College & Career Planning

The Counseling Center at La Salle guides students through their college search process beginning in freshman year through to the end of senior year. Counselors meet regularly with students to discuss their classes and grades to ensure that students are on track for college. Students are guided with comprehensive information on the college admission process, including deadlines and requirements. Students are connected to college and career development opportunities that best match their qualities, strengths, and interests. Additionally, parent/student college information nights are held annually during which all students and their parents are provided general information regarding the admissions process and financial aid planning. Individual meetings with parents for college planning are available as requested. Over one hundred colleges from across the country visit La Salle each fall to share with students their program and college information.

La Salle College Preparatory’s College Center subscribes to Cialfo. Cialfo is a web-based application that enables our counseling office to offer a comprehensive website that students and parents can use to help in making decisions about colleges and careers. Cialfo offers planning tools, which we use to track and analyze data about college and career, so the website offers up-to-date information specific to our school community.

The following provides an overview of college and career planning activities for students at each grade level. It is accompanied by the College Planning Checklist which is a La Salle-specific timeline with suggested steps to keep students on track and competitive towards their postsecondary goals.

Freshman Year

Follow the College Planning Checklist: 9th Grade to guide your focus and involvement in freshman year.


  • Meet with your counselor to discuss classes and available activities

  • Plan which classes to take for the four years. Challenge yourself to take more difficult courses.

  • Join clubs and activities in your area of interest. Take leadership positions when possible.

  • Start to build relationships with some of your favorite teachers, counselors, and activity advisers who can write recommendations and serve as mentors later

  • Talk about saving for college with your parents/family

  • Attend the College Fair & Forum

  • Read a variety of books outside of school

  • Register on Cialfo and keep track of your activities and awards

Sophomore Year

Follow the College Planning Checklist: 10th Grade to guide your focus and involvement in sophomore year.


  • Meet with your counselor to discuss your progress in classes and extracurricular activities

  • Familiarize yourself with the PSAT

  • Attend the College Fair & Forum

  • Attend on campus college visits to learn about individual colleges and its programs with the school’s representative

  • Participate in a student college tour offered by La Salle

  • Start to become familiar with standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT

  • Become familiar with Cialfo and use it to explore career interests and future college choices

  • Ask your counselor about contacting former students for future college advice

  • Research summer programs in your area of interest

Junior Year

Follow the College Planning Checklist: 11th Grade to guide your focus and involvement in junior year.


All Year

  • Take the most challenging courses you can to demonstrate your readiness for college

  • Attend on-campus college visits to learn about individual colleges and its programs with the school’s representative

  • Engage in extracurricular activities that are aligned with your interests

  • Take leadership roles in clubs, activities, and volunteer in service organizations

  • Demonstrate interest to the colleges that you are seriously considering by visiting the campus, checking out their booths at college fairs, and contacting their admissions offices



  • Take the PSAT

  • Attend the College Night for Juniors

  • Attend the Los Angeles Area college tour


  • Register for the February ACT during the Mentor period (


  • Prepare for the ACT

  • Register for the March SAT (



  • Fill out the College Planning Survey for Juniors on Cialfo


  • Take the ACT exam at La Salle

  • Attend the Bay Area college tour

  • Prepare for the March SAT


  • Meet with your counselor for the individual college planning meeting to discuss your personal goals and preferences, develop a first version of your college list, discuss future standardized testing plans, and decide on next steps


  • Research colleges suggested by your counselor - reading college guides, visiting the college website, speaking with the admissions representative, speaking with friends, family, La Salle faculty, staff, and alumni - and review the options with your family

  • Schedule tours to visit colleges during school holidays


  • Take the SAT

  • Register to retake the SAT or ACT in May or June as recommended by your counselor


  • Register to retake the ACT or SAT in June as recommended by your counselor

  • Attend the La Salle College Fair & Forum

  • Attend the NACAC College Fair

  • Visit colleges during spring break


  • Take the Advanced Placement (AP) exams as fitting

  • Retake the ACT or SAT as recommended by your counselor


  • Research scholarship information

  • Visit colleges

  • Sign up for the Summer Writing Workshop facilitated by La Salle Counseling

  • Write the first draft of your UC Personal Insight Questions and/or your Common App Personal Statement

  • Participate in meaningful leadership, enrichment, or volunteer opportunities

  • Read! Keep your mind engaged

Senior Year

Follow the College Planning Checklist: 12th Grade to guide your focus and involvement in senior year.


  • Meet with your counselor in early September to determine the final college application list and map out strategy for the year

  • Attend the Senior College Night in September designed for parents and students

  • Fill out the Senior College Planning Survey for seniors on Cialfo

  • Attend on-campus college visits to learn about individual colleges and its programs with the school’s representative

  • Take the ACT or SAT as recommended by your counselor

  • Notify your counselor if you plan to apply to colleges under Early Decision or Early Action

  • Submit your college list to your counselor by November 15th

  • Update college application list and application statuses on Cialfo

  • Prepare and complete all required application documents and college admission essays

  • Submit UC and CSU applications on or before November 30th

  • Pay close attention to other application deadlines as deadlines and requirements vary by colleges. All colleges are different, and it is the student’s responsibility to apply on time.

  • Become familiar with the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) which opens on October 1st, all students are strongly encouraged to apply regardless of income. It is recommended that students submit their application by the end of December. The priority deadline is March 1st but some colleges require that students submit sooner.

  • Submit the CSS Profile, a financial aid form required for certain private colleges, if needed

  • File the FAFSA by the priority deadline of March 1st

  • Maintain close contact with your counselor

  • Receive admission notifications during the first week of April

  • Update college acceptance/denial information on Cialfo

  • Attend overnight/open house programs for admitted students

  • Thank the faculty for writing recommendations and keep them informed of your status at each school

  • Meet with their counselor to discuss final decisions

  • Send deposit to the school of choice by May 1st, National Reply Deadline

  • Take Advanced Placement (AP) exams in May as appropriate

  • Celebrate! Your hard work and dedication have culminated to your successful years in high and it will serve as a bridge to the next chapter in your life


La Salle College Preparatory was founded in 1956. Today, we are the only truly diverse and co-educational Catholic high school in Pasadena.