Why Counselors are a Vital Resource When Preparing for College
Let’s Face It… The College Application Process Is Overwhelming.
For high school students quickly approaching graduation, juggling college applications along with senior year stress warrants some professional help. Today, high school students are busier and more ambitious than ever before; with so many things to juggle, ensuring that you’re making the most of every opportunity as you apply for college can make it feel like life is slipping through your fingers.
Professional college counselors know that the college application process isn’t easy; their job is to take that pressure off your shoulders, and help you succeed in gaining admission into college.
Fortunately, thanks to technology and advanced college resources, obtaining a good counselor isn’t difficult. Keep reading to find out why counselors are immensely helpful for students applying to college, and how seeking out the right counselor for you can take your applications to the next level!
What You’ll Find In This Article:
- What’s the Role of a College Counselor?
- When Should You Work With a College Counselor?
- The Many Benefits of Working With a College Counselor
- Where to Find the Right College Counselor
What's The Role Of A College Counselor?
College counselors primarily exist to guide you through the college admissions process, however, they can do so much more than that as well.
Counselors keep you on top of your deadlines; whether it be financial aid applications or SAT scores. Since they understand the admissions process better than anyone else, they can help you accurately fill out your FAFSA, obtain letters of recommendation from the right teachers, and ensure that you’re involved in the classes and extracurricular activities that look best on a college application. Counselors also approve application fee waivers and send your official transcripts to the colleges you’re applying to.
In addition to being experts in college applications, counselors complete research on college admissions data as it evolves. Basically, counselors know how to tailor your applications and give you the help you need to paint yourself as your dream college’s ideal student. They’ll also help you with your application’s school-specific writing supplements, which are your biggest opportunity to help admission officers see that you belong at their college.
As you can tell, counselors do a lot for their students, and more importantly, they love their jobs. Counselors want you to succeed, and this motivates them to help you with as many parts of your college admission process as possible. With this kind of support, students experience a great amount of relief, and find the freedom to finish their senior year strong.
When Should You Work With A College Counselor?
There is never a bad time to connect with a professional college counselor. As a general rule, the earlier you start planning for college, the better; however, most high school students begin seriously planning for college in the spring of their junior year. Most students like to start early because it gives them plenty of time to visit colleges and make a solid list of where they want to apply.
Even though so many students start during their junior year, many have claimed that they wish they started sooner. So, if you don’t want to feel like you’re under a time crunch, consider connecting with a counselor during your freshman or sophomore year.
Seeking counsel early can benefit you in many ways. First, getting an early glimpse into college planning helps you know what to expect. You’ll learn what applying for college entails, and your counselor can give you great ideas about new goals, what classes to take, what groups to join, and what leadership roles to pursue during high school.
Colleges look at all four years of your academic history; what you do during your freshman year matters! Your transcripts tell a story to admissions officers; they see how you challenged yourself, failed and tried again, and eventually worked your way up to conquering your boundaries and achieving your goals!
This is why meeting with a counselor early can help you form a successful plan that will smooth out your college application process. Of course, if you’re a junior and you're only now starting to meet with counselors, you’re not behind! There’s no “one size fits all” timeline when it comes to college admissions. Regardless of when you start planning, your counselor can help you craft an application that is impressive, intriguing, and acceptance-letter-worthy; all you have to do is take advantage of the right college resources!
The Many Benefits Of Working With A College Counselor
There’s no question that working with a college counselor can bring incredible benefits. From being one-on-one and establishing goals to providing a competitive edge over other applicants, college counselors will ensure that regardless of what kind of decision letter you receive, you’ll know that you presented your best application.
A PERSONAL CONNECTION
Meeting regularly with a professional college counselor for one-on-one sessions will result in you receiving specific, targeted advice that’s personalized to you and your needs.
Many high schools conduct group counseling sessions, in which several students will meet with a counselor at once; this usually lacks personalized information and time is lost due to trying to spread advice over students who have different situations.
On the other hand, getting to work with a counselor one-on-one will give you the benefit of receiving advice that’s right for you. Personal counselors also have the time to focus on your unique financial situation. They will help you choose the colleges with the best financial aid options based on the information you provide.
Personal counselors take a highly generalized process and make it specific to you, which is the way it should be.
Because counselors take the time to listen to you, ask questions that will inspire you to set goals, and lay out all of your options, you can feel confident that you’re working with someone who understands your needs well. That’s the primary purpose of a counselor, so take advantage of it and meet with one that’s dedicated to your success!
EXPLORING YOUR GOALS
In most cases, high school students aren’t set on a single major or career path when they’re applying for college. Most students don’t even know where to apply; how are they supposed to know what career they want to pursue?
This is another great advantage of meeting regularly with a counselor: your counselor can look at your school history and current involvement, and give you a birds’ eye view of your strengths, while asking the right questions that will help you brainstorm career options. A good counselor will help you outline your strengths, passions, and goals and give you plenty of things to think about regarding major and college choice.
NARROWING YOUR LIST
Compiling a list of colleges is no easy task. Doing it alone can leave you feeling overwhelmed; it’s hard narrowing down so many options! With thousands of colleges in the U.S. that offer top-notch programs and career connections, many students can feel stuck and unable to make a decision. Fortunately, a counselor can give you an educated opinion on where you will thrive, and help you develop a list of reach, safety, and target schools in the process.
Additionally, personal counselors shouldn’t help you choose colleges based on rankings along; instead they should help you choose colleges based on fit.
The best counselors will consider factors like your finances, desired major, ideal campus culture, location, and your favorite extracurricular activities. These counselors will know the schools that are right for you, not schools that will only look impressive, and that’s what matters in the long run. If you apply to colleges that you’re truly right for, your chances of being accepted are immediately increased, and your chances of thriving throughout your four years in college do as well!
Simply having a college admissions expert help you with your applications can take so much stress off your shoulders.
High school students are very busy these days; they have so much to juggle during senior year, and college applications are usually at the top of their priorities. However, counselors can do most of the leg work for you; this includes research on college admissions data, making lists of colleges, and sending the required documents for your application.
This is equally good news if you’re a parent: rather than not knowing how to relieve your child’s stress, you can let a professional take care of the most stressful parts of the college application process.
A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
College admissions have become increasingly competitive. Every year, admission rates drop lower and lower, meaning that many college admissions offices are getting more selective. In recent years, college admissions officers’ jobs have become increasingly difficult as well due to many students applying with similar test scores and grades. Admissions officers are relying more on essays, letters of recommendation, and optional interviews to make their decisions.
This is why having a counselor who can tailor your application to your colleges, edit your essays, and polish your application package as a whole will give you a huge advantage over students who go through the process alone.
Where To Find The Right College Counselor
Every high school has on-site counselors; utilizing college resources at your own school is always a viable option, and many students find success through their own school’s administration. However, many school counselors have limited time and resources as they usually juggle hundreds of students at once. In 2019, the average ratio of counselors to high school students in the US was 478:1, and that number is growing every day.
Using your school’s counselor is a fine option if you’re confident that you don’t need much help in your admissions process, but it could be wise to consider some facts about using general counselors that could impair your success with college acceptance.
School counselors conduct the previously-mentioned group sessions. Students usually have to set up meetings weeks in advance, and they must come prepared with a set of materials, college lists, and certain questions. The problem is, a lot of students don’t even know the right questions to ask.
If you want more personalized, one-on-one support, hiring a professional counselor is really the best option. With a personal counselor, you know that you will receive a return on your investment, including personalized advice, edited essays, and someone taking care of the those documents that can be difficult to obtain. The professional counselors like the ones at WeAdmit are great examples of this kind of professional college counselor; they’re completely dedicated to your success and making sure you get accepted to college.
WeAdmit’s professional counselors offer college essay help, fine tune your applications to make them more readable and more connected to the colleges you’re applying to, and conduct research for you. We offer a third-party, unbiased, objective advice for financial aid options and school choice options. Best of all, you don’t have to wait for office hours or schedule meetings weeks in advance to get in touch with us. Since we operate online, your counselors will be available to you 24/7!
Counselors Are Excellent Resources On Your College Application Journey; Don’t Hesitate To Reach Out And Let Them Lead You To Success!
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