When you return to school this fall, if you’re planning to go to college, you need to visit your guidance counselor right away! That should be a priority for all kinds of reasons, whether or not you are a senior, but especially if you are a senior!
The first reason to see your counselor is to connect or reconnect.
• Your high school guidance counselor is your partner and a main resource at your school for the whole college application process.
• Also, the more your guidance counselor sees you and gets to know, you the better advice he or she can give you. Your guidance counselor can suggest activities and clubs that are best for you to participate in. She or he can check on your grade point average and make sure it is high enough for the colleges you may want to consider and help you raise that average if necessary with appropriate tutoring sources.
Another reason to check in with your guidance counselor at the beginning of the school year is to look over your high school transcript.
• Your counselor can give you the heads up on what courses you need to complete for colleges. Many colleges require a certain number of years of math or science or language for admission.
• You should discuss the course levels you are taking. For some colleges it is best to take higher level courses for admission.
• Your guidance counselor can also help you with elective courses. You may think you can take all the required and higher level courses and be done, but colleges look at what you choose in your spare time, too. Some courses are not the best choice for college admission.
Your guidance counselor can also help you with thinking about a college experience.
• Discuss with your guidance counselor what careers will be best for you. She/he may be able to recommend not only resources for you to use but also internships and volunteer opportunities to discover what you want to do with your life.
• Ask your counselor where recent graduates from your high school have gone to school successfully. It will help you to apply to colleges that have accepted your fellow alumni. Also alums make good contacts for information about their college and for tours of their college.
• Ask about both college fairs and financial aid presentations so you can find out as much as you can about colleges and how to pay for them ahead of time and before the application rush begins.
Finally, visit your guidance counselor for help applying for college!
• Ask your guidance counselor when to request letters of recommendation from him or her and from your teachers. You want to give them enough time to do you justice.
• Make sure you know which college entrance exams to take and when to take them. Sometimes you may need more than one kind of exam for certain schools, and you may want to take tests early enough to be able to retake them.
• And, certainly ask your guidance counselor for help charting out all the tasks you need to complete for college applications along with deadlines and other important dates.
High school guidance counselors can be your right hand in the college admission process. Rely on them for help.