Why Hire A College Counselor?

Maybe you have heard of an independent college counselor or know people who have used them, but how can working with a college counselor help both the student and parent when going through the college application process?  Let’s take a closer look at what a college counselor does and why making that investment is often well worth it. 

What does a college counselor do, exactly?

College counselors, sometimes referred to as independent educational consultants or college admissions coaches, come from various backgrounds. Here at Campus Bound, our team is comprised of current and former high school counselors as well as college admissions counselors/officers. This is important when taking a student-centered approach to helping students and families navigate the various steps to applying to college and finding the best-fit options.

  • College counselors work 1:1 with students in all aspects of the admissions process. From the beginning stages, like helping students explore meaningful activities and properly selecting their high school courses, to building a balanced college list, advising on essay topics, and understanding the ins and outs of what is required for each college.
  • The focus is on teaching students and families how to approach the process in a way that’s digestible, manageable, and fun! This allows you to know you’ve done your best with both the college search and applications.

What makes an independent counselor different from a high school counselor?

School counselors are essential and we encourage students to build a relationship with them early to gain an understanding of how much time and attention they can provide during the college admissions process. An independent counselor such as those that are available at Campus Bound, have experience from the other side of the admissions desk and are able to dedicate significant time in a very personalized manner with this complicated process.

  • Many college counselors are former high school counselors, so we acknowledge the importance of that role! Students working with private counselors still need their high school counselors involved in their process, too. Yet many high schools have very high student-to-counselor ratios, reducing each student’s opportunities for one-on-one advising.
  • High school counselors wear many important hats when it comes to supporting students throughout all four years of high school. Though the college admissions process is one area of responsibility, school counselors often don’t have time to assist students on all of the moving parts of the process, like describing activities, building a college list, and telling their story through college essays. There is also limited support with the financial aspects of the college process.
  • High school counselors will be responsible for writing a letter of recommendation and submitting required supporting documents. 

How does the student benefit from college counseling?

Think of a college counselor as your official tour guide in the application process. Students will learn about colleges and requirements, as they intentionally explore the various opportunities available to them. It’s a team effort and the student needs to do their part, but having consistent resources and guidance throughout the process, from someone who goes through this process every year, has shown to help lower student stress. 

  • College counselors individualize the process for each student, as it’s not a one-size-fits-all given the different needs and strengths of students.
  • Students who work with a college counselor jumpstart their process and have a roadmap from their starting point to the finish line, which is based on college deadlines.
  • Independent college counselors help break the process down so that students are working on tasks that are in accordance to various stages of the process.
  • Students also have someone helping to hold them accountable. 

How does the parent/guardian benefit?

Parents and guardians play a vital role in the college search and application process! But it’s hard for parents to know what has changed in the college admission landscape since their own application process. Parents should especially be involved in exploring the cost of colleges, visiting colleges, and helping the student understand their own priorities.

  • College counselors understand the current landscape, as we are always keeping up and relaying those trends and changes to families.
  • It is not uncommon for teenagers to “listen” to an outside resource differently than how they hear their parent/guardian, and college counselors strive to be the person who can help bridge students and parents in a meaningful way.
  • Helping to reduce the parent/guardian stress allows for a healthy college process for not only them, but their students as well. A college counselor can be that independent voice who also provides the guardrails to make sure that things are progressing and the student is being thorough in their efforts.  
  • At Campus Bound, we also have college financial experts who can help you to evaluate all aspects of determining your budget and colleges that meet that target. We also help you to navigate accessing the scholarships and grants that may be available.

What now?

Here at Campus Bound, we strive to help students and their families seamlessly navigate the college admissions process. We recognize that each party plays a different, yet important role. We call it a college admissions process, as there are stages that lead to successful end results. Not only are students determining where they will continue their education, they are discovering much about themselves along the way. 

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