With all of the stress and uncertainty surrounding college admissions, it’s easy for parents to get caught up in the hysteria and find themselves certain that their child will never get into college unless they fork over thousands of dollars to a private college counselor. As a private college counselor myself, I should probably be perpetuating that idea by telling you that of course your child won’t get into college unless you fork over thousands of dollars to a private college counselor! But I’m not going to do that. The truth is, working with me, or any private college counselor for that matter, doesn’t come with a guarantee of admission to college. What I can guarantee is that I will help you and your child maximize her chances of getting into the schools she wants by helping her create the best application possible for herself, while at the same time minimizing the stress and anxiety that comes with the college application process. If that’s what you’re looking for, then a private college counselor may be well worth it to you. Read on for some of the ways a private college counselor can be an asset during the college application process.
Provide more personalized attention than school counselors can
College counselors at high schools are an extremely valuable resource, even if you’re working with a private college counselor as well. School counselors have access to resources that private counselors do not and will be responsible for submitting transcripts, letters of recommendation, and other school documents to colleges. For these reasons, it’s important to maintain positive relationships with school counselors. However, school counselors are often in short supply and may be responsible for working with hundreds of students at a time. With their time and resources spread so thin, it can be difficult for them to give students the individualized attention that a private college counselor can. Private college counselors can really spend time getting to know their students, enabling them to make personalized recommendations and create more effective pathways to college.
Expand college choices
Working with a college counselor can help students expand their scope of potential colleges. There are over 5,000 colleges in the United States, but most people can only name about ten off the top of their heads. With so many options available, it’s possible that students could miss out on great opportunities, simply because they don’t know they are out there. A college counselor can help students research and expand their potential college lists to ensure that they’re taking advantage of every opportunity and finding the best fit schools for them.
Streamline the application process
Applying to college is a complicated, involved process. With students generally applying to between 7-10 schools, they have to utilize multiple application platforms and keep track of a wide array of requirements, including test scores, letters of recommendation, and essays. A college counselor can help students manage all of the different application platforms and work with them to ensure that they don’t neglect any important admission requirements or application components.
Stay on top of deadlines
Just as the application requirements vary between individual schools, so do the application deadlines. College counselors can help students manage their time and their calendars so that they get all of their applications and supplemental materials submitted on time. A college counselor can also work with students to strategize the best plan for applying to Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular deadlines.
Act as a buffer between parents and children
The college application process is often a stressful time for students, which can cause an increase in tension between them and their parents. College counselors can help to alleviate some of this tension, taking the burden of reminding students of their responsibilities and checking over their work away from parents. While we can’t do anything about how hard it will be to move students out of the house and into their college dorms, parents can rest assured knowing they’re in good hands to get them there!
Assist with essay development, writing, and editing
Writing essays is often the most difficult part of the application process. (You can read some of our tips for writing college essays here.) Because the essays provide an opportunity for the admissions officers to get a glimpse into students’ personalities, it’s important that students understand how to present themselves and their stories in the best light. A college counselor can work with a student to brainstorm topics, develop a writing voice, and edit and polish their final essays.
Click here to learn more about Academic Impact’s college counseling services or give us a call at 916-905-2466.