Counselors Are Here To Help With College

What high school counselors want you to know about college applications

Kyla Nelson, Junior Business Manager

High school counselors are simply here to help. They want what is best for you, and want to see you succeed. Mr. Clausen, a counselor here at CHS, was nice enough to give step-by-step advice on how to mindfully get through the scary time of standardized testing and college admissions. 

 

SAT/ACT

  1. It is important to prepare for these standardized tests by taking the PSAT at every opportunity and utilizing Khan Academy for free SAT preparation.
  2. Both tests are helpful in college admissions and can be taken multiple times throughout the year.
  3. You can take both the ACT and SAT, and there is no limit to how often you can take the tests.

 

  1. There are released tests available online (and in student services) that you can use to practice.
  2. When taking the tests, you can automatically submit scores to 4 colleges or universities, free of charge. You should go into the test knowing a list of schools you plan to submit them to.
  3. All juniors have the opportunity to take the SAT in April after spring break. Scholarship dollars are often tied to SAT or ACT scores, making them invaluable for college admissions. 

Preparing for College and Applications

  1. If planning to attend a 4-year college, you should start by thinking about what you want out of your post-secondary institution. Research location, size (number of students and size of campus), private vs. public school, student life, types of residence halls, academic programs, athletics (for involvement or being a spectator), how competitive the school is and what support systems/resources are available for students.
  2. Start by building a large list of 8-15 schools to have a solid idea of where you may want to apply, noting all significant aspects of your research.
  3. Do extra exploration into the options and narrow down your list to a reasonable number that you plan to apply to (about 5 to 8 is enough). Check out the student services website under the post-secondary tab for great tools to help with this. Keep your counselor in the loop throughout, as you will need their help during the application season.
  4. Make sure your list includes schools that you know you will get accepted to, alongside any reach schools that are more selective.
  5. Complete the financial aid application (FAFSA) as early as possible (around October of senior year).
  6. Visit campus, meet with admissions representatives, and talk to professors and/or academic advisors to help you narrow down your choices.
  7. Once you know where you are accepted, you can compare financial aid packages to see what school is the best option for you.
  8. Based on your admissions results and preferences, officially decide which school you will be attending in the Spring of your senior year.

 

If you need someone to talk to, whether about life after high school or mental health, visit Student Services or the website linked above to reach out to your counselor.