by Margaret Rothe
What Questions Should You Ask Your College Advisor?
As you prepare for your college admissions process, you likely find yourself working with a private college counselor. Or maybe you'll simply meet with your high school college advisor. Either way, your'e likely to have lots of questions and not much time. That's why we've put together this list of the best questions to ask your college advisor. Be sure to use your time well and to take notes in your meeting. That way you can get the most out of it.
Here Are Some of the Best Questions to Ask Your College Advisor:
Meeting With Your Counselor
You'll first need to obtain a copy of your unofficial transcript. Review your transcript for any errors in reporting. It is important that this document is accurate. If there is anything on your transcript that you do not recognize or have a question about, meet with your high school college advisor right away. Some other questions to consider are:
Am I on schedule for graduation?
Should I consider taking advanced placement courses? If I choose to take an advanced placement course and I decide it is not for me, what is the process to drop the course?
If I really like a core academic subject (Math, Science, English, Social Studies) is it possible to take additional courses in those areas? When would that fit into my schedule?
Even if your plan is to only apply to colleges and universities where testing is optional or not required for the application you must still consider testing. Many will skip testing only to realize there is a school they do want to apply to but because they have no score at all, they are not eligible to apply. Take the test, regardless of the score. If you choose not to report the test score, that’s fine. You should also ask:
Is there a diagnostic test that will help me to know if the SAT or ACT is the better test for me?
If testing makes me anxious does the school have any recommendations for accommodations?
What free standardized testing resources does the high school offer?
Applying for College
Your school counselor is an extra pair of eyes to review your transcripts, résumés and more. Additionally, they're likely to have information on certain colleges and universities that you may not be familiar with. Don't be afraid to ask the following questions:
If you’ll review my applications, is there a deadline or a sign up sheet?
Is the high school doing any group work on essays or applications?
Is there a list of colleges who will be visiting our high school?
Are there schools you believe I’d be best suited for?
Where do you think I should apply?
Career Goals and Opportunities
Very few people who graduate college actually work in the field in which they majored. Most people attend college and change their major at least once before graduation. Most adults change their career field two or three times over their lifetime. As you make your decision, ask yourself and your counselor these questions:
Does my high school have any career assessment resources?
Are there activities, clubs, leagues offered by my high school that I don’t know about?
Are there ways I can try out new interests at school?
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Paying for college is a challenging topic for everyone. Don’t be shy about presenting your circumstances and asking for resources. It’s important that you come into college with some sense of financial stability. Applying for loans or understanding FAFSA seems like hard work but there are plenty of internet resources that break down the steps into easy-to-understand tutorials. Start with the government website, the move on to the following questions:
Is the high school doing any group work on how or when to file my FAFSA?
How do I apply for financial aid?
If I apply for scholarships, will those interfere with the award a college might give me?
Am I qualified to waive my college application fees? Can you tell me how to contact the college for an application fee waiver?
Are there any special scholarships, awards, or state aid that I should apply for?
The college application process can be intimidating, but there are all kinds of resources out there for you take advantage of! Asking questions is one of the most valuable steps you can take to begin your college readiness process. Meeting with your high school counselor can the beginning of many other conversations, but you’ll have to initiate the first meeting and make the effort to put their good advice to work for you. Good luck!