Whether your schools is public or private, big or small; whether you have an independent counselor or are working with the counselors at school, one reality remains: this is your university process . Independent and school counselors are there to help, but the more you put into the college process, the greater you’ll get out of it. So become proactive and seek out opportunities to utilize a college consultant . There are plenty of things you can do to help yourself make the most of the college counseling you have available.
Always Be Prepared
Just before any meetings, get organized. Draw together all your paperwork, transcripts, examining results, timelines and checklists within anticipation of meeting with your consultant. Make a list of the questions that you need to get answered so you can write down answers during the meeting. Make sure to take notes; not only will it make it easier to remember what you have to do, but it will display your parents how responsible you are in taking ownership of the university process.
Develop a Program
Many of the decisions concerning courses and activities in 9 th grade will impact your college options years ahead. Know your options. Work with your counselor to create a four-year college plan based on course selection, academic tracks and rigor, prerequisite courses, in addition to options for summer and extracurricular activities. Your counselor can help you understand plus plan for high school according to your developing strengths, interests, and goals.
Create a Testing Schedule
In the fall of ten th plus 11 th grade most students take the PSAT. Setup time to talk to a counselor regarding the scores you receive, the context of those results at your school, and how these scores relate to your college goals. Work with your counselor to make a examining timeline for the SAT and/or WORK. Include considerations for prep time, test dates, and registration deadlines. Make sure not to neglect SAT Subject Tests if you’re in a position to take them at the conclusion of your academic year.
Build a College List
Students start learning about colleges on different stages of their high school career, but January of 11 th grade is when the college process begins within earnest. At some high universities, this is the time a counselor will place an initial list of colleges together for every student. At other schools, college students are expected to do the list creation independently. The more you know about colleges, the better prepared you will be for whatever you have to do at this stage and the better the data you can provide your counselor because she shapes the list for you. In College Coach, we create a preliminary list of colleges that fit our students’ interests and goals, plus explain how likely admission would be at those institutions. Regardless of the supply of the initial list, the priorities of the student and her family will make the list that much more useful.
Check Your Data
The fall of your junior year is also a good time to review your transcript plus address any errors with your consultant. Get errors fixed prior to your counselor needs to send a transcript out to any colleges for you. At the very least, it’s good to be educated about what will appear on your academic report.
Value Your Counselor’s Perspective & Experience
Your counselor can be a sounding board for important decisions in the university process. What essay topic do I choose? What schools should I go to? How can I get my parents on the same beside me? You can also ask your counselor to help you select the teachers you’ll ask for recommendations, getting clarity on what colleges are looking for, and which teachers may provide the best letters based on your passions and intended studies.
Mind the Deadlines
Find out what app deadlines the guidance office has in place and make sure to schedule appointments with counselor according to his deadlines and yours. Always plan ahead, set deadlines earlier in case something goes incorrect. By being proactive, you are giving the counseling office at your school the very best opportunity to support you not only in the letter they will write on your behalf, but also within the effort they will make to get your app complete on time. There are some things that must come from your school guidance office, plus they’ll often have systems in place to exhibit you that these items have been dealt with properly. Follow their procedures, follow up with your schools, and don’t stress; your counselor can usually provide you with any questions that may arise.
Say thank you! The counselors plus teachers who work with you, whether or not they are independent or work at your high school, are all hoping to see you attain your goals and find a university that is the best fit for you. Using the time and care they have spent helping you, they feel invested in the time and effort being made on your behalf. Be sure to let them know how things are going, where you choose to go, and give them a proper many thanks, in a hand-written note, if possible. This is actually the first step in learning how to create a system of contacts and references on your own – be sure you are leaving a great impression!