White female counselor in white shirt and glasses, holding clipboard outside

4 Proactive Things Counselors and Consultants Should Do This Summer

Planning ahead doesn't just apply to students! Get on track for back-to-school season and the next college admission cycle with these four head-start tips.

As the halls of high schools across America empty, counselors and consultants can breathe a collective sigh of relief, having successfully survived yet another academic year. But just as your students shouldn't let their minds turn to mush or their college aspirations come to a standstill during the dog days, counselors should likewise find ways to stay on their game in preparation for the upcoming school year. Whether you have a few months off or are still heading into the office every day, here are a few things you can do to keep your skills sharp and gear up for the next cycle of college planning.

1. Network

Stay in touch with your fellow counselors and find ways to connect with others you don't know. See if any of the state or national organizations you may be a member of are holding any events over the summer, such as the Independent Educational Consultants Associations. If you can't get together in person, you can network online through Facebook, Twitter, or pages such as the LinkedIn group CollegeXpress for Counselors. Discuss the previous school year's challenges and triumphs as well as any shifting trends you've noticed in your students. Ask questions and exchange ideas. You'll be able to share your own experiences while learning and gaining some new perspective.

2. Visit colleges and universities

Consider paying a visit to the schools within driving distance of you. And if you want to be extra proactive, you might even visit schools in other cities or states while you're on vacation. Drop by the admission and financial aid offices and ask a few questions. Pick up some brochures, course schedules, and anything else you can get your hands on. Wander the campuses and check out the housing options, dining facilities, and places like student unions to get a sense of what student life is like. Assess the parking options and opportunities for socializing at commuter schools. Your first-hand experience will be helpful when students begin narrowing down the list of schools to which they will apply.

Related: Beyond Pretty Brochures: How to Plan Informal Campus Visits

3. Update and build your counseling library

Unfortunately, college statistics are not constant. As you know, things like contacts, deadlines, and enrollment, financial aid, and tuition figures change from year to year, so it's important you maintain a current and accurate counseling archive of resources. Summer is the perfect time to go through your materials and determine what needs updating. Do research on current college admission statistics, renew any subscriptions to counseling materials or websites, and read articles on any important or changing topics in the higher education world. Bookmark the education pages of your favorite news websites. And of course, visit CollegeXpress frequently for articles, blogs, and advice on every aspect of the college admission process.

4. Keep tabs on your students

If possible, consider checking in with your students (particularly juniors) and their parents by emailing once or twice this summer. If you helped any students devise game plans for an application-boosting summer, see how they're panning out. Ask about any job or volunteer experience they're acquiring, books they're reading, and summer programs they've attended. Pass along information about any additional opportunities you think they may benefit from. Ask if they have any questions about the upcoming school year, the courses they've selected, or the college application process. Follow up with any students who had to go to summer school and make sure they're back on track for senior year. Putting a bug in your students' ears will help keep them moving in right direction, and tackling any questions they have now will help you get a jump start on the first day of school.

Related: Top 10 Ways You Can Help Your Students Stand Out to Colleges

You deserve a break this summer just as much as your students. Take some well-earned time off before you dive into these suggested to-do's over the summer. Planning ahead will put you and your students on track for another successful year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have some rest and relaxation at the same time.

Help your students make the most of the next three months using tips for fun and academic improvement from our summer blogs and articles.

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Stephanie Farah

Stephanie Farah

Stephanie Farah is a former writer and senior editor for Carnegie and CollegeXpress. She holds a BA in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a master's in Journalism from the University of North Texas. At various times, she has been an uncertain undergrad, a financial aid recipient, a transfer applicant, and a grad student with an assistantship and a full ride. Stephanie is an avid writer, traveler, cook, and dog owner. 


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Heather McCarty

Heather McCarty

High School Class of 2020

CollegeXpress has helped me with the college application process. The tips and tricks for important essays were so helpful. I also gained useful knowledge about college life. Even though I’m fully online, CollegeXpress has helped me develop a sense of how college is in person. The experiences from college students that were featured on their Instagram page have shown the good, the bad, and the “secret” life on campus from a reliable perspective. Not to mention, they relieved my feelings of anxiety about the workload. I can now understand how it can be stressful, but it takes self-control and willpower to get assignments completed on time and with quality.



High School Class of 2019

My favorite feature of CollegeXpress is the scholarship search. As someone going out of state for college, I needed all the financial help I could get, and CollegeXpress helped me easily find scholarships I could apply for to help fund my education.

Caitlin Eaton

Caitlin Eaton

$10,000 Scholarship Winner, 2021

I first discovered CollegeXpress during my sophomore year of high school while researching colleges that interested me. My SAT prep class the following year further familiarized me with the opportunities available through the organization. CX has personally helped me by exposing me to a diverse selection of schools as well as scholarships and life tips that have provided valuable guidance in my college search.

This scholarship will help me adjust to college life without worrying as much about tuition. This gives me more room to truly explore and benefit from all aspects of higher education. I plan to study Conservation Biology and work protecting species/ecosystems. I’m looking forward to getting field experience and seeing firsthand the problems research is solving.

Heaven Johnson

Heaven Johnson

Back to School Scholarship Winner, High School Class of 2023

I’d like to thank everyone on the CollegeXpress team for their generosity. Not only have I been awarded this scholarship, but CollegeXpress makes it easier to apply and gives amazing tips for schools and scholarships. I am extremely grateful as this will help with my schooling and allow me to be able to enter into the field I’ve been dreaming of all my life. 

Courtney Smith

Courtney Smith

High School Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has been a huge help! The website is very organized with finding the right scholarship for anyone and anything. With CollegeXpress, I've been able to find many scholarship opportunities to apply for. Not only that, I'm also able to search for the colleges I have interest in and see what’s required and what scholarships they offer. I've learned a lot from CollegeXpress. They've helped me in many ways to achieve my goals!

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Stevenson University

Stevenson, MD

Goldey-Beacom College

Wilmington, DE

Belhaven University

Jackson, MS

Calvin University

Grand Rapids, MI

Moody Bible Institute

Chicago, IL