The admissions process can seem daunting, so college admission consultants are available to walk you through it. A college admission guidance counselor understands the process of choosing a college, applying, and financing. They can answer all of your questions and walk you through the process. However, as a high school student, you may not know what you need to know or what questions to ask your college counselor. It’s okay not to know. Here are a few questions you may want to ask your college counselor.
How do I choose the right college?
You are probably surrounded by friends and family telling you which college to choose. You may not even know what you want to do for a career, so it may feel impossible to know which college will be right for you. Your college counselor can sit with you to talk about your goals, interests, concerns, likes, and dislikes to narrow down the list of colleges you should consider. Even factors like driving distance from home can be a determining factor don’t the college you choose.
What if I decide I want to do something else after college?
If you are going to college with a specific career in mind, you may have concerns about changing your mind. What if halfway through college, you decide you want to do something different. Talk to your counselor about your concerns to see if there are related degree programs that may leave you more open to choosing a different career once you graduate. Earning a college degree can never be taken away from you, so even if you end up doing something else after college, you will still have your degree.
What is the timeline for college admissions?
This is a great question that may help you put your mind at ease regarding the overall process. While your counselor may not be able to provide exact dates for some things, they can provide you with an outline of deadlines and approximate dates for notification. Having an outline for the process will also allow you to know well in advance when forms are due to get everything done and submitted on time.
How am I going to pay for college?
Paying for college can be a scary proposition for most people. This is a huge question that most students likely have. Your counselor can walk you through the process of filling out your FAFSA and applying for federal grants and student aid. They can explain the different loan and financial aid options, so you know what you will likely get. They can also help you find college scholarships to pay for the difference between federal aid and what you need to get through college. They may help you fill out your scholarship applications and track when everything is due. The more scholarships you apply for, the more likely you will get your educational expenses covered.
What tests do I need to take?
Depending on the college you plan to attend and the program you are going into, you may be required to take standardized tests like the SAT or ACT. Since you don’t want to take tests you don’t need; it is essential to ask your counselor which tests you need to take. Once you know the tests you will need for your college admissions, you have to determine when they are available, how they cost, and the best way to study. Each major test has practice books and classes you can take to prepare if you need to.
Asking many questions is the best way to prepare yourself for the college admissions process, and your counselor is there to help, so don’t feel like you are asking too much. Take notes if you need to and get all of the information you need to feel comfortable with the process and stay organized.