What to Look for In a College Admissions Counselor

Thursday, September 21, 2023

College counselor meets with high school student to discuss their profileThe college application process is an opportunity for self-discovery and personal growth, but it can also be stressful and filled with uncertainty. For many students, working with a college admissions counselor can be a meaningful way to expand their horizons and receive nuanced guidance throughout the process.

In order to make the most of college admissions counseling, it’s essential to choose a counselor who aligns with your needs and goals. Keep reading for some top tips to find a college admissions counselor who will guide you along your search process.

Know What You’re Looking For

Before beginning your search for a college admissions counselor, take time to reflect on the qualities and qualifications that matter most to you. Some factors to consider include background, location, and areas of expertise. For some students, a college counselor in their local area may be a priority in order to work face-to-face. Other applicants may be open to working with a counselor via virtual correspondence such as Skype or Zoom, which can broaden the number of options students have by eliminating geographic boundaries. Additionally, students with a specific focus or area of interest may wish to focus on counselors with a background in this topic or field.

Do Your Research

Every counselor is different. There are thousands of admissions counselors in the United States alone, so it’s important to do your due diligence and select a consultant who is truly the right fit for your needs. Students should seek out application consultants who possess recognized certifications, such as those from the National Association of College Admissions Counseling and/or the Independent Educational Consultants Association. These certifications ensure that college admissions counselors operate under the highest code of ethics and provide students with reputable information.

Create a Strategic Plan

Before committing to working with an application consultant, be sure to have an idea of what your plan of action will look like. An initial meeting or consultation can be a great way to gauge how you will work with a prospective counselor and understand the kind of work you will need to do. College application strategies can vary greatly depending on when a student starts preparing, their academic strengths and weaknesses, as well as future goals. When it comes to working with a college admissions counselor, it is often advantageous to begin the process as early as eighth or ninth grade. Students who get a jumpstart on the admissions process can work through application components strategically and reduce the stress that comes with trying to pull together comprehensive documents in the last minute.

Focus on Your Interests

Working with a college admissions counselor can be a valuable way for students to cultivate interests and passions and take their expertise to the next level. Admissions counselors can help steer students towards pursuits that align with their strengths and weaknesses as well as identifying opportunities to advance their skills. College admissions counselors with in-depth knowledge of a vast array of universities as well as after-school and summer programs, can help set students up for long-term success. Throughout your work with a college admissions counselor, come back to the passions and causes you care about most and be sure to emphasize these interests throughout the process.

Admissions consultants can be an invaluable resource throughout the admissions process by providing nuanced advice and encouraging students to think outside of the box. If you are interested in working with a counselor, our team of experts can guide you through the entire college admissions process. Contact us today to learn how.


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