Top 50 Questions to Ask Your School Counselor
It’s your first day of high school, and it feels like a completely different world. You’re entering a time in your life that comes with more independence and more life choices. But don’t be afraid! Thankfully, your school has supplied you with the people and tools you need to thrive in this next step of your life.
One of the most important people to know throughout your high school career will be your school counselor. There are many reasons why you should visit your school counselor; since their job is specifically to help you navigate your academics and life, they will have the answers you need for high school, college, careers, and even personal matters. You may already have a lot of questions to ask, but where do you start?
We’ve devised 50 questions for you to make the most of your school counselor meetings.
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Let’s start off with some general questions that you may want to ask. These questions are more focused on improving your high school education, including your schedule, what classes to take, or any other ways to improve your high school experience such as electives and extracurriculars. When I was in high school, I made sure to meet with my counselor at least once a semester just to make sure that I was on track; below are a few questions that I asked.
1. How often should I meet with you to make sure I’m staying on track?
2. How should I plan my schedule?
3. Am I on schedule for graduation?
4. Should I consider taking advanced placement courses?
5. How far in advance should I start thinking about college?
6. Can I opt out of any classes for electives that will prepare me for college?
7. How many credits in each subject do I need to graduate on time?
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Standardized tests are a vital part of preparing for college applications, so it’s important that you understand how much the SAT or ACT can impact your college admission. Ask your counselor questions to better understand the difference between the two and how to prepare for them. You can also go to them to learn about important dates, deadlines, and test-taking locations.
8. Do you recommend taking the PSAT?
9. How high do my GPA and test scores need to be so that I qualify for the colleges I want to attend?
10. Should I take the SAT, ACT, or both?
11. When should I take the exam?
12. How many times do you recommend I take the SAT/ACT?
13. How do I prepare for the SAT/ACT?
14. Do you have any resources I can use to help me study?
15. Is the SAT/ACT exam held at our school or in another location?
16. Should I take the ACT/SAT subject tests?
17. How do I send my test scores to the schools I’m applying to?
18. Is the SAT/ACT more important to colleges than GPA?
Exploring Your Interests
One of the biggest decisions you will have to start making in high school is which career or major you want to pursue after graduation. If you aren’t sure what you want to do yet, discuss your current interests with your school counselor—you might end up turning one of your hobbies into your career! But rest assured, there is no rush to decide your major. I entered my college career undeclared because I was still unsure of what I wanted to do. It wasn’t until I did some exploring in college that I was able to make my choice. And even if you do choose a major while in high school, you still have the options to change it later.
19. Is there a career/major fit for my interests?
20. How can I decide between a college nearby or one far away?
21. Which extracurriculars should I take to explore my options?
22. What electives can give me experience in the career I want?
23. How do I decide whether I want to turn an interest into a career?
24. Is there any way to contact people who work in the field I’m interested in?
25. There are so many options—how do I know whether a certain career/major is right for me?
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Many factors come into play while searching for the right college, but where do you even start? Ask your school counselor for any resources available to help you with your college search.
26. When should I begin thinking of colleges to apply to?
27. What should I look for when visiting campuses?
28. Are there any upcoming college fairs in our area?
29. What colleges do students from our school usually apply to?
30. Do you know of any schools similar to the college I’m interested in?
31. Do you know how I can talk to any students currently enrolled in the college?
Preparing for College
Your school counselor will become your best friend as you prepare for college. They’ll be ready with advice for your applications and an extra set of eyes to review your transcripts, résumés and more.
32. Can you review my college résumé?
33. When is the deadline for college applications?
34. Is it better for me to apply early?
35. Are there any college handbooks or guides I can access?
36. Who should I go to for letters of recommendation?
37. What are colleges looking for in my personal essays?
38. Can we review my transcript and see whether there’s anything to improve?
39. Will there be any college-planning sessions in the near future?
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Financial Aid & Scholarships
Applying for financial aid and scholarships can be a little difficult at first, but it’s important that you come into college with some sense of financial stability. Utilize your school counselor while you can, and ask any questions you have about financial aid and scholarships.
40. How do I apply for financial aid?
41. Where can I find scholarship opportunities?
42. How does my family’s income affect my financial aid and scholarship opportunities?
43. Are there any scholarships you think I qualify for?
44. Am I qualified to waive my college application fees?
45. Are there any special scholarships, awards, or state aid that I should apply for?
46. What type of aid does the college I’m interested in provide?
47. If I don’t apply for financial aid this year, does that affect my eligibility for financial aid in the future?
48. When is the deadline for financial aid?
49. How do I appeal for more financial aid if necessary?
50. Will my financial aid be affected if I win scholarships?
Asking questions is one of the most valuable steps you can take to make these next four years run smoothly. Consider making a Four-Year Plan to keep yourself on track, and make full use of your school counselor! Although these seem like a lot of questions to ask, it’s never a burden to your school counselor. They will be happy to support you on your journey to academic success!
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