Your high school counselor is a lifesaver when it comes to college prep. Their entire goal is to help you towards graduation and success, so make sure you utilize their expertise as much as you can.
Here are a number of topics to discuss with your high school counselor:
High School Graduation Requirements
Before attending college, you first have to graduate high school. It’s good to consistently check in with your counselor to make sure you’re on track for graduation. You don’t want a mandatory class to sneak up on you at the last minute and delay your graduation or throw your schedule off kilter.
Academic Rigor in Class Schedule
Most colleges won’t be impressed if you just cover the basics. Colleges want to see you push yourself academically, and prefer students who take more advanced classes. This is known as academic rigor, and can include AP or dual-credit classes. Talk with your counselor about which courses may suit your interests bests, and how many you should take to balance out rigor with your GPA goals.
Potential College Majors
There are thousands of potential college majors out there, and it can be difficult to narrow them down. It helps to talk it out, and one of the best people to talk to about it are high school counselors. They can review which classes you excelled in and brainstorm with you about potential careers or majors to study. Additionally, they’ll have insight on which nearby/state colleges specialize in those majors.
ACT / SAT Resources and Test Prep Availability
A big element of your college applications will be ACT/SAT scores. Counselors will be aware of test dates, review sessions, and maybe even local ACT/SAT tutors or prep classes. Work with them to find some prep materials, set a score goal, and review with them after you take a test to see if you want to retake for a better score.
Counselors will have their fingers on the pulse of college information—particularly local or state colleges. They’ll be able to tell you about application requirements—such as if a college requires 2 or 3 (or more) years of a foreign language, what the average ACT/SAT score is, and whether or not an essay is required. If you have an idea of what college(s) you’d like to attend, mention it to your counselor.
Review College Application / Essays
Depending on a counselor’s workload, they may be able to review your college application or essays and offer suggestions to improve your odds. They’re an invaluable resource when it comes to making edits or focusing in on elements you hadn’t considered important.
College Prep Doubts
The college prep process is a long and stressful one, there’s no doubt about it. But if you do have doubts about a certain element—you feel your list of extracurriculars isn’t strong enough, you’re worried about not getting into your dream school, you’re concerned about—talk to your counselor. They’ve helped countless students before you, and know what they’re talking about. Let them help alleviate or conquer your fears.
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