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.

Please consider some Myths about financial aid when deciding whether to apply for financial aid.

Federal Aid

The 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.

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 your tax return from two years prior.

Please reference the following website to access more complete, up-to-date information about Federal student aid:
2020–21 Federal Student Aid at a Glance

Other helpful information about financial aid can be found at

Institutional Aid

While the FAFSA is used to apply for most federal and state aid, the CSS Profile is the form used by most private institutions to dispense their own funds. Colleges may also require students/families to fill out financial aid forms specific to their given institution. In determining the financial aid package, private colleges are not bound by the analysis of need presented in the FAFSA. The CSS Profile can be filed as early as October 1st each year. A list of institutions requiring this form for aid are listed on their website, accessed above. Please check with your individual colleges online, as well, to determine their requirements.

Most colleges review applications for academic scholarships automatically. Some, however, may have specific scholarship opportunities that may require a separate application and have earlier deadline dates. You can find this information on their Financial Aid web pages or by contacting their Financial Aid office directly.

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. Depending on the academic year in which you begin study, an annual TAP award can be up to $5,165. Because TAP is a grant, it does not have to be paid back.

To access information about this type of aid and more, please visit HESC.

College Scholarship Website

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

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

Scholarship Opportunities

Please check back for updates

What is Naviance?

Naviance Student is a comprehensive educational tool that can be used to search and get information about careers, colleges and scholarships. To access your OLMA Naviance account, please visit Please use your OLMA email address and make note of your password. It is suggested that you bookmark this page, as it will be referenced often in the coming years. The following is a synopsis of the tabs that you’ll use frequently.

Please see your School Counselor or the College Counselor with any questions regarding Naviance Student.


About Me Home: synopsis of a student’s account
My Account: includes basic biographical data and GPA

My Stuff:

  • My Surveys – results of all surveys taken
  • Resume – an easy-to-use tool to craft a list of academic and extracurricular accomplishments; students should track in real time to be sure to include all they do in four years; will be used by the College Counselor and teacher(s) to write letters of recommendation, and possibly for outside scholarship consideration.
  • Test Scores – shows PSAT, SAT, ACT and AP test scores

My Assessments: discover interests and strengths pertaining to learning styles and careers

  • Do What You Are – learn about personality strengths, blind spots and more
  • MI Advantage – determines intelligence profile by asking about abilities and preferences in different areas
  • Learning Styles Inventory – identifies learning and working styles to help make learning easier and more enjoyable
  • Strengths Explorer – helps uncover talents and reveals potential
  • Career Interest Profiler – identifies interests
  • Career Cluster Finder – identifies top career clusters

My Surveys: shows surveys in progress, those completed and those not started
Postsecondary Plans: allows students to think about, and plan for, their future

  • Game Plan – a series of questions designed to help students develop a game plan for achieving goals after graduation. Answers can be updated at any time. Topics include Goals after High School, College Interests, College Athletics, and References


Explore Careers & Interests: research hundreds of occupations to learn about different tasks, skills and knowledge associated with each individual career

  • Careers & Clusters I’m Thinking About – warehouse careers/clusters here
  • Explore Careers – look up careers to get an Overview, Knowledge and Skills, Tasks and Activities, and Wages

Roadtrip Nation Interview Archive: stories from thousands of career professionals highlighting their struggles and successes

Career Assessments: career assessments/results can be accessed here as well


Colleges Home: provides direct access to Find Your Fit, Research Colleges, Apply to College and Scholarships and Money

  • Colleges I’m Thinking About – students can keep a list of colleges they’re interested in here
  • Colleges I’m Applying To – portal through which students will keep the Wellness Department abreast of their college applications to ensure all supporting documentation is sent internally

Find Your Fit:

  • Supermatch – more than 20 search criteria to find schools that may be a best fit
  • College Match – uses GPA and test scores from OLMA alumnae to match student with similar stats
  • College Events – gives a list of college events all over the country; students can search based on events, location, and/or college name
  • Scattergrams – a visual that allows students to see how they compare (based on GPA and SAT/ACT scores) to OLMA alumnae who applied to that college
  • Advanced College Search – database that allows students to conduct searches based on college Type, Location, Students, Admissions, Athletics, Majors, Costs, and Special Programs. Searches can be saved and colleges can be added directly into Colleges I’m Interested In from here.
  • College Lookup – research a specific college and visit the college’s individual website for the most up-to-date information
  • Research Colleges – includes a number of resources to find a best fit college, including College Compare, College Resources, Acceptance History, Enrichment Programs, College Maps and College Visits
  • Apply to College – link to Test Scores
  • Scholarships & Money – includes Scholarship Match, Scholarship List, Scholarship Applications, and National Scholarship Search Information
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How to Request Teachers's Letters of Recommendation (Electronically)

  1. Log into your Naviance account
  2. Click on “Colleges I’m Thinking About”
  3. Under “My Colleges” on the left hand side, click on “Letters of Recommendation”
  4. Click on “Add Request”
  5. For question #1, choose a teacher from the drop down menu
  6. For question #2, check “All current and future colleges I add to my “Colleges I’m Applying To” to ensure all letters will be sent to all schools
  7. For question #3, write a brief personal note to your teacher telling them about your college plans (major, first choice school, etc.) and thank them for writing your letter of recommendation
  8. Select “Submit Request” to save

You must repeat this process for each teacher you ask to write a letter of recommendation for you. Doing so will generate an email to each teacher and allow them to upload their letter directly to Naviance.

It is your responsibility to speak with the teacher prior to sending this request and to give the teachers a copy of your Resume. We strongly encourage you to follow up with each teacher during your senior year with a thank you note.

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Class of 2020 College Acceptances

Adelphi University
Boston University
Bucknell University
College of Charleston
Colorado State University-Fort Collins
CUNY Hunter College
Emory University
Fairfield University
Farmingdale State College
Fashion Institute of Technology
Fordham University
George Washington University
High Point University
Hofstra University
Iowa State University
King’s College
Lehigh University
LIU Post
Loyola University Maryland
Manhattan College
Marist College
Molloy College
Moravian College
New York Institute of Technology
New York School of Interior Design
New York University
Northeastern University
Pennsylvania State University
Quinnipiac University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Sacred Heart University
Saint Michael’s College
Seton Hall University
Siena College
St. John’s University
State University of New York at New Paltz
Stony Brook University, State University of New York
SUNY College at Cortland
SUNY Oneonta
SUNY Oswego
Temple University
The Ohio State University
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The University of Scranton
Tulane University of Louisiana
University at Albany, SUNY
University of Connecticut
University of Dallas
University of Delaware
University of Kentucky
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
University of Miami
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of Notre Dame
University of South Carolina-Columbia
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Villanova University

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