Student X Opinion is a series of opinion blog posts written by a high school student detailing the academic journey and college application process.
As a student who is finally finished with the college application process, I can say with confidence that applying to college is one of the most daunting and overwhelming tasks any student and their family has to face. Around my junior year of high school, the thought of having to apply to college soon lurked in the back of my mind every single day as a million questions swam through my mind. Which colleges should I apply to? Which schools are the best for my major? How in the world am I supposed to answer these essay questions?
My parents might have been even more stressed out than me; after all, this was their first time going through the college application process too. To top things off, I went to a public high school, and their resources on applying to college were scarce at best. Meanwhile, every blog or forum online seemed to give different answers to my questions and colleges from all across the country flooded my inbox with colorful brochures. I was overwhelmed.
My family decided it was time to seek help from an outside college counseling organization. But again, the questions started flooding in. Which organization should I choose? How will they be able to help me? How does each organization differ?
I visited a whole bunch of different counseling organizations and came up with a list of criteria you should look for in a college counseling service.
Your counselor should treat you as a valued student - not a number. This was by far the most important requirement for me during my search. I visited so many centers where it was blatantly clear that I was just another one of their hundreds of students, and my success didn’t matter to the counselors on a personal level. You need to find counselors who will take the time to understand not just your grades and extracurricular activities but also your story and how to convey it to colleges. Counselors who get to know you on personal level will be able to help you craft compelling essays.
Your counselors should be highly experienced in the education field. This one seems obvious, but it’s important to make sure that you’re being guided through the process by a credible source. Look for counselors who are alumni of prestigious schools or have experience in education, because that means they’ll have personal knowledge on the application process.
Make sure your counselors understand the latest trends in America’s education system. Scores and grades aren’t everything, and college admission policies and standards are constantly changing. Just in this past year, there have been several changes related to college admissions that caused a lot of questions for me. (You can read more about these changes here.) These are trends that can be hard to spot as a student, so make sure your counselor has insight from industry experts and knows how to adapt to changes.
7EDU’s college counseling services matched all of these criteria and was able to answer all of my questions. As soon as I had my free consultation meeting, I could tell that the counselors here wanted to get to know me on a personal level. It was clear to me that they were invested in my success and genuinely wanted to help me reach my highest potential even beyond getting into college. Moreover, the counselors here are are highly qualified education experts with backgrounds at prestigious universities across the country. With all the recent talk about the nationwide admissions scandal and College Board’s new “adversity score,” my counselor was able to answer my questions and advise me on how all of this affects me.
Just as there are countless universities to apply to, there are also seemingly countless college counseling services to choose from. Thankfully, 7EDU’s smart and caring counselors are a clear choice to help guide you to your dream school.