How do you build a good relationship with your high school guidance counselor?

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Our counselors answered:

How do you build a good relationship with your high school guidance counselor?

Rod Bugarin
Former Admissions Officer Columbia, Brown, and Wesleyan University

How do you build a good relationship with your high school guidance counselor?

Here is my video response to the question.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

The guidance counselor

First of all, discover which counselor will be responsible for you. You definitely need to visit with your guidance counselor so that when it comes time to write the counselor's letter of recommendation, the counselor actually has something specific to include in that letter. Request an appointment after winter holidays your junior year and then try to visit with the counselor again in the spring to discuss college ideas. Drop by the office to explore the college brochures or reference books that are likely available. Ask the counselor where he went to college or stop in to discuss your extracurricular resume. Greet the counselor in the hallway on the way to class.

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

start early and learn to work closely

it does require the student to show motivation for college admissions. counselors at prep schools love to work students highly committed. Parents must also play importmant role in in working with the school guidance counselor. if the student does his or her homework and ask questions about the best possible curricumlum, you can get your counselor on your side easily. it is the smartest thing to get people who are in the position to help you on your side and willing to get out his or her way to help you.

Nancy Milne
Owner Milne Collegiate Consulting

Guidance Counselor Knows All

Guidance counselors are in this business because they truly enjoy working with teenagers. Because caseloads can be HUGE, it may be difficult for them to get to know everyone as well as they would like to. You can help by making a habit of stopping by, bringing them up to date on your application status and whatever else is going on in your world. Trust me, they will love to see your face and be happy to help you.

Geoff Broome
Assistant Director of Admissions Widener University

How do you build a good relationship with your high school guidance counselor?

Communication is key. Make sure that you engage your guidance counselor. Talk with them. Set up a meeting just to go over college stuff. Don't make them have to call you down because you haven't met with them yet. Don't just settle for the obligatory once a year meeting. Keep them updated on things that are happening in your life, colleges that you are interested in, and career choices that you are looking at. Counselors are so often buried in paperwork and tasks that they really don't want to do. Brighten their day by talking about colleges and what is going on with you. It truly is the best part of a counselor's day.

Reecy Aresty
College Admissions/Financial Aid Expert & Author Payless For College, Inc.

How do you build a good relationship with your high school guidance counselor?

Over time w/o "using" them. You have to nurture the relationship like you would in any situation, and that takes time & planning. Again, my old adage: Plan your work, work your plan. Nobody plans to fail, but too many fail to plan.

Hamilton Gregg
Educational Consultant Private Practice

How do you build a good relationship with your high school guidance counselor?

Show them you are interested. Really! Go visit them, but not to just visit them or stalk them. Go talk to them about things. Ask them good questions. Maybe ask them to give you their assessment of your academic performance. Ask them good questions about activities to be involved in or better yet, ask them what activities they found valuable when they were in school. Remember your guidance counselor is human. You can be just as comfortable with them as with any adult, unless that is hard for you. But then again, if you do have issues with adults, the guidance counselor is a great place to start. They can give you hints and ideas how to develop skills "relating" to people. These are skills you will need down the road. Your guidance counselor is a wealth of information, usually under utilized. Remember, you are not the only student they have to work with, be respectful of their time, but go. Also, if you have not met them yet, introduce yourself. Always a good thing to do. When I was a full time school counselor, I really enjoyed it when kids came to talk to me, ask my advice about things. Though I was busy with other tasks, talking to kids is what I love to do and welcomed the time to get to know students I work with.

Benjamin Caldarelli
Partner Princeton College Consulting, LLC

How do you build a good relationship with your high school guidance counselor?

The most important thing is to build the relationship over time. Make sure you meet and begin an ongoing conversation with your counselor freshman year. Be proactive and inquisitive, talk to him or her about your your developing interests, and goals. Respect their time, but keep them abreast of your progress through HS.

Sarah Contomichalos
Manager Educational Advisory Services, LLC

How do you build a good relationship with your high school guidance counselor?

Follow their instructions. Thank them for their input and give them plenty of time to write you recommendation.

Megan Dorsey
SAT Prep & College Advisor College Prep LLC

How do you build a good relationship with your high school guidance counselor?

I sat behind that desk at a large, public high school. Depending on your counselor’s case-load and personality, you may have an easier (or harder) time building a relationship. If possible, begin early. If you are introverted by nature, make an attempt to be more open and outgoing when you meet your. Make a point to say hi when you see him or her in the hall. By the time you begin junior year, let your counselor know your tentative college plans and what you are doing to prepare (course selection, activities, etc.) Stay in contact, so when it comes to application time senior year, you counselor already knows you.