Do you need a laptop?
Well, strictly, no, you don’t. You could use a desktop or a tablet. You could borrow one instead of owning it.
It would sure make life easier if you had one, though, which is kind of what having a college counselor is like.
There’s a big difference between need and could put to great use.
To help you figure out whether you could put a college counselor to great use, ask yourself these three questions.
1. Do you need help choosing colleges?
There are more than 5,000 colleges in the United States alone.
If you apply to 10 of them, that’s only 0.002% of the available options.
It is hard to find the right places to apply to that perfectly fit your needs.
A good college counselor will have knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of colleges as well as how to create a balanced college list.
If you bring your criteria to a college counselor, she can help you eliminate the other 99.998% of options and focus on the few that are just right.
A college counselor can also offer assessments to help find the right major or career.
If you need help deciding about the difference between a business and theater double major and a business major with a theater minor, a college counselor can help with that too.
He may point you toward college options you didn’t even know about.
So if you need help choosing places to apply, a college counselor is a lot easier to leverage than the 800+ pages in the Fiske Guide to Colleges (although the Fiske Guide is our favorite).
2. Do you need help staying on track?
If most of us are honest, the answer to this question will be yes. The college application process takes months, and if you overlook even one little step, you could get a rejection letter.
That’s not pretty, but it’s the truth.
A college counselor will help you build a plan for completing your college applications.
This isn’t her first rodeo. She has an entire step-by-step guide that has helped scores of students before you, and it can help you too.
College counselors are professional experts in the process of applications. They know how to make it as painless and straightforward as possible for you.
A college counselor will also help you be accountable for meeting your deadlines.
If time management, multitasking, and planning ahead aren’t your strengths, finding a college counselor to keep you on track can really save your bacon.
He’ll remind you about what to do and when. Instead of planning the entire master calendar, your job becomes putting your best work forward and following the counselor’s instructions. (Whew!)
3. Do you feel overwhelmed by the process?
Yeah. Yeah, you do.
Which is completely normal.
You might especially need someone to help cut through the confusion if any of these describe you:
- First in family to go to college
- Educated in more than one country
- Seeking admittance to Tier I schools
- Limited financial options
- Exceptional requirements like learning accommodations
- Unusual or narrow career plans
- A college counselor will not only guide you but also will give you context and perspective.
A college counselor will provide feedback on your application materials.
If you dread the college essay or have no idea how to request recommendation letters, your college counselor can help.
She can let you know about scholarship deadlines, accommodation resources, and multidisciplinary majors. Her job is literally to be a wealth of knowledge for you.
A college counselor will help you understand things from the college admissions perspective.
College counselors are the bridge between college admissions and college applicants. He will explain what colleges look for and tell you how to apply with your best self.
Thousands of people get into colleges without needing a college admissions counselor. But the ones who make use of one are likely to have an easier application process.