Applying to college can be overwhelming for any high school student. Therefore, many families turn to an independent (also called private) college counselor, who provides guidance throughout the college planning and application processes.
College counselors are experts in college admissions who can help students identify schools that are appropriate matches for them, plan their academic course and standardized test schedules, hone extracurricular commitments, prepare for interviews, plan college visits, edit essays and rÃ?Â©sumÃ?Â©s, dispel college application myths, and provide answers to questions as they arise. Some parents choose to hire a private counselor because a private counselor can often devote more time to their child than his or her school counselor, who may have a large caseload and other responsibilities. Others seek outside counseling to ease the parent-child relationship during what can be a stressful period.
Independent counselors may have worked as a school counselor or college admissions officer; many have degrees in counseling or education. Ideally, a student will develop a strong working relationship with his or her private counselor that will help the student choose the schools that are best suited to his or her abilities, interests, and needs. The student often comes out of the counseling process with increased decision-making skills, a further developed sense of self, andÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½of courseÃ?Â¯Ã?Â¿Ã?Â½a college to attend.