They're There to Answer Them
Your school counselor, or guidance counselor, is one of your best resources as you plan for college. She or he has information about admission tests, college preparation, and your education and career options. Here are some basic questions to help get your conversation started:
- What are the required and recommended courses -- for graduation and for college prep?
- How should I plan my schedule so I'll complete them?
- Which elective courses do you recommend?
- Which AP® courses are available?
- When is the PSAT/NMSQT® going to be given here?
- Is this school a testing center for the SAT®, or will I need to go somewhere nearby?
- Do you have any after-school or evening sessions available for college planning, or the SAT?
- Do you have college handbooks or other guides that I can browse or borrow? Do you have a copy of the free Taking the SAT booklet, which has a practice test in it?
- What activities can I do at home and over the summer to get ready for college?
- What kinds of grades do different colleges require?
- Are there any college fairs at this school, or nearby?
- Where do other kids from this school attend college?
- What are the requirements or standards for the honor society?
- Can you put me in touch with recent grads who are going to the colleges on my wish list?
- Do you have any information to help me start exploring my interests and related careers?
- If my colleges need a recommendation from you, how can I help you know me better, so it can be more personal?
- Are there any special scholarships or awards that I should know about now, so I can work toward them?
- Can I see my transcript as it stands now, to see if everything is as I think it should be?
- Do you have any forms I need to apply for financial aid?
- How does our school compare to others, in terms of test scores and reputation?
Your school counselor may be the most wonderful
and accessible person on the planet, or
she or he may be juggling a thousand students
and barely know your name. So remember
that the person who has the biggest stake
in your academics is you. It's up to you
to stay on top of opportunities and deadlines,
to take control of your future.