Show of hands please… how many think that colleges do not have a personal connection with students during the admissions process? Well, you are mostly correct if you do not utilize this one resource available to every student at every college!
I am talking about the admissions counselor of course. This counselor’s entire job is to connect with you during the admission process! They work hard to help students complete the process and match the college or university with amazing potential. Below are some specific reasons why you should never neglect to connect with your admissions counselor when completing your college applications.
1. Answer Your Questions
On the most basic (but still extremely helpful!) level, your counselor can answer your questions about the school or the application. If you have a question about how to complete your application or where you should submit your transcripts, your counselor can help! They can also help you find people on campus that you may need to talk to like the financial aid office.
2. Point You In The Right Direction
One of the many parts of a counselor’s job is to recruit students that are an excellent match for the school. Let’s face it; not every student is a good match sometimes simply based on personal preferences. Your counselor can help determine your fit at the university and steer you in the right direction (sometimes this may be to another school!). They will be happy to talk with you about majors, college strengths and weakness, and the lifestyle of the surrounding community.
3. Give You Crucial Advice
If you have a good relationship with your counselor, they will be much more willing to help you out even further! After hearing some of your personal experiences, they can help suggest topics for essays or ways to boost your application. Sometimes, your counselor may even have some tricks up their sleeve such as talking to a specific professor or other little known resources.
4. Help Solve Problems
Are your test scores lost? Are you having trouble getting that third letter of recommendation? Did your online application suddenly crash? Do you have trouble sleeping at night? You need… THE NEW AND IMPROVED ADMISSIONS COUNSELOR!!
Ok, so maybe they can’t help rock you to sleep each night. But, if you are having issues that are causing you to loose sleep, call up your counselor to see if they can lend a hand (or a pillow).
5. Handle Special Circumstances
In some cases, there are special circumstances to be considered during admissions. For example, maybe you had surgery and a long recovery period during your sophomore year in high school that dramatically affected your grades. Now, your overall GPA has suffered because of that year. These are the types of special situations that you will want to discuss with your counselor. They can help you determine the best way to handle this, and be an excellent advocate for you beyond your GPA.
1. Don’t Make Mom Call – Is your Mom going to college or you? Your admissions counselor is not going to be happy (or impressed) with you if Mom has to do all of the communication.
2. Ask About Special Programs – These counselors are smart, and they know a lot about the college. Ask if they know of any special programs that have scholarships or any thing particular for your potential majors.
3. Get Personal – I don’t mean asking them inappropriate personal questions! Instead, talk with your counselor about the experiences you’ve had in high school such as extra-curricular activities, sports, leadership positions, community service, etc. They can help you know how to incorporate these into you application.