A counselor can be a high school student’s best friend. They are usually excellent sources of college info and tailored advice...and you don’t have to pay them to talk to you!
High school counselors are there to help you figure out your next steps in the college admission and application process. For example, they can help sophomores plan a course load that meets the requirements for postsecondary education, including four-year colleges and junior, community, or technical schools. They can advise juniors and seniors when to take PSATs and SATs, and they are often responsible for sending your high school record to the colleges you are applying to. They can even help you with personal issues that you face.
Counselors can be very good friends to have, indeed. Depending on your high school, the counselors might know you on a first-name basis, or they might be responsible for thousands of people and to them you’re just another face in the crowd. So it’s up to you to befriend your high school counselor. After all, the person who has the biggest stake in your future is you.
Here are a few questions to break the ice with your counselor and help you stay ahead of the admission and application process.
- What courses do I need to take if I plan on pursuing a [fill-in-the-blank] major?
- How should I plan my schedule so I complete them?
- Do you have any after-school or evening sessions for college planning or SAT prep?
- What activities can I do at home or over the summer to get ready for college?
- Do you have any college brochures and guides I can see?
- Do you have any SAT or ACT practice tests?
- Can you put me in touch with recent grads who went to the colleges I am applying to?
- Are there any college fairs that I can attend?
- Are there any scholarships I should apply for?
- If I am interested in a [fill-in-the-blank] career, what major do you suggest and what courses should I take?
- Which AP courses are available?
These questions are a great way to get the ball between you and your high school counselor rolling. Don’t be shy. Your counselor will be happy you asked—and so will you!