Most students know that their high school guidance counselors provide resources for financial aid assistance, such as locating scholarships for college or understanding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). But many students don’t take full advantage of what a guidance counselor has to offer. As discussed in Part I, guidance counselors can help you select the right academic classes to ensure you are completing the courses required for college admission; they can also get you on the right track for college admissions testing.
Here are some additional reasons why you should be planning a trip to see your high school guidance counselor…
Knowledge is Power.
Your guidance counselor is likely to have a variety of college guides that you can borrow or review. He/she can also alert you to any local college fairs or other college admission prep programs that may be valuable to you. Guidance counselors may know about college campuses in your area, as well as those out-of-state, giving you a quick point of reference for questions concerning admission deadlines, application fees, minimum GPAs and testing requirements. While you should not expect your counselor to do the research for you, you can ask him/her for help with any questions you may have about the process.
If you introduce yourself to your guidance counselor in your freshman year, this will give him/her four years to get to know YOU. Because of this, your guidance counselor can be one of the best resources for future letters of recommendation, whether for college or summer employment. Additionally, he/she may be able to help you with internships or study abroad programs. If you don’t take the time to get to know your guidance counselor, your name may not come to mind when prospective employers or other opportunities present themselves. When opportunity knocks, make sure it knows your name!
Don’t wait until the last minute to visit your guidance counselor. Most counselors have more than enough students on their rolls to keep them busy 24 hours a day. If you don’t take the initiative and make an appointment early in your high school career, it’s quite possible that your guidance counselor will not remember you when you stop by in the fall of your senior year. By taking time out of your schedule to meet with your counselor every year, you will demonstrate that you are serious about success.
A high school guidance counselor is one resource you should get very familiar with when planning for college. For other valuable information and learning videos, please visit WiseChoice.com.
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