It sure doesn't feel like "Spring Semester" here in the Northeast right now with snow and ice covering the landscape. But all across the country, high schools have commenced the second half of the school year. High school juniors are often assigned their college counselor right about now.
If you or your child will be meeting with the college counselor for the first time, you might wonder what to ask and what to cover. The last year and a half of high school dictates the college admissions process, from what classes to take during senior year to what to do this coming summer.
Here are some agenda items to speak to your college counselor about:
1. Review your proposed schedule for senior year.
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2. Discuss your testing plan.
3. Find out what information they need from you (the student and the parents) in order to write the counselor letter of recommendation.For example, some college counselors ask for a "brag sheet" or resume. But the most thoughtful letters written by counselors are ones that reflect their own impressions of you rather than what you have to say about yourself and what you do.
4. Bounce ideas off of them about summer plans.
5. Talk about the teachers you are considering asking for letters of recommendation.
6. Go over the colleges on your list or ask about what colleges they would suggest.
7. Ask about any special scholarships or fully-funded programs that might be a good fit based on what they know about you.Many times, the college counselor is the one to nominate the student for prestigious scholarships at universities or through organizations.
8. Learn about what role they play in your process.
9. Mention any cool things you like to do or participate in as they might be interested in learning more details about it.
10. Don't be a stranger to your college counselor—no matter how busy they or you are.
The best job in the world is being a college counselor. In the cold, winter days of January, I find inspiration in the next group of college-bound students. Like your college counselor at your school, I am getting to know all of the students in my Application Nation - Class of 2023 group right now. They are our future. I would do anything to help them achieve their goals. And it is my hope that your own college counselor at your high school would do the same!