoman, Sept. 16, 7pm, Nanuet Public Library, Nomination Process for U.S. Air Force, Merchant Marine, Military and Naval Academies.  For questions, email

College Fairs

10/10/19: SUNY College Fair at the Javits Center, New York 4:00 7:00 p.m.
10/23/19: Southern Westchester College Fair at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. 6:30pm to 9:00pm.
10/24/19:  Northern Westchester College Fair at Yorktown High School, 6:30pm to 9:00pm.

SAT/ACT Test Dates:

Many colleges will accept either SAT or ACT scores when making admissions decisions.  Registering early gives you the best chance of being assigned to the test center you want.  You may register for either the SAT reasoning test OR up to three SAT Subject Tests on a test date.  Note:  Regulations require that you submit an acceptable photo when registering for the SAT or ACT.  Register online for the SAT at College Board or for the  ACT Test Information .

SAT Reasoning & Subject Tests: 

Oct. 5, 2019:  Regular registration deadline:  Sept 6, 2019, Late registration deadline:  Sept. 24, 2019
Nov. 2, 2019:  Regular registration deadline:  Oct. 3, 2019, Late registration deadline:  Oct. 22, 2019

ACT Assessment: 

Sept.14, 2019
Oct. 26, 2019: 
Regular registration deadline:  Sept. 20, 2019, Late registration deadline:  Oct. 4, 2019

College Admission Terms

Common Application: An application to which nearly 700 different colleges and universities subscribe.  This application is filled out once and sent to any participating colleges to which a student is applying.  Using the Common App also allows your high school to send forms electronically through Naviance.

Regular Admission:  Applications must be received by a defined date, and students are notified of admission decisions in the spring. Make your decision and notify colleges by May 1st (candidate reply date).

Rolling Admission: Apply and be notified of acceptance or denial as soon as the applications have been processed. Notify colleges of your decision by May 1st.

Optional early application plans

Early Action:  A non-binding admission plan that requires you to submit your application to the college in early fall, usually by November 1st or 15th.  The college generally notifies you of their decision in mid December.  You are not obligated to attend the college if accepted and may wait until the May 1st notification deadline to decide whether to attend the school. You may submit other applications simultaneously.

Single Choice, Early Action:  This is also a non-binding admissions process, although a student may not apply to an early program at any other institution.  You are not required to give a final answer until the regular decision deadline.

Early Decision:  This is considered binding.  A student may apply to ONE college under the Early Decision Plan and receive an answer well before the regular admission deadline.  You may also apply for early action or regular admission to other colleges, but once you are admitted under an Early Decision Plan, you are obligated to attend the college and all applications to other colleges must be withdrawn immediately.   By applying under an Early Decision Plan, you have made a commitment to attend that college and surrender the right to wait until May 1 to make a decision.

Early Decision II:  This follows the same guidelines as ED, but it adheres to a later timeline.  The deadline is usually late December or January and notification follows in approximately one month.

Financial Aid The FAFSA is available October 1st.

Remember to complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon as possible.  The U.S. Department of Education publication, Do You Need Money for College?  The Guide to Federal Student Aid, provides a comprehensive description of federal student aid programs.  Visit to view the publication and find other helpful resources.  Many colleges use your FAFSA information to award non-federal aid, and their deadlines vary.  Contact the college’s financial aid office to find out if any additional forms are required.  After submitting your FAFSA, you’ll receive a Student Aid Report, or SAR, containing the information reported on your FAFSA and including your Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  The schools you list on your FAFSA will receive your SAR data electronically and each school will send you an aid offer showing the amount and types of aid available to you. Go to to complete the FAFSA form.  FAFSA on the Web Worksheets are available in Guidance.

If you list a New York college on your FAFSA form, you can link directly to the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).  For more information on TAP, visit 

The CSS/Financial Aid Profile is an online application that collects information used by nearly 400 colleges and scholarship programs to help them award private, non-federal student aid funds.  There is an initial fee for the application and one college report and a fee for each additional report.  Information and the online application are available at .  The colleges requiring the PROFILE are listed on the website.

Check out the financial aid website of the colleges where you plan to apply and find out what scholarships are available. Take note… colleges may have scholarship deadlines earlier than their admission application deadlines.

Links to information on financial aid, options for paying for college, as well as access to financial aid applications are all conveniently located on the district’s “Guidance” web page at .

College Sports

If you wish to participate in Division I or Division II athletics in college, you MUST be certified by the NCAA (The National Collegiate Athletic Assn).   You can register online at

IMPORTANT: It is your responsibility to advise the Guidance Office that you have registered with NCAA.  Official transcripts will be sent from the Guidance Office. 

All SAT and ACT scores must be reported to the Eligibility Center directly from the testing agency.  When registering for the SAT or ACT, input the code 9999 to make sure the score is reported directly to the Eligibility Center.

Selective Service

If you are an 18-year old male, you need to register with Selective Service within 30 days of your 18th birthday.  It’s the law.  If you’re 17 years and 3 months old, you can submit registration information and when you turn 18, you will be registered automatically.  If you fail to register, it will affect your ability to receive Federal college loans and grants, and student aid in most states. 

How to Register for Selective Service:  On-line at, or fill out a Selective Service “mail back” registration form at any U.S. Post Office, or check the “Register Me” box on the application form for Federal Student Financial Aid (FAFSA form).


WALTER PANAS HIGH SCHOOL, 300 Croton Avenue, Cortlandt Manor, NY  10567
PH:  (914) 739-2823 (press 3, Guidance), FAX: (914) 739-3545
ADMINISTRATION:  Joseph Spero, Principal, Donna Bolner, Asst. Principal, Marlene Gracia, Asst. Principal
COUNSELING OFFICE:  Nadia Potter, District Guidance Coordinator
SCHOOL COUNSELORS:  Chelsea Aversano, Dale Chappelle, Laurainne Mosca, Sonia Recuppio, Brandon Thomas
SUPPORT STAFF:  Mary Ellen Brown, Kathy Giordano, Kathy Zadra, College and Career Ctr