Top Questions to Ask Your Guidance Counselor

Navigating College Admissions Guide
Fall 2010

By Steven Roy Goodman

1. What are the school policies about taking time off to visit college campuses?

2. What is your advice about how to make the best use of campus visits?

3. Do you organize trips to various campuses for juniors and seniors?

4. What if student, parents, and counselor disagree about college choices?

5. What is the process for asking for and submitting teacher recommendations?

6. What is the process for requesting a counselor recommendation (especially if you don’t know your counselor particularly well)?

7. What should we do if our student’s best friends’ families won’t be able to afford the same colleges that we will? Or vice-versa?

8. What if our student wants to attend a college that traditionally doesn’t attract a lot of students from this high school? How will you (the counselor) help?

9. For the student who is pretty sure they will be going to graduate school, how much of the process should be focused on undergraduate admissions vs. long-range preparations for graduate school?

10. What if the university of our student’s choice doesn’t offer a desirable financial aid package? Will you (the counselor) help us negotiate for more aid?

Bonus Question:

11. What is the school’s time frame for various stages of the admissions process?

Steven Roy Goodman is a private education consultant in Washington, D.C. and co-author of College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family.

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