College counseling is about helping your student understand and determine her strengths, goals, and aspirations in order to pursue admission to a college or university where she can achieve success and satisfaction. College preparation is emphasized throughout the four years at Mercy. Our College Counseling office will set the stage of discussing college during freshman year, and begin meeting with students and parents more consistently junior year (sophomores can request meetings as well, though it's not required during sophomore year). Working closely with the College Counselor, and her advisors and teachers, each student is guided through a thorough, informative college admissions process. In the fall, representatives from nearly 50 colleges and universities visit the campus to meet with our students and provide information about their schools each year.
Our primary goal in the college admissions process is to assist your daughter in finding the right match for her. To this end, the process is highly personalized and focuses clearly on her desires and the criteria she has established for choosing the right school. We are proud of our college placement record primarily because our graduates report to us that they achieve success at institutions that are right for them.
Applying for Financial Aid
Most financial aid is awarded on the basis of need (this is called "need-based aid"). Academic scholarships get the most publicity, but the bulk of financial aid goes to students who can demonstrate "financial need." Financial need is simply the difference between the amount a family can pay—as calculated from the financial information in the application—and the cost of attendance.
Regardless of how a college awards its financial aid, whether by need alone or need and merit, most colleges will expect that families will file at least one form: the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). It is produced by the US Department of Education and processed by Federal Student Aid Programs. This form must be filed every year and includes such information as income and asset information from both students and parents. (Typically the form asks for parent income information on the parent who provided the most financial support during the previous 12 months).
Additionally, if a student is applying to Private Colleges, the CSS Profile might be required. A list of schools that require the CSS Profile can be found here. This form is available in early fall and typically asks for more specific information about assets and home equity. The individual institutions may then send an additional list of questions specific to their criteria for determining financial aid eligibility.
Merit based aid from schools is considered automatically by schools- students do not need to submit specific scholarship applications to colleges.
Families should check with each institution to see which forms are required and what the deadlines are but it is strongly recommended to submit them as early as possible (once students know their final list of schools).
For questions and more information, please contact our College Counselor: