A college counselor should be a strategy consultant, coach, and cheerleader all rolled into one. Learn why you need a college counselor and how your counselor fits into your overall application timeline.
5 Things a College Counselor Can Do for You
Most high schools have at least one on-site college counselor to advise students on finding and applying to colleges. As the point person for your applications, college counselors keep you on top of deadlines and graduation requirements and ultimately send your official transcript to colleges. They can also help you find schools that fit you, identify dream/match/safety schools, complete your FAFSA, craft strong school-specific application essays, and help manage anxiety and stress. Depending on how much one-on-one time they get with their schools’ college counselors, some families decide to hire independent college counselors to guide them through the admissions process.
Whichever route you go, here are five reasons you need your college counselor.
1. Lower your college stress
Applications are stressful. 7 out of 10 respondents on our 2017 College Hopes & Worries survey gauged their stress levels as “high” or “very high.” Knowing that there are college experts in your corner can make all the difference. At The Princeton Review, our college counselors are available face-to-face whenever you have a question (or just need some encouragement).
2. Make a college wish list
Talking with a college counselor about your dreams and goals can help you figure out what you really want out of college. Does your best-fit college run a popular co-operative education program? Are you looking for a politically active student body? Conversations with your counselor about what’s important to you in terms of academics, campus culture, and financial aid will help guide your overall college search.
3. Find and compare colleges
There are hundreds of colleges out there, and the right school for your unique personality and goals may be an Ivy League or it might be a school you haven’t heard of (yet!). College counselors are pros at helping you research schools and then narrowing your list to the colleges you should focus on.
4. Help you rise to the top
In a competitive applicant pool, a stellar college application is about more than just grades and SAT/ACT scores. Your college counselor will help you position the rest of your application to tell the story of who you are through your essays, extracurricular activities, and letters of recommendation. Counselors know which essay topics are overdone, how to make good use of supplementary materials, and how to explain an uncharacteristic bad grade to admissions committees.
5. Choose the right school for you
Your college counselors will help you craft your list of dream, match, and safety schools and craft the right application strategy for your college wishlist. And when those acceptances roll in, your counselors help you compare programs and financial aid packages so that you make the right decision for you.