Guidance counselors are many students’ only point of reference when preparing for college. Unfortunately, many students don’t get the best help during this process. It’s usually either because the counselor has too many students vying for their attention or for the simple reason that the counselor doesn’t know the right kind of guidance to give.
Do you know if your guidance counselor is doing enough to help you while you’re preparing for college? Here’s what they should be doing:
Some schools are moving away from requiring standardized test scores, it’s true. But many still use them to gauge how well you’ll do at their school. Your guidance counselor should provide you with resources—like prep tutors and practice tests—that will help you study.
Choosing your high school courses is about finding a balance. You want to show the school that you took challenging classes, but you also need to keep your grades up. A good guidance counselor will be able to give you advice on which classes to take.
Preparing for College with Extracurricular Activities
What you do outside of your academic pursuits might seem of little consequence, but considering that colleges want a well-rounded student who gives back to the community or shows leadership skills should make you think again. Getting involved in something you’re passionate about and showing how you’ve grown as a person could be what you need to get accepted. A guidance counselor can help you find what you’re passionate about and connect you with groups and organizations that have similar interests and goals.
Curating a College List
The college list is really one of the first things that you should tackle with your guidance counselor. If you don’t craft a list that fits your academic and social needs, you might as well not apply.
Undoubtedly one of the most important components of your college application, the admissions essay shows your chosen school who you are and what you can add to the incoming freshman class.
I once had a student who wasn’t particularly proud of her grades. But because she knew what she wanted to do and was determined, we were able to get her admission to her top school (Boston University) in the program that she wanted (Nursing). With my help, she crafted her essay and explained her situation to the admissions board. In the end, it was how her passion translated onto paper that got her in.