college counselor

What Do College Counselors Look for in You?

The college application journey is pivotal in many high school students’ lives. The college search and application process, including the Common App, can feel unfamiliar and daunting; proper guidance can make all the difference. A college counselor is a valuable resource during this process; however, this is a partnership, and your college counselor will rely heavily on you. Students fully engaged in the college search and application process utilizing the following skills and traits can thoroughly realize the benefits of working with a college counselor.

1. Engagement

Engaged students lead their college application journey, seeking information, asking questions, and demonstrating a genuine interest in shaping their academic future. The collaboration between student and counselor is most fruitful when the student actively participates in the process.

2. Openness to Guidance and Exploration

A successful student in the college counseling relationships understands the value of guidance. They are open to receiving constructive feedback on their essays, exploring recommended college options, and considering advice on extracurricular activities and course selection. A student who approaches the application process with an open mind is more likely to explore previously unconsidered colleges, majors, and career paths. This openness to exploration fosters a collaborative relationship where the college counselor’s experience complements the student’s aspirations.

3. Effective Communication

Communication is essential to any successful relationship, including that between a student and a college counselor. A student with good communication skills who can articulate their goals, preferences, and concerns facilitates a more effective counseling experience. If something does not feel right, a student should feel empowered to speak up and voice those concerns. Additionally, we all change our paths sometimes, and active communication will keep the student and the college counselor moving in the same direction.

4. Organized and Accountable

The college application process is a web of deadlines, documents, and tasks. An organized student is essential in the college counseling relationship, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks. The college application process demands responsibility and accountability. Students who take ownership of their tasks and meet deadlines demonstrate maturity and reliability. This sense of responsibility not only streamlines the application process but also prepares the student for the independence that comes with higher education.


5. Self-Reflection

Successful collaboration with a college counselor begins with self-reflection. A student who can introspect on their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values is better positioned to make informed decisions. This self-awareness allows the college counselor to guide the student in selecting colleges, majors, and future career paths that align with aspirations, strengths, and values.

The collaboration between a student and a college counselor is a partnership that requires active participation, effective communication, and a commitment to personal growth. When students possess the characteristics above, they are not merely applicants; they become architects of their academic future, shaping a path that aligns with their goals and aspirations.



Author: Autumn Grant



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