College Counseling

Higher Education financial aid programs are designed to assist those who, without such assistance, would be unable to meet the costs of a post secondary education. Financial aid comes from several different sources: the federal and state government, colleges and universities, local private organizations and scholarship programs, and banks.

In general, eligibility for financial aid is based on need. Some financial assistance is awarded not on the basis of need, but for scholastic excellence, athletics, or other specialized talents. Much of the financial aid awarded, however, is need-based. Need will vary from college to college according to the cost of attending the school and how much the student/family is expected to contribute to the student’s education. Need is not one set dollar amount.

A student eligible for aid will likely be offered a financial aid package composed of the following components: self aid (loans and work study), and gift aid (grants and scholarships which do not have to be repaid). Some schools vary the proportion of each kind of aid based on the student’s academic performance or other factors. The amounts of each program may vary from year to year depending on federal funding.

If you are interested in obtaining federal, state or institutional aid, you must apply for financial aid each year because changes in your family situation may affect your eligibility.

Federal Aid

TThe Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the application used by nearly all colleges and universities to determine eligibility for federal, state, and college-sponsored financial aid, including grants, educational loans, and work-study programs.

Before beginning the FAFSA, students and a parent/guardian must create a FSA ID. This is the electronic passport to federal student aid online and verifies the student and parent identity to allow them to electronically sign the FAFSA. The verification process takes approximately three days, so apply for an ID in advance of filling out the FAFSA. If a parent already has an FSA ID, either because they obtained one as a student themselves, or because they applied for one when filing for an older sibling, they do not need to reapply.

The FAFSA allows the U.S. Department of Education to determine Expected Family Contribution (EFC) by conducting a “need analysis” based on financial information, such as income, assets and other household information. The form is submitted to, and processed by, a federal processor contracted by the U.S. Department of Education (ED), and the results are electronically transmitted to the financial aid offices of the schools that are listed on an application.

Once the FAFSA is processed, the family and student receive the Expected Family Contribution results through a document called the Student Aid Report (SAR). Each of the schools listed on the FAFSA get these results electronically and begin to review and prepare an aid package once a student has been accepted.

Applicants should pay particular attention to deadline specifics, as some refer to the date by which individual FAFSAs must be submitted (Transaction Receipt Date), while others refer to the date by which individual FAFSAs must be fully processed (completed by the federal processor and made available to the school financial aid office).

IMPORTANT: We strongly encourage all students to check with their school’s financial aid office to determine their exact FAFSA deadline requirements, and to file their FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1st, using tax returns from two years prior.

Please go to for more complete, up-to-date information about Federal student aid.

New York State Aid

The New York State Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) helps eligible New York residents pay tuition at approved schools in New York State. To access up-to-date information about New York State aid, please visit HESC.

College Scholarship Websites

Please check these websites for more information about potential scholarship opportunities:

College Board BigFuture
Going Merry
Excelsior Scholarship (NYS only) (loans)

Naviance Student is a comprehensive website that you can use to plan for college and a career. Naviance Student is linked with Naviance Succeed™, a service we use to track and analyze data about college and career plans, so it provides up-to-date information that is specific to Our Lady of Mercy Academy. Naviance Student allows you to:

  • Get involved in the planning and advising process – Build a resume, complete online surveys, and manage timelines and deadlines for making decisions about colleges/careers
  • Research colleges – Compare GPA, standardized test scores, and other statistics to actual historical data from our school for students who have applied and been admitted
  • Research careers – Research hundreds of careers and career clusters and take career assessments
    Create plans for the future – Create goals and to-do’s, and complete tasks assigned to you by the school to prepare yourself for your future college and career goals

You can access Naviance Student by using the following web address: As parents do not have their own account, please use your daughter’s username and password and enter the site as a student. Please note that your daughter’s username is her OLMA email address, and her password is self-selected. OLMA does not keep Naviance passwords on file. If you are a student and have trouble accessing the account, please contact Mrs. Barbara Piasio at

Class of 2022 College Acceptances

Click Here

 Save as PDF