Even if you’ve never visited with your school counselor before, take some time to connect soon. Below are a few topics to help get you started with your discussion, but don’t expect to cover all these in one session. Plan to stay in regular touch with your school counselor throughout your senior year and be sure to come prepared with any materials or questions you may have about the topic at hand.
Scholarships. Get help deciding which scholarships to apply for and determining who you might ask for a recommendation, if needed. Your school counselor may have knowledge of local scholarships that are available, as well as tips on how to conduct an online search for scholarship opportunities. Ask questions about how to organize your scholarship search and manage deadlines if you’re concerned about the process.
College choice. Your school counselor can help you narrow down your list of schools and get started on your applications. As with scholarships, your school counselor may have some ideas about who to contact about letters of recommendation. Be sure to come prepared with a list of schools you’re considering, what you like about each one and any questions or concerns you have about your college search. Be open to ideas your school counselor may have about additional schools to consider.
SAT/ACT scores. Hopefully you’ve already taken the SAT or ACT test at least once. Discuss your score(s) with your school counselor, and what they mean to your college and scholarship application process. If your score(s) were higher than you anticipated, perhaps it may open the door to a college you hadn’t previously considered. On the flip side, if your score(s) are not quite as high as you would have hoped, your school counselor may have some advice about how to maximize your options.
Academic progress. Talk with your school counselor about your grades and class ranking. Find out whether either of these will impact the colleges you apply to or scholarships you’re seeking. Talk with your school counselor about strategies for keeping your grades up, even after you’ve been accepted to college—many colleges will ask for a final transcript of your grades.