5 Ways High School Guidance Counselors Can Help You Get Into College

There’s no doubt about it, the college planning process can sometimes be overwhelming for high school students and their parents.

  • Which schools should I apply to?
  • How do I fill out the FAFSA form?
  • What should I major in?

Do any of these questions sound familiar?

The best way to minimize the stress associated with preparing for college is to start planning early. You don’t have to wait until your junior year of high school to start thinking about and researching various colleges. In fact, you can start as early as your freshman year!

You are not alone in this process; your high school counselor can help you select the right college for your personality, career goals, and skill set.

Here’s 5 ways they can help you get into college:

Matching Abilities with Interest –

By reviewing your transcripts and standardized test scores, your high school guidance counselor can help you identify which subjects you naturally do well in. What if I don’t “naturally excel” in any one area? Don’t worry; your counselor can still help you explore your interests and identify what skills you have that aren’t specifically tied a subject area in school.

Once you’ve matched your skills with your interests, your counselor can then help you explore different career options and get you signed up for classes that are more in alignment with your interests.

For example, if you’re interested in Journalism, your counselor might recommend a creative writing class as an elective and/or encourage you to join the school newspaper.

Emotional Wellness –

Filling out college applications and then waiting to see if you’ve been accepted or not can be really stressful. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for parents to put a lot of pressure on their kids to get admitted to certain colleges.

Your high school counselors can assist you in dealing with all of these emotions by helping you adjust to life’s occasional disappointments and frustrations, while also teaching you how to cope with stress in a healthy way.

Managing Family Expectations –

Regardless of the child’s interests and desires, sometimes parents pressure their kids to apply to specific universities and/or major is a specific field of study. This can also be stressful for students. How can I “make my parents proud,” but also pursue my own career goals?

You don’t have to take on all this stress alone; this is where your school counselor can play the mediator between you and your parents and help them see things from your point of view.

College Selection Process –

There are tons of colleges out there, so how do you pick the right one for you?

Once you and your counselor have discussed your interests and career goals, he or she can begin to map out what post-secondary educational path is right for you. By working together, the two of you can choose a college, trade school, or certificate program that fits your individual needs.

What If I’m Undecided? –

A lot of students just don’t have long-term career goals at 17 years old. That’s totally understandable! Guidance counselors can recommend career interest inventories that might help you in determining which careers might best fit you.

Additionally, you can also take our College Major Quiz!

Remember, you don’t have to tackle the college admissions and application process all by yourself. Your guidance counselors are there to help you, so use them!

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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