Ask Your Guidance Counselor These Five Questions Before Applying to College

Going through the college search and application process, one of your best resources is your high school guidance counselor. Your guidance counselor not only knows you and your academics but knows about hundreds of colleges as well. Use your counselor to your advantage by asking some of these questions:

1. Should I take the SAT or the ACT?

When it comes to standardized testing, most schools accept either the SAT or the ACT. The tests are very different from each other, and your guidance counselor can give you insight into which one is the best for you. Your counselor can also give you information about test-optional admissions, colleges that are test-optional, and if test-optional is the best fit for you.

2. How can I play sports in college?

Being a college athlete takes preparation before the application process starts. Your guidance counselor can help you through this process by providing information on the NCAA, teaching you about the different NCAA divisions, and helping you reach out to coaches from colleges you are interested in attending and playing for. Make sure to be proactive if you want to play sports in college!

3. Have I taken the prerequisites needed for my intended major?

After narrowing down what you want to study, it's important that you have the prerequisites needed to be accepted into your desired program. Colleges want to make sure you have the right background for the major you've selected so you can be successful. Your guidance counselor can help you determine what prerequisites you have and what other courses you should take.

It’s never too early to start thinking about your future.  

4. Where can I find financial aid resources for me and my family?

Financial aid plays an important role in college admissions. Your guidance counselor is a great resource for you to receive information on how to apply for financial aid and other scholarship opportunities. Not only can your counselor teach you about the well-known financial aid opportunities, like the FAFSA, but they probably know of other local scholarships or awards that you can apply for. It's never too early to look for outside and private scholarships!

5. Which colleges do you think are a good fit for me?

Guidance counselors are experts on finding the right-fit colleges for their students. Your counselor knows your academics, extracurricular activities, standardized test scores, what you want to study, and knows your personality and personal characteristics. Your counselor can not only help you research colleges that may be a good fit for you, but could also give you suggestions as well. You may find out about the perfect college that you’ve never heard of before!

It’s never too early to start thinking about your future. If college is something you're interested in pursuing, remember that your best resource is right down the hall in your high school!