Choosing Your College Admissions Team

Getting into college is a team effort. You are the captain of your application team, but you will need to surround yourself with individuals who can help make your college application shine. Like any ace squadron, your team needs members with different skills. Your team should include:

Counselors

They should bring: College information. Counselors are great sources of information, and can open your eyes to college possibilities. Don’t be afraid to pick their brains about potential schools and if you might be a good fit.

Family members

They should bring: Support and guidance. The best thing your parents can do is help you complete your application, make sure you hit deadlines and offer the encouragement you need during this stressful time. They should also support you in your college decision.

They should avoid: Running your college search. The right school for mom and dad may not be the right place for you. Also, your parents should not be attending your college interview, calling professors or writing your essays. They may want to help, but these actions could hurt your chances of being admitted.

Friends

They should bring: Support. Applying to college can be stressful. Lean on your friends for support, understanding and stress relief because they’re probably going through the same process. They can help you check applications and essays for errors, or just be there for a coffee run when you get bleary-eyed from writing your essays.

They should avoid: Running your college search. Be cautious of turning too much of your search over to friends. The best college for your best friend may not be a good fit for you. Keep your college search about you.

References

They should bring: the ability to positively speak not just about your accomplishments, but about your passions and potential. These can be teachers or other adults who know you well. A reference might be someone you worked with on a volunteer project, an employer or church leader. They should be willing to contact a potential college on your behalf. Most colleges require letters of recommendation from at least one teacher so it pays to be in good standing. Do you have a class you like or a teacher that is particularly engaging? A good relationship with a teacher can lead to a good recommendation and this can help open college doors for you.

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