The Class of 2017, with 184 graduates, has earned more than $19.2 million in academic scholarships through June 14, 2017. The total does not include scholarships students received for financial aid or for athletics.
Counselor Mr. Anthony Albani notes this is the highest scholarship amount for De La Salle Collegiate graduates since the Counseling Department began tracking scholarships in 2006.
Mr. Albani said, “As of today, 73% of the graduates have received at least one scholarship.”
President Mr. John M. Knight said, “The scholarship dollars earned by graduates of the Class of 2017 indicate to me that De La Salle Collegiate is doing an outstanding job of preparing our students for college and beyond. One of the hallmarks of a Lasallian secondary education is academic rigor. Clearly, our college preparatory curriculum at De La Salle Collegiate is in line with what the top colleges and universities in our nation are looking for in qualified applicants. I want to applaud not only our graduates from the Class of 2017, but our administration, faculty and staff for their outstanding work. Congratulations one and all!”
The scholarship total includes the three students headed to the military academies, an education valued at approximately $500,000 for four years.
Mr. Albani says students have been applying to multiple colleges, and consequently received multiple offers. “Robert Ahrens received over $200,000 in scholarship offers,” said Mr. Albani. “Even students with a B- GPA and an average ACT score received multiple offers. The Counselors assisted students with applications to numerous colleges to maximize their opportunities.”
Affordability is also a factor, says Albani. “Kids want to look at ‘brand name’ colleges, but may not be able to afford the college – even with scholarships and financial aid. Consequently, students are applying to institutions that may not have been explored in the past.”
One scholarship source – “Raise Me” – generated $406,000 for 12 students. “Raise Me” is a scholarship set up by the Bill and Melissa Gates Foundation . Awards are based on grades, test scores, activities, and honors. Mr. Albani expects that the Class of 2018 will qualify for over $2 million in “Raise Me” funds.
Mr. Albani notes that the scholarship opportunities are also posted on the Counseling website, and included in regular emails to classes, as well as to parents.
“Scholarships are out there for every student, regardless of financial need and academic ability. It’s a matter of working with the counselors and paying attention to all the opportunities that are offered. A lot of material is posted, and it is important students meet deadlines because there are so many scholarships and each one has different paperwork requirements.
For the Class of 2018, the process begins in October, now that the FAFSA (the Financial Aid form) uses the previous year’s tax information. For the Class of 2017, which began the FAFSA process in October 2016, the 2015 tax returns were used.
“The FAFSA change has really made the process easier. Previously, it was a crunch to get the tax information pulled together in January. With this ‘breathing room,’ everyone can get the FAFSA form completed in a timely manner,” says Mr. Albani.