20 Questions to Ask Your College Counselor
Your college counselor is one of your best resources as you plan for college. Your counselor 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 courses do I need to take to be ready for college?
- How should I plan my schedule so I'll complete them?
- Which elective courses do you recommend?
- Which AP courses should I consider taking?
- When is the PSAT/NMSQT going to be given?
- How should I study for the SAT, and is it given at this high school or do I need to go somewhere nearby?
- Do you have any college planning sessions scheduled?
- Do you have college handbooks or other guides that I can browse or borrow?
- 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?
- What colleges do other kids from our school go to?
- 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 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?
- What forms do I use to apply for financial aid and where I can find them online?
- How does our school compare to others, in terms of test scores and reputation?
Your college counselor may be the most accessible person on the planet, or 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 so you can take control of your future.
[Milena, college senior]
My guidance counselor was involved in ways that — she always asked what I wanted to do, she always made sure I went to the college office. Every time I would meet her, she asked me if I got any college brochures, if I needed anything. She kept pushing me towards actually visiting colleges and not just reading them on the piece of paper that was given out. I think her presence was really encouraging and helpful, because if she wasn’t there, I think I would have probably taken courses that I didn’t need. And once I told her that I wanted to go into forensic science, my last year, she put me in a forensic science class that was offered at my high school.
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