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4 Simple Ways to Multitask and Make Time for College Planning

High school counselors wear many hats. When there aren't enough hours in the day, how can you find extra time for college planning? We'll tell you!

School counselors are real life superheroes. You may find yourself playing referee, college advisor, sounding board, and even disciplinarian and therapist—all before lunch. With so many responsibilities at hand, your job really boils down to a single objective: mastering the fine art of multitasking. Counselors who are juggling multiple responsibilities for hundreds of students may not be able to devote much time to one-on-one college planning. But there are several ways in which you can maximize the time you do have with each student by giving them the tools they need to explore and apply to colleges on their own.

1. Get your students online

Compile a list of your favorite college planning websites that your students can use to begin their college and scholarship searches. Consider printing out your list and giving it to your juniors and seniors at the beginning of the school year. Some useful sites include FAFSAThe Common Application, and of course, CollegeXpress. You might also list the websites of the colleges and universities that students from your school most often attend, including direct links to their application and financial aid pages.

2. Keep a good line of communication

While you may not have loads of time to spend with each of your students individually, you can communicate via email to answer questions, check in on their progress, and even send out reminders about upcoming deadlines. You could even consider setting up a social media account on Twitter, Instagram, or even TikTok that students can follow and use it to post things like scholarships you've come across, test-taking tips, SAT vocabulary definitions, or college-related news and advice.

Related: 6 Reasons to Put in Effort With Counselors and Teachers

3. Encourage social networking

Social networking can be an excellent tool in the college admission process. Most colleges and universities have Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube accounts, allowing prospective students to connect with them and learn more about what they have to offer. Your juniors can use these sites to explore the schools they're interested in, and your seniors can use them to interact with current students at the schools they’re applying to and to learn about campus events once they've been accepted.

4. Offer group sessions

If your schedule permits, consider offering group counseling sessions. Determine the various categories your college-bound students fall into—such as private or public school applicants, community college applicants, and students in the top 10%—and then offer a few question-and-answer sessions specifically geared toward each group. Students in similar situations will have similar questions for you, so making yourself available to several of them at once will help you juggle many students needs while still giving them the individualized attention they need.

Related: Creative College and Career Prep Ideas for Students

In your multifaceted role as a high school counselor, the time you can devote to college planning may be limited. And while there's no book, website, or social media platform that could ever take your place, these time-saving suggestions, along with a little hard work and ingenuity, will help put you and your students on track for success.

Get great advice and answers to important questions from fellow experts like yourself in our Counselors and Consultants—Ask the Experts section.

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Abhishek Kumar

Abhishek Kumar

High School Class of 2022

As a high schooler, I know how hard it is to plan for college. You have to consider a lot of factors: SAT/ACT scores, college searches, scholarships, and more. CollegeXpress has been a helpful resource that solves all these problems. One can easily create a free account and search away. They help you search for scholarships and colleges, they have graduate program search, they have lists and rankings, and so much more. CX also has a lot of articles and advice to read—whether it’s financial aid, test prep, campus visits, internships/careers, or anything. Not only that, CX gives out free scholarship money to students who sign up and create a free CX account. I love CX and will continue to use it! Thank you CollegeXpress for making my college journey easier!

Laura Wallace

Laura Wallace

High School Class of 2019

My favorite part of CollegeXpress is that it features student writers so I get an inside perspective from students slightly older and farther along than me. I realize that other college websites also utilize student writers; however, I relate the most to the college writers that I read articles from on CollegeXpress.

Daniel Ogunlokun

Daniel Ogunlokun

High School Class of 2022

When I started looking at colleges in the beginning of my senior year, I was conflicted about which ones I wanted to attend based on safety, tuition costs, location, academic rigor, and prestige. Searching the internet and getting more questions than answers, I came across CollegeXpress, which made all the steps I had taken look like a minor issue. Everything was summarized and detailed, and I couldn't be more thankful and appreciative.

Casey Kammeyer

Casey Kammeyer

$500 Refer-A-Friend Scholarship Winner

I love the site CollegeXpress; it has been very helpful finding colleges and getting them to send me information. It has also been very, very helpful with finding tons of scholarships. Also, I told many of my friends about it and they love it as well!

Damian Rangel

Damian Rangel

September 2021 Mini Scholarship Winner, High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has helped me tackle college expenses, which will allow me to put more of my time and effort into my studies without the need of worrying as much about finances.

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