The Common Application is now allowing high school guidance counselors to opt out of writing a recommendation for a college applicant. Because of higher case loads, guidance counselors who feel they can not provide adequate personal knowledge of a student or enough details about a student’s abilities can now submit just their School Report for a student.
This is an unfortunate development. Guidance counselors have a broader view of a student than the regular classroom teacher, and after working with a student through four years of high school usually have some insights into a student’s family that may be relevant to their application. In addition, guidance counselors know the school curriculum in and out and can provide rationales for students’ course selections and explain discrepancies like a drop in course load or grade. The guidance counselor recommendation can also separate standout students in the school.
Submitting the School Report can be done by a secretary, but college applicants need the professional support of a guidance counselor’s holistic recommendation in today’s competitive college admissions process. If public, and now even private schools, can opt out of providing a counselor recommendation, it seems college applicants need a college admission consultant more than even. We can recommend one reasonably-priced consultant now, CPS 101.