College Prep: Questions to Ask Your School Counselor

As a final year student on the verge of going to college, you must seek out your high school counselor to help you plan for college. 

School counselors can help you explore career options, choose the right colleges to apply, and figure out the courses that you need to take and the grades you need to aim for to qualify for the chosen colleges and courses.

So, what are the questions that you need to ask? 

These are a few for starters.

I. Start the Conversation

  • Are there any college planning sessions that we can schedule?
  • How do I get started with planning for college?
  • How do I decide on the field of study that is in line with my interests and grades?
  • What are the career options that I could consider?
  • Can you go over my transcript with me?

II. Standardized Tests

  • Should I take both ACT and SAT, or is any one sufficient?
  • How do I prepare for standardized tests?
  • When and where will the SAT or ACT be held?
  • Should I take the SAT subject tests?

III. Courses and Activities in High School and College

  • What graduate requirements do I need to complete?
  • How should I choose a major?
  • What are the courses that I should take in preparation for college?
  • Can you suggest AP or Honors courses that I should consider?
  • What would you consider as lacking in my resume?
  • Are there any skills that I need to develop?
  • Should I go for any summer classes or activities?
  • What kind of extracurricular activities should I get involved in?
  • What should my grade-point average be to get into a college of my choice?
  • Can you put me in touch with current students at the colleges I want to attend?
  • How should I schedule my high school course load?

IV. Financial Aid and Scholarships

  • What are the college expenses that I need to prepare for?
  • What are the kinds of work and study programs available at universities?
  • What are the scholarships, grants and financial aid that I can consider?
  • How do I work toward getting a scholarship?
  • Can you help me fill out the documents for financial aid?

V. College Selection

  • In what ways can you help with college selection?
  • What points should I look out for when selecting colleges?
  • Are there any college resources and guides that you can recommend?
  • Can you lend me any material on college preparation?
  • Should I visit college campuses, and what questions should I ask?
  • Are there any college fairs that I can attend?

VI. College Admissions

  • Will you take me through the college admissions process?
  • Whom should I approach for my letters of recommendation?
  • What kind of questions am I expected to field during a college interview?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of applying early?
  • Will there be any changes in the admissions process if I opt for financial aid?
  • How does the admissions process work?
  • What is the best way to approach the application essays?
  • Will you be able to give me a recommendation for college?
  • When should the college applications be submitted?

These are few questions to get you started and it is recommended that you seek out your school counselor and start the conversation early. It’ll give you enough time to prepare and find your way to the right college and the right major.