Working with Your College Counselor
9 Ways to Work with Your High School College Counselor
People often ask us what we think about high school counselors. Our reply: We love them! Your high school guidance counselor is one of the most useful resources for college information and you should try to cultivate a relationship with your high school college counselor as early as possible in your high school experience.
Although a high school college counselor’s role may vary from school to school, here is a list of some of the responsibilities of a school college counselor. Chances are, your school counselor can help you with many or all of these items:
- Guide and counsel you and your parents through the formulation of your postsecondary school plans
- Organize and maintain a college counseling center, containing college catalogues, brochures, handbooks, and other reference materials for all types of post-secondary school options
- Share information about the college admissions process with you and your family
- Motivate and encourage you to prepare for college admissions by taking the appropriate tests and coursework as well as provide you with specific information and timelines regarding entrance requirements
- Provide necessary information and materials for you regarding college entrance and placement exams including the PSAT, SAT, SAT Subject Tests, ACT, and AP
- Maintain your files regarding postsecondary school plans for the purpose of college counseling, high school counseling, and for you and your parents
- Write a letter of recommendation for you for all college applications
- Send your transcripts for college admissions
- Provide information regarding off-site college courses for concurrent enrollment along with summer program options
In addition, your high school counselor may be able to help you by:
- Assessing interests and abilities and making course choices accordingly
- Understanding test construction and interpreting test scores
- Knowing graduation requirements and college entrance requirements for the schools on your list
- Maintaining current knowledge of college application requirements and procedures
- Motivating you and helping you to succeed!
For families seeking additional guidance, it may be helpful to also use an independent college counselor. International students in particular often find working with an independent counselor helpful, as the US university admissions process differs greatly from that of other countries’. An independent counselor can supplement your school’s guidance efforts by providing personalized guidance throughout the college admissions process. IvyWise counselors prefer to work in collaboration with the high school counselor. By pooling their resources and multiplying their brainpower, these counselors can create positive outcomes for their shared students.
Stay tuned for a list of what to look for in an independent college admissions counselor!