Do you know your high school counselor? Maybe you’ve met with them to sign up for classes or to make a schedule change. Or maybe not. Depending on your school, your counselor may could be responsible for 30 students or 300+ students so some counselors are more accessible than others. Regardless, it’s important for you to know this person and know what they can do for you in the college search.
- Make an appointment to meet your counselor. If possible, make an appointment at a time where you won’t be talking about what classes to take next year. This is a separate opportunity to talk mostly about college planning.
- Ask Questions. The CollegeBoard has a great list of 20 Questions to Ask Your School Counselor.
- Get Personal. Colleges that you apply to may require a letter of recommendation from your counselor. This is one of many reasons to know your counselor and you want them to know you as well. Give your counselor information about you – what activities are you involved in, what classes do you like or not like, what careers are you considering, what colleges are on your list.
- Learn about college planning at your school. How do you sign up for standardized test like the PSAT? What about college visits to your school – can you attend as an underclassman? Will there be a college planning assembly or college planning night for parents? Are there forms you need to complete to request transcripts or recommendations? Every school has a college process – be sure to learn the details for your school. Know what you should be focused on now as an underclassman.
- Follow-up. Send your counselor a thank you email or note. Even just two sentences can suffice – “Thanks for meeting with me. I appreciate your time.” And don’t be a stranger. Meet with your counselor again, or just pop your head in to say hi. Building a relationship with your high school counselor can make your college application process less stressful.
- Schedule a meeting with your high school counselor.
- Talk to your counselor about the colleges on your list in GuidedPath.