10 Things Every Junior Should Discuss with Their Counselor

College counselors are a great resource for students who plan on attending a college or university in the near future. But which topics are the most important for students to talk over with their counselor? 

We’ll introduce 10 things every junior should discuss with their college counselor here, so you can start preparing for your educational and career goals the right way!

What Courses You Should Take to Prepare For College

One of the first things students should talk about with their counselor is their course load. Depending on which colleges you choose to apply to, there will be different course requirements. 

Students will need to take certain high school classes to meet the educational requirements for their chosen school. Luckily, your college counselor can help you with this.   

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Scheduling courses as you prepare for college and the rest of high school is stressful, which is why it can be helpful to talk to your counselor. They can make sure that your academic schedule fits college standards and keeps you on course for graduation!

How Do You Find The Right College or University

Make sure to have a serious conversation with your counselor about potential schools and which one might be the right fit for you. With so many different options, it can be hard to know which college is the best fit. 

But, as you talk about your goals, interests, financial situation, and expectations for college life, it should be easier to find a school that is perfect for you. In general, college counselors are experts when it comes to finding the right college for students. They can help you research schools and create a list of potential colleges and universities. 

How to Fill Out Your College Application and Other Important Forms

Many students don’t know how to fill out their college applications. While you can find information online to help you with the process, it’s better to talk to a college counselor. Counselors are experts at filling out college applications and other applications that you’ll need to complete to qualify for scholarships, academic grants, and financial aid.

Extracurriculars

Extracurriculars are important no matter what grade you are in. So, as you start to fill out your college application, talk with your counselor. Discuss your extracurriculars, asking your counselor how admissions officers might view the clubs and activities you participate in. Also, consider that certain activities can help colleges better understand what you have to offer beyond good grades and test scores

If you need more extracurriculars for your application, you can brainstorm ideas with your counselor. There are many different options, from sports teams, to community service organizations, to student clubs.

 ACT vs. SAT

Nowadays, students can take either the SAT or ACT because colleges accept and value scores from both exams equally. You might end up taking both tests and submitting your highest scores to your chosen schools. 

People applying for financial aid and scholarships may need to submit scores to be considered. Students might not know which test is the best option for them. There are some subtle differences between the ACT and SAT that your college counselor can explain. Talk to them to figure out which exam will bring out your strengths.

Letters of Recommendation

Not all schools require letters of recommendation. But if you want to have a competitive edge over other students, it’s important to solicit them. Colleges can see your strengths, weaknesses, goals, and talents through a good letter of recommendation.

To figure out who you want to get a letter of recommendation from, talk with your counselor. There are tons of people to choose from, including teachers, coaches, bosses, and other mentor figures in your life. As you talk with your counselor, you can figure out who will write the best letter to help you stand out.

The Best Way to Write Your Admissions Essays

College application essays are a crucial part of the admissions process. While your teachers and tutors can help you tweak grammar and other small errors, you’ll need to talk to your counselor to discuss the best way to plan and write your essays. College counselors know exactly what admissions officers are interested in hearing about, and they can help you make your essay sound unique and distinctive.   

How to Prepare For Your College Interview

For more competitive schools, you might want to undergo an interview with an alum or college admissions officer. It’s easy to get anxious preparing for an interview, especially if you don’t know what to expect. Ask your counselor about the interview process and what questions you might be asked during your interview.

What to do When You Visit College Campuses

You might not be able to visit every college you are interested in, especially if you don’t have a lot of time or money to travel. To make the most of your visit, get tips from your counselor. 

They can tell you which colleges are most worth visiting and what type of questions you should ask professors, staff, and students you meet.

How to Apply For Scholarships and Other Academic Grants?

Finally, don’t forget to talk to your college counselor about scholarships and academic grants. These days, with the price of higher education increasing so much, you want to take advantage of any grants or scholarships that you qualify for. 

College counselors know exactly how to help you with this as you search for the right scholarships. They can also answer any questions you have about financial aid and FAFSA.

At HelloCollege, we know how difficult it can be to prepare for college and aim to make the process as simple and easy as possible. We want to help you get accepted into the university of your dreams!

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The Hello College Team

HelloCollege CEO Andrea Emmons has spent the last 15 years guiding students and families across the country on their path to college. Andrea knows the profound impact proactive college planning has on the lives of students and is passionate about mentoring families through the process.
Kevin Krebs - Founder of HelloCollege

About Our Founder

Kevin Krebs

Inspired by his parents, Kevin’s journey from a first-gen, diverse, low-income background to Northwestern University shaped him. After experiencing challenges, including student loan debt, he founded HelloCollege and has spent the last 25 years helping students successfully navigate college admissions.

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