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A Valued Education since 1959

Planning for your Journey

The counselor's role at Father Lopez Catholic High School is three-fold: providing academic, personal and college counseling. The following is a summary of the four year program.

Freshman Year
Early in the first year of high school, the counselor meets with all freshmen in Theology classes. It is important that each student understands that we are a college prep school and that all students need to be on track with their academics in order to be accepted at the college of their choice.

During the freshman year the counselor also helps the students with the transition to college prep curriculum and explains the prerequisite system if a student has an interest in taking advanced curriculum sophomore classes.

An explanation of the information included on a high school transcript is given in detail to all freshmen. Courses completed, test results, (SAT and ACT), cumulative grade point average, attendance record at the end of each year, community service hours, graduation date are included on a transcript. Every student needs to be aware of this information before the first grades are permanently recorded.

Freshmen are told to begin a record of all extra-curricular activities and community service projects in which they are involved. Also, a list of any awards earned and special recognitions received over the four years of high school should become a part of a file to refer to when putting together a resume in the junior/senior year.

All freshmen take the PSAT. This is a standardized test that is the first building block in preparing for the college entrance SAT. Before the exam, the counselor will work with students to prepare them for the exam and do a follow-up after the test.

In the spring of the freshmen year, the counselor meets with students to assist in course selection for the sophomore year.

Sophomore Year
Although a student may still feel young as a sophomore, there are only two years left before applying to college. Once again, the sophomore meets with the counselor to discuss the importance of the year.

Once again, the transcript is discussed. This time it includes the freshman year courses with two semesters of grades included as well as the courses selected for the 10th grade. It is pointed out that the freshman grades are permanently recorded and that, although these grades may or may not be an indication of "the best of your ability", there is time to raise a GPA and prepare to present the best possible picture of the student to a college of interest.

The counselor talks to the student about the four key semesters on which colleges focus (two sophomore and two junior semesters.) It is explained to them that these are the grades that really count and the student needs to work hard and focus.

The counselor makes clear the following:

Sophomore and upper level courses weigh more heavily in college admissions.

Students need to start fine tuning advanced reading, writing, and research skills.

Students need to take at least six solid college prep courses each semester.

Extra-curricular activities, both on and off campus, will be an important element in their student profile and sophomores should be involved in several activities (i.e. volunteer work, sports, clubs, work etc.

Students meet individually with the counselor throughout the year on an 'as needed' basis.

With preparation and follow-up, sophomores will take the PSAT in October. In the spring of the sophomore year, the counselor meets with the student to assist in course selection for the junior year.

Junior Year
Junior year is when the college focus is in full swing. In addition to the student's need to focus on their two more important semesters of school, the student also needs to focus on a year-long schedule of college prep activities.

Parents are encouraged to make an appointment with the counselor. At this time the counselor, student, and parents discuss 'Life After Lopez.' A meeting of the minds is usually helpful for all concerned.

The counselor meets with each junior to examine the student's transcript and make sure that all graduation requirements are being met. Scholarship opportunities are discussed and students are given a 'tour' of the guidance center to familiarize them with the resources available to them for college information.

The counselor meets with juniors in the Theology classes to prepare them for the PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.) The students receive information and practice booklets to prepare for this examination. In November, the test results are returned to the students. At this time the counselor returns the booklet used to take the test, the results of the test, and included with the results are the correct answers for any question missed as well as the area of study, i.e. Algebra, Geometry. Students are encouraged to use these materials to prepare for the SAT which they are to register for and take in early spring.

Parents get involved with Information Night and Volusia County's College Expo in the fall, Financial Aid meeting in January, student/parent meetings with the counselor, and college representative meetings throughout the year. In early spring, juniors are encouraged to take the SAT for the first time. Some colleges also require 1-3 SAT subject focused tests. Students need to investigate the college admission requirements of their choice schools early to find out if these tests are required. Applications for the SAT I, SAT subject tests, and ACT are available online and in the guidance office. Students are encouraged to take both the SAT I and the ACT at least once. Juniors are reminded to continue to add to their lists of activities, projects and awards file because at the beginning of the senior year the final resume will be needed to complete the college application.

Senior Year
Before the end of the first month of school in the fall, the counselor will meet with every senior individually. At this time the student's high school transcripts will be examined very carefully to assure that high school graduation requirements will be met by the end of the school year. Also at this meeting the counselor will explain the college application process so that the paperwork will be complete and mailed out in a timely manner. Information at this meeting includes:

Seniors are encouraged to apply to colleges early. With few exceptions, the college application process is wrapped by February.

The student brings the completed application to the counselor.

This includes:
College application - all sections complete.

All required recommendations.

Essay, if needed.

Check for college.

Request for transcript form (if included)

Counselor recommendation form (if included)

Mid-year reports (if needed)

The student should not expect the application to be mailed out of the counselor's office for TWO weeks. It will usually be mailed out much sooner but the student should not arrive at the counselor's door with papers that have a 'yesterday' deadline. Before a holiday, a deadline for dropping off applications will be announced and will be enforced.

Students interested in participation in Division I or Division II athletics, must be certified by the NCAA Initial-Eligibility Clearinghouse. Students applying for NCAA Clearinghouse processing are encouraged to do so early. Applications are available at The student completes the form. Notify your counselor when this is complete. The counselor mails an official transcript and at the end of the senior year, after your transcript is complete; your counselor will mail a copy of your final transcript. If you ever attended another high school, your must obtain a transcript from EVERY high school you have ever attended.

Aside from transcripts being mailed with college applications, at the end of the year, every college will require a final transcript. Students will inform the counselor of their final choice of schools. This transcript will be mailed out as soon as it is complete. Also, the NCAA final transcript will be mailed automatically at this time.

Seniors are reminded of the valuable scholarships available. The same procedure for mailing out applications to colleges applies to scholarship applications. Students are expected to check out the new information on current scholarships about once every two weeks.

Paperwork regarding the Florida Bright Future Scholarships arrives at the end of the academic year. The counselor will notify each senior of his/her eligibility, complete all forms, and mail them to Tallahassee. Students will receive a letter from the Department of Education during the summer regarding all funding for fall.

Parents are encouraged to make an appointment with the counselor. At this time the counselor, student, and parents discuss 'Life After Lopez.' A meeting of the minds is usually helpful for all concerned.

In January of each year a Financial Aid for College meeting is held with a college financial aid representative. Senior parents are strongly urged to attend this important meeting. Information included at this meeting includes answering questions regarding the completion of the FAFSA, which EVERY family should complete no matter what their family financial situation is at the time. Also, questions regarding Profile, which is required by some universities, are discussed. This information night has always been meaningful to our senior parents. Many junior parents attend also to get a head start on next year. FAFSA and Profile applications are available December of each year.

Father Lopez offers a four-year college preparatory program for students, which includes a four year counseling program to provide academic, personal, and college guidance. For further information regarding the counseling program at Father Lopez Catholic High School, contact Becky Crowe at (386) 253-5213.