Posts Tagged ‘guidance counselor’
Attention high school students: your guidance counselor can be a great resource in your college application process. As a large part of a guidance counselor’s job is helping seniors get into college, they can usually give you answers to every question you might have, or have the connections to find the information you need to know. When you do meet with your counselor, it is important to be prepared with questions to help the appointment run smoothly and ensure you cover all the bases to make yourself an ideal applicant.
1. What core classes do I need to take?
College admissions offices like to see a certain number of years of core classes on your high school transcript. When starting your college search, it will be very helpful to know what the admissions team may be looking for. Some colleges only consider applicants who have studied a foreign language, have four years of English classes, or have an array of AP classes on their transcript, among other requirements. Knowing what you need will influence what classes you register for in your senior year and help you pick your reach, target and safety schools.
2. Where can I look for financial aid?
Your guidance counselor will have very valuable information on the different financial aid options including FAFSA grants and other scholarships you may qualify for. Cappex is also a great resource for researching college scholarships.
3. What information do you need for my recommendation?
Many universities require one or two recommendations from teachers or guidance counselors, and if you go to a big high school, you may not know your guidance counselor on a more personal level. To make sure you get the best recommendations possible, ask your guidance counselor what would be helpful to know about you that they can’t find on your transcript, including clubs, sports teams or other organizations you may be affiliated with, community service projects you’ve completed, awards you’ve won, or your future education goals.
4. How does our school compare to others with test scores and reputation?
Depending on where your high school ranks with test scores, AP classes offered and other indicators, you may have a better or average chance of getting accepted to a certain college. Knowing more about your school’s reputation will help you get a more accurate feel of how this affects your admissions chances.
5. Are there any college fairs nearby?
Your guidance counselor will have important information on local college fairs and which ones you should attend to meet with representatives from your prospective colleges. Some high schools also host their own college fairs and invite university representatives to come from colleges that have historically been popular with your school’s students.
As a high school student, the college search process can loom over your head for months because you don’t know where to start. A great place to begin is with your advisor or guidance counselor. They will have insider resources for you and will be able to give you accurate application advice since they will have access to your transcript.
Still bashful about approaching your advisor? Here are some questions to get you started!
Am I on track to graduate?
Your counselor will be able to look at your GPA (grade point average), the classes you have completed, and the ones you still need to take. They’ll be honest with you and outline what courses you still need to complete high school. Find this out sooner rather than later!
What electives or extra curricular activities do colleges appreciate the most?
High school guidance counselors look at college applications and requirements ALL. THE. TIME. They will definitely know what types of activities schools enjoy seeing outside of academic performance.
What is the difference between AP, IB, and Honors classes?
These courses are different, and you could end up graduating with some college credit already tucked away in your back pocket after taking some of them. If your school offers these specialty classes, find out from your counselor if they think it is worth it to take some to increase your chances at particular colleges or universities.
What schools are similar to my current choices?
If you go into your advisor’s office with a few options – schools you are considering or that appeal to you already – he or she should be able to find other schools that are similar. You’ll probably find out about schools you didn’t know existed and be able to give yourself more options come application time.
Are there past students who have gone to my school of choice?
See if your guidance counselor remembers students in the past couple of years who ended up attending the same schools you are considering. It is always very helpful to talk to a current student at your potential university – they will have the inside scoop on what campus life is like. Your counselor may be able to connect you to these students for advice or a visit!
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