What is College Guidance Counseling?
While a high school guidance counselor can be a valuable resource, a private college guidance counselor can offer a focused, personalized program for getting into your perfect-fit school.
As you prepare to apply to college, you may be wondering, "What does a college guidance counselor do? Is college guidance counseling different from what my high school guidance counselor can do for me?" College guidance counseling can be an important part of your college journey, so let's find out what counselors can (and can't) do for you.
High School Counselors
Your high school guidance counselor can be an excellent resource. They're able to provide information on college applications, scholarships, planning college trips, and other important aspects of applying to and getting into college.
But high school counselors also provide assistance to students having difficulties in high school, including students with a family crisis, learning problems, disciplinary problems, or financial difficulties that impact their ability to learn. That kind of help can be vital for struggling high school students, and it's some of the most important work that high school guidance counselors do. But that means they have less time for coaching students through the college application process.
Add to that the fact that the ratio of students to high school counselors in American high schools is 424 to 1, according to schoolcounselor.org. That's an improvement over years past, but not even close to the American School Counselor Association's recommendation of 250 to 1. The bottom line is, high school guidance counselors are overworked and often don't have the time to devote to an individual student's college plans.
Counselors at Individual Colleges
Colleges also have counselors. They serve much the same role as high school counselors, except they help students of the college. They can help students through crisis, learning problems, or academic problems, and they can also offer career guidance, like finding internships or other programs that can smooth the way from earning a degree to starting a career.
However, they aren't intended for potential students who are just applying, or thinking of applying, to the college. If you're starting your college application journey, these counselors won't be available for you.
There are people in each college's admissions office who can assist applicants with some of the problems or complications that can come up when applying. They can help you find scholarships and other forms of financial aid, learn about programs for your field of study, or navigate other issues. But they will be specific to that one college, so they won't be able to help students that are still choosing which colleges to apply to and how to go about the application process.
Private College Guidance Counselors
Private college guidance counselors offer specialized services tailored to help you find your best-fit school, maximize your chances of getting accepted, and find the best financial aid packages available. A private counselor can devote more time to each individual student, creating a custom plan for college applications. Plus, private counselors are completely focused on the goal of getting you into the best college for you.
Many private counseling companies, including WeAdmit, create a team of counselors. That means that not only do you get personalized attention, you get access to people with very specific areas of expertise. If you have a financial aid problem, you can talk to someone whose entire job is dealing with financial aid. If you're having problems writing good admissions essays, you can get notes from a trained editor who knows what admissions officers look for in essays.
The drawback of private college guidance counseling, of course, is that it costs money. That can be a difficult choice, especially with so many other college expenses to deal with. Many counseling providers offer a range of services, including counseling group sessions that are more affordable than one-on-one counseling.
You can also consider the cost of private counseling an investment, one that can help you maximize your financial aid, learn about scholarships you're eligible for, and find a college that offers you a great educational value.
If you think a college guidance counselor might be a good choice for you, you can try one of WeAdmit's free counseling sessions. You'll learn about what our experts can do for you, and how WeAdmit's team of counselors can create a customized plan to guide you through the college admissions process.
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