College counselors and college admissions counseling are two highly talked-about subjects. With the rise of the Common Application, it is becoming easier for students to apply to more schools with similar essays. Here are a few reasons you will need college counseling to stand out.
Let’s start with some background. Over 500 universities use the Common Application, which has one major essay that is sent to each member school you select. The number of students applying, the quality of their applications, and the increasing standardization of exams also adds to the stressful college admissions process. Here are three reasons why you need a college counselor to guide you.
Reason 1: It is their job to know the admissions process and universities.
They should save you time.
A quality college admissions counselor knows the Top 100 universities and can name facts about each easily. At Empowerly, we have developed a database of these schools with admissions officer notes, essays, and comments that helps students. This knowledge can save students and parents hundreds of hours of research and help them focus on what matters – building an extracurricular story, finding a field you like, and focusing on the college admissions essays.
They will help you balance activities and school.
College counselors can also help you balance SATs, the ACT, extracurricular activities, and eventually the essay process itself. We find that just having a second opinion and voice can be a stress reliever and motivator for students.
Reason 2: The experience.
College counselors have seen hundreds of students. At Empowerly, we have personally guided over 250 students, and counting. Through the years, they will see almost every permutation of personality, strengths, and fits with various schools. That type of entrenched knowledge can help in the college selection process and guide an overall structure even before 12th grade.
Beyond knowledge of colleges, college counselors also have experience translating student achievements into quick bits that college admissions readers can understand. This is the most underrated element of college admissions counseling. Admissions readers have thousands of essays to read and often spend 8 hours a day or more reading essays. Why not be specific and concise?
This style of writing is not taught in high school, and in fact, AP and IB exams teach students to write in the opposite style: verbose, complex, and academic. Take a step back, listen to an outside voice, and the style of your writing can impact the effect it has on the admissions readers.
Reason 3: The other perspective.
College admissions counselors have a different perspective than you do or that of your parents. Most students do not approach college admissions counselors – it is the parents who initiate. Some students are reluctant because they think they can handle it.
I was the same way. In reality, having an outside opinion just to bounce ideas, guide, and brainstorm is valuable. Being in your shoes not so long ago, we know the feeling towards outside help. It is sometimes true that sometimes parents know more, so give it a chance.
College admissions counselors can be helpful in the college admissions process, especially counselors who are local and understand the nuances of different school dynamics. For example, we are located in the San Francisco Bay Area and do Palo Alto college counseling, Menlo Park college counseling, Cupertino college counseling, Fremont college counseling, and more. We know each high school and can offer suggests on courses, activities, and more. These are only a few reasons need college counseling to gain that unique perspective.
P.S. Want to learn more about the college admissions process? Read this article on 5 Facts You Need to Know for College Admissions.