Which High School College Counseling Program is Right for Me?
Seven Tips to Use When Looking into a College Counseling Program
Choosing the right high school college counseling program is an important decision that can significantly impact your future. A strong college counseling program can help you navigate the complex and often overwhelming college admission process, provide guidance and support, and assist you in making informed decisions about the colleges that best fit you. But how do you choose a high school that will connect you with top college counselors?
As you weigh your high school options, use this guide to help you recognize what to look for in a strong college counseling program. Rowland Hall, a leading Utah independent private school, offers a nationally renowned college counseling program, with three full-time counselors who know and care for each student as they guide them through the process of discovering the colleges that best reflect their interests and aspirations.
Below, we share elements of a top-tier college counseling program to consider when choosing a high school:
1. Look for a low student-to-counselor ratio. A good college counseling program should have a strong team of experienced counselors who are experts in the college admission process and can offer personalized guidance to students. Look for schools with a low student-to-counselor ratio, as this indicates that the school prioritizes counseling. For example, Utah's student-to-college-counselor ratio is 674:1, while Rowland Hall's ratio is 27:1.
2. Consider the counselor's experience. A highly experienced college counselor will have a breadth of knowledge about the many facets of the college process and choosing a college that is a good fit for each student. Additionally, they will have strong relationships with college admission offices, allowing them to tap into and understand what colleges seek in an applicant. They should also have up-to-date knowledge about college admission requirements, testing requirements, and financial aid options. Ask about the counselor's credentials and experience before making a decision.
3. Check for college counseling resources. A school with a strong college counseling program should have resources available to students and parents, such as workshops, meetings with college representatives, and access to college representatives. Look for schools that offer college planning classes for juniors and seniors, essay writing workshops, and financial aid counseling.
4. Ask about the counselor's approach. It's important to choose a counselor with a counseling style that works for you. Some counselors may take a hands-on approach, while others may be more laid back. You should also consider whether the counselor takes a holistic approach to counseling, considering factors such as your interests, skills, personality, academic record, and financial considerations to ensure you build a well-rounded college list that suits your individual needs.
5. Verify a counselor's expertise in financial aid. A strong college counseling program will have counselors that can assist students and families in navigating the complex financial aid process, including helping them explore scholarship opportunities, grants, loans, and other financial resources to make college more affordable.
6. Seek out recommendations. Talk to other students, parents, and recent high school graduates to get recommendations on the best college counselors in your area. Also, look for recommendations of schools with a track record of helping students gain admission at a wide range of colleges, including the most selective colleges and universities.
7. Trust your instincts. Ultimately, choosing the right college counseling program is a personal decision. Trust your instincts and select a high school with counselors you feel comfortable working with and one you believe will provide the support and guidance you need to achieve your college goals.
By considering the above factors, you can find a high school college counseling program that will provide the guidance and support you need to achieve your college goals.
To learn more about Rowland Hall's college counseling program and our enrollment openings, we invite you to reach out to a member of our Admission Team.