Your high school counselor is an important person who can help you with your college search, admissions, and finding a career you’ll love. They can answer questions about classes you should take to be ready for college, the FAFSA, scholarships, enrollment, career readiness, and more.
Counselors have different roles at different schools, but generally, they can help by:
- Providing you with academic advising and guidance
- Working with teachers on classroom activities that support your achievement goals
- Cross-checking high school graduation requirements with your top colleges’ admission requirements
- Answering any questions you have about the college search process and admissions
- Helping you research possible career options
To help you get the most out of your time with your high school counselor, here are five questions to ask when you meet to talk about college.
1. What steps should I take to start my college search?
There’s a lot that goes into finding the right college fit for you, but your high school counselor can help you break it down into manageable steps. Ask your counselor what tasks you should focus on and what resources are available to help you. Your counselor can also provide a timeline to stay on track as you go through the college search process.
2. What criteria should I consider when choosing a college?
When choosing a college, there are many things to think about – location, cost, classes, programs, campus organizations, clubs, and more. Ask your counselor to help you figure out what is most important to you. After you discuss your priorities with your counselor, create a list of colleges that best fit your needs and goals.
3. How can I make my college applications stand out?
College applications are your chance to make a positive impression on admissions officers. Your high school counselor can offer advice on how you can highlight your unique strengths and increase your chances of getting into your top schools. They can also help you showcase your accomplishments so you stand out in a competitive applicant pool. Some colleges look for students who’ve completed specific prerequisites. Work with your counselor to check the colleges you’re interested in and confirm you’re meeting their requirements. For example, high schools may require two years of a world language to graduate, but some colleges want students to take four years.
4. What financial aid options are available?
There is a lot of financial aid support out there. Your high school counselor can share resources and help you understand the various types of financial aid and how to apply for them. Your counselor can also direct you to scholarships and grants that may help you pay for college.
5. What other resources can you provide to help me with my college and career journey?
Your high school counselor can recommend websites, college fairs, and other resources that can help you in your college search.
Ask lots of questions! Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and explore. Your counselor is there to help make the college search process easy and successful.