Walter Panas High School

Senior Newsletter and Scholarships

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Google School Counseling Classroom – Class of 2024
This classroom has an abundance of information that you need to be aware of - - college events and fee waivers, job and volunteer opportunities, etc., and especially deadlines!!  We recommend checking the classroom routinely to stay abreast of any pertinent information.  It’s a good habit to develop as colleges communicate with you via your portal (similar to the classroom).

Watch your deadlines – You are responsible!
Do you have a January 1st deadline?  Advise your counselor by November 30th.  Winter Recess is December 25th - January 1st. 
Applications! Essays!  Scholarship Forms!   Where do I begin?
These may seem like insurmountable tasks to you, but you can do it! Just be sure to organize your time by breaking each task into manageable pieces that you can reasonably accomplish by their respective deadlines; and be sure to use your school supports to the fullest!

College Applications  Reminders...
Fill out as much of the application as you can and make an appointment to meet with your counselor to review your colleges, if need be, and to have any final questions answered.

Counselors must receive the college application worksheets and transcript request form at least 15 school days before deadline dates in order to process supporting application materials.  This also pertains to scholarship applications.  These forms can be found on the district school counseling website and hard copies are available in the school counseling office.

You are responsible for contacting the College Board (SAT) or ACT to have your official test scores sent directly to the college. 
The COMMON APPLICATION is the recommended form for more than 900-member colleges and universities for admission to their undergraduate programs.  Many of these institutions use the form exclusively.  All give equal consideration to the Common Application and the college’s own form. Students complete one Common Application that can be sent to any of the participating colleges.
Direct links to the Common Application, your Naviance account and other helpful sites can be accessed from the district school counseling website.  

College Essay
Before sitting down to write a first draft of your essay, spend some time organizing your thoughts. Talk to your English teacher or counselor about the topic you are considering.  Borrow one of the books on College Application essays or pick up a tip sheet in the school counseling office.  

The FAFSA is available December

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 Student Aid Index (SAI).  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. Please note that you should use your 2022 tax returns when completing the FAFSA.  Everyone whose income is reported on the FAFSA must have a verified FSA ID before the student can file for federal student aid.  FAFSA on the Web Worksheets are available in the School Counseling Office.

Please note that the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) application will open on November 1, 2023 for the 2024-25 academic year.  TAP eligibility is based on meeting income eligibility limitations and the student attending a college in New York State as a full-time student, as well as other criteria. The easiest way to apply for TAP is through the FAFSA but students do not need to wait for the FAFSA application which will be available December.  If you list a New York college on your FAFSA form, you can link directly to the New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP).  Visit for more information and to apply for TAP.

HESC Text can send students and parents text messages with vital information on financial aid, crucial deadlines, and valuable resources to help put them on the right path toward their college careers. Sign-up is quick and easy at

This is an online application that collects information used by nearly 250 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 cssprofile.collegeboard.orgThe colleges requiring the PROFILE are listed on the website.

  • Prospective students and families are invited to join SUNY for an online workshop which will provide detailed information about the financial aid application and award process.  The cost of attendance will be reviewed and the types of financial aid available will be explored, including the Excelsior Scholarship. During the session, you will be able to send your questions via live chat. Dates are November 3 @ 12pm, November 17 @12pm (Spanish), November 28 @ 6pm. For more information, go to .

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 “School Counseling” web page at .


An Admission Ticket and an acceptable photo ID are required for entry into the Testing Area—no exceptions.  Changes to the test type, test date or test center cannot be made at the test center on test day. Standby/Walk-in testing is not permitted. Test-takers who miss the last registration deadline for an administration may request Waitlist Status online up until five days before the test

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.  Note:  Regulations require that you submit an acceptable photo when registering for the SAT or ACT.  Register online for the SAT at or for the ACT at

Nov. 4, 2023: @ LHS 
*Dec. 2, 2023:  Regular registration deadline: Nov. 2, 2023
                         Late registration deadline:  Nov. 21, 2023

Dec. 9, 2023:   Regular registration deadline:  Nov. 3, 2023
                        Late registration deadline:  Nov. 17, 2023

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). 

Pertinent Miscellaneous Information

**SUNY recommends that regular decision freshmen applicants apply by December 1st to maximize chances for financial aid, campus housing, and consideration for major of choice.

**Many US colleges and universities that provide federal financial aid have a Net Price Calculator on their website.  These online devices offer students customized approximations of college costs based on their family size, financial status, etc.

**Review your college applications and essay 3 or 4 times before submitting them.  Check capitalization, punctuation, and grammar.   Make sure your email address is appropriate for review and use by a college admissions office.  It’s a good idea to keep copies of everything you send to colleges.

**Remember that the admissions process does not represent a personal judgment.  Oftentimes, colleges have specific institutional goals that an applicant cannot control.  What you can control at this point is where you choose to apply, so commit yourself to choosing a healthy mix of colleges.

**Try not to worry about college interviews. You should be yourself and be prepared to answer and ask some simple questions.  (You may find it helpful to pick up a list of questions in the School Counseling Office.)  Be sure to be on-time and dress appropriately. Most colleges do not require an interview. However, a borderline student may benefit if willing to speak meaningfully about him/herself or about something in the record that needs interpretation.

 **Athletes should keep in mind that NCAA eligibility certifies you to compete as a student athlete but it has nothing to do with a college’s academic admissions requirements.  If a student-athlete meets NCAA initial-eligibility standards, that student still may not be admitted to the institution.  Likewise, a student-athlete who gains admission to a college or university may not meet NCAA initial-eligibility standards.  

** Work hard all year!!  Colleges ask for mid-year and final grades.  This can affect your acceptance and scholarship opportunities.

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, Samantha Sherwood, Asst. Principal, Christian Clarke, Asst. Principal
COUNSELING OFFICE: Frank Gizzo , Director of Guidance
SCHOOL COUNSELORS:  Chelsea Aversano, Dale Chappelle, Laurainne Mosca, Sonia Recuppio, Brandon Thomas
Mary Ellen Brown, Kathy Giordano, Kathy Zadra, College and Career Ct