College Admissions Guidance

Blog posts about college admissions topics such as essays, extracurriculars,  planning, mental health, etc.

Counselor recommendation: pay attention

application strategy future planning senior year Sep 21, 2021
The counselor recommendation is a Mandatory part of the common app... so pay a lot of attention. Here's what they are asked in the app:
  • The duration and context in which you've known the student (short response)
  • The first words that come to mind to describe the student (short response)
  • A broad-based assessment addressing topics like academic and personal characteristics, contextual comments for the student's performance and involvement, and/or observed problematic behaviors that an admissions committee should explore further (long response)
 
Whether required or not by a college that your student is applying to, you may opt to submit this form.
Once submitted, the counselor recommendation, like all other submitted forms, is immediately available to colleges for download if the student has submitted their Common App to that college. 
The form asks counselors to rate the difficulty of your course load. The more selective the college, the more they will want to see the “most rigorous” box checked off. If you attend a large public school where each guidance counselor is responsible for 300+ students, it can be helpful to meet with your counselor throughout high school to ensure they know who you are when application season rolls around. Plus, many guidance counselors are kind and under-appreciated folks!
Use the counselor as an important resource to research scholarship options and also for internship advice they have.. Make them feel important. The most important recommendation you get is from the school counselor. Your teacher recommendations matter and you will get those, but this one tends to get ignored and can make the difference.