March 16, 2019

10 Things the Right College Counselor Will Help You Do

March 16, 2019

10 Things the Right College Counselor Will Help You Do

Most high schools have counselors who provide basic information about the college admission process, yet few are able to provide the personalized service and expertise that a good private counselor delivers. Private counselors can be costly and are not right for everyone. But at a time when the admissions process has become ultra-competitive, a great private counselor can significantly boost your chances of getting into your dream school. Here are 8 ways a good private counselor can help you.

1. Reduce stress. The college application process has become an anxiety-ridden time for students. Knowing that there is an expert in your corner can give you a psychological boost and reduce stress. A good counselor will be just a call-text-email away to answer your questions and address your concerns. A counselor also can introduce you to techniques to improve confidence and focus so that you can excel on the things that matter.

2. Build a powerful high school resume. The starting point for a great college application is your grades and test scores. Many counselors ignore this area and leave it up to the student alone. A good counselor, however, will guide you in what courses/tests to take and what numbers to strive for, and coach you on time-management and stress-reduction techniques so that you can achieve those numbers.

3.  Stand out from the crowd through extracurriculars. Non-academic extra-curricular activities help show that you are more than just a set of numbers. They can demonstrate open-mindedness, desire to learn, and commitment. But it is not always clear what activities you should engage in and how much time you should dedicate to them. This is complicated by the fact that admissions officers can easily detect when someone has simply signed up for many activities to try to look good, but is not committed to any one of them. A good counselor will help you put together a list of activities that you enjoy and that help you stand out from the crowd.

4. Develop a list of prospective colleges. It can be daunting to sort through the hundreds of colleges out there to figure out which ones are the right fit for your personality and goals. A college counselor can help you figure out what you want out of your college experience, guide you in researching colleges, and work with you to develop a list of dream, match, and safety schools to focus on.

5. Master the technical details. Concepts like early admission, “superscores,” and --- can be confusing to applicants. A college counselor can help explain what these mean and how different colleges define these concepts.

6. Create a powerful narrative. Your college application is the sum of its parts -- grades, test scores, personal statement, essays, recommendations, and biographical information. A counselor can help you combine these parts to build a compelling story about who you are, what drives you, and why and how you would make a positive impact on the campus.  

7. Tell a compelling story in your essays. Your essays are the key to setting you apart from your peers in the eyes of admissions officers. A good counselor starts working with you early on to develop essays that convey who you are and how you will make a positive impact on the school and the world beyond.  

8. Get the right letters of recommendation. Strong letters of recommendation can give you an advantage over your peers. An effective letter comes from a person who has come to know a candidate very well over a significant period of time, and can convey with specific examples why and how the student stands above his or her peers. A great counselor will work with you to designate recommenders who will add the most to your application.

9. Prepare for interviews. Some colleges use interviews to help assess candidates, and most high school students have not had the opportunity to develop good interview skills. A counselor can introduce you to important interview communication techniques so that you are at ease and confident during your interviews.

10. Choose the right school. The real fun begins when your acceptances roll in. A college counselor can help you compare programs and financial aid packages so that you make the right decision for your future.

Learn how Entrance Advisor will help you find and get accepted into the right school -- contact us today!