This fall, high school seniors are lining up their teams to support them with the college entrance process. Some families will have several consultants on board to provide a variety of services. While there is a wide range of guidance that college-bound families will receive, virtually all will seek the advice of their high school counselor. “Overworked and often under-appreciated, these advisers can make your student’s college application process (and the entire senior year) go more smoothly by following these often unwritten rules,” Paul says.
Here are some great tips you can share with your high school senior to get the most from their relationship with their high school counselor.
If you have hired a private college counselor, don’t tell your high school counselor. Many high school counselors take it personally. They would rather help students whom they feel really need and trust their guidance. So keep this quiet.
If you do work with a private counselor, be mindful when speaking with the high school counselor not to appear as though you’re testing the counselor’s advice. Instead, let the high school counselor know that you value their opinions. Be discreet when comparing college lists and other strategies from your different advisers.
Attend all the presentations that the high school’s college counseling office offers —especially any conducted by your counselor.
Request letters of recommendation as soon as possible.
Come to meetings prepared.
Complete all tasks assigned by your college counselor, such as updating your profile from the college readiness platform, researching schools, and taking virtual college tours.
Show that you’re taking the college process seriously by making appointments with your high school counselor before you are told to do so. Then be sure you keep the appointment.
Be prompt and courteous, demonstrating that you respect their time.
Bring a list of questions to your meeting and take notes.
Know what they can (and will) do and what’s beyond their scope. For instance, high school counselors do not help complete the FAFSA forms. If you are unclear, ask them to repeat the information.
Attend college visits held at your school.
Stay informed about all opportunities for information about college.
Invite your parents to college-related assemblies and presentations.
Did you know that a scholarship is money for college that doesn’t have to be paid back…ever? Merit scholarships are based on achievement rather than financial need. Students in all financial situations can win merit scholarships.
Nancy Paul is a merit scholarship expert and best-selling author who believes that all families deserve to know how to reduce the ever expanding costs of attending college. Check out the Little Book About Scholarships today. Remember “Getting into college is one thing. Paying for it is another.”®