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07 December 2012

20 Questions to Ask Your Guidance Counselor

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Your school guidance counselor is one of your most important resources. She or he can help you schedule your courses, balance your workload, and plan for college. Don’t know your counselor very well? Make an appointment.

Here are some basic questions to get your conversation started. It always helps to think ahead about what you want to ask or talk about. They’re busy and you’re busy.

  1. What are the required and recommended courses — for graduation and for college prep?
  2. How should I work my schedule so I’ll complete them?
  3. What elective courses do you recommend?
  4. What Advanced Placement courses are available?
  5. When is the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC) exam? going to be given here?
  6. Is this school a testing center for the SAT or ACT, or will I need to go somewhere nearby?
  7. Do you have any after-school or evening sessions available for college planning, or for taking the SAT or ACT?
  8. Do you have college handbooks or other guides that I can browse or borrow? Do you have a copy of the free Taking the SAT booklet, which has a practice test in it? Or a test booklet to prepare me for the ACT?
  9. What activities can I do at home and over the summer to get ready for college?
  10. What kinds of grades do different colleges require?
  11. Are there any college fairs at this school, or nearby?
  12. Where do other kids from this school go?
  13. Can you put me in touch with recent grads who are going to colleges on my wish list?
  14. Do you have information about colleges far away, or do you favor schools nearby?
  15. If my colleges need a recommendation from you, how can I help you know me better, so it can be more personal?
  16. What are the requirements or standards for the honor society?
  17. Are there any special scholarships or awards that I should know about now, so I can work toward them?
  18. Can I see my transcript as it stands now, to see if everything is as I think it should be?
  19. Do you have any forms I would need to apply for financial aid?
  20. How does our school compare to others, in terms of test scores?
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