Ways Your High School Counselor Can Help with College Prep

High school counselors receive an abundance of materials to assist students in the college application process. Scholarship opportunities, volunteer options, and student aid information are just a few of the pieces of a never ending flow of paperwork. Developing a relationship with your student’s counselor is a great way to learn more about the college process, especially if you have not been through it before. They can steer you in the right direction, point out ideas that aren’t worth the time and effort, and even save you money.

Help Choosing Which Courses Your Student Should Take: A counselor knows what will look good on a college resume, but also understands if it will be a good fit for your student. Sure, AP Physics looks great, but if your child struggles with science to begin with a low grade in a high level course isn’t going to do them any favors. They may also be able to recommend tutoring options to help your child excel in the classes they are taking and to boost a grade if they are struggling.

Recommend Colleges: Most high school counselors are in touch with admissions representatives from a variety of colleges. They can recommend schools based on what field your student is interested in studying by choosing colleges that specialize in these topics. They will also be able to match up sports and other extracurricular activities and values that coincide with particular colleges.

Scholarship Applications: Having your student fall in love with a college only to learn they will not be able to attend due to high tuition is disheartening for everyone.  Scholarships are a great way to help families afford the high costs of college tuition and there are scholarships to cover many different skill sets including sports, organizations, test scores and more. Your counselor can help steer you to a scholarship that you may not have even known existed.

Recommendation Letters: Many colleges request a letter of recommendation for admission that exemplifies your student’s strengths, personality and abilities. The better the school counselor knows your student the better their ability to write an honest and positive letter of recommendation. It is difficult to recommend someone you don’t know, and a counselor may refuse to write a letter for a student they are unfamiliar with. This is something students who attend larger high schools especially need to look out for.

Make sure you and your child take advantage of the services a high school counselor has to offer. They are a big part of the college application system and can offer a lot of insight into the process. They may have volunteer ideas to add to a college application such as fundraising by selling high school apparel, as well as scholarship information to save a ton of money. Seek out their services, they are there to help!

Three Simple Ways to Prepare Yourself for a Pop Quiz

Yes, the idea of a pop quiz is that you aren’t expecting it. But there are ways to prepare yourself for them, or things to tell your child to be on the lookout for. We all dread that day of school where we sit down and expect just a usual class and then all of the sudden the teacher arrives with the announcement, “I hope you did your reading assignment, it’s pop quiz time!” Sometimes pop quizzes are worth bonus points and other times they factor into your grade directly. It is always best to be as prepared as possible in order to excel when faced with this surprise.

Listen for clues. There is a good chance that your teacher has been hinting to this pop quiz for a little while now. If they are giving a presentation and note, “this is very important” or “this might come up again,” chances are they are preparing you for an upcoming quiz. It can’t hurt to always take good notes anyway, even if it won’t show up on a pop quiz there is a good chance it will come up again somewhere down the road. Really paying attention in class can also leave you with less study time later. If you are really absorbing the materials and taking good notes you won’t be fumbling and trying to remember the lessons later on or piling up your work load with extra reading after school.

Learn from older siblings and classmates. Chances are you have an older sibling or friend that has had your teacher before. Classmates are helpful for more than just giving out advice on the latest high school apparel trends and the best places to hang out after school, they will have good insight into the teaching style and pop quiz tendencies of your teacher. If you find out your teacher doles out a lot of pop quizzes you’ll know this is a class to pay extra close attention in (which you should be doing anyway of course).

Keep up with assignments. Think you can get away with skipping over reading the chapter that was assigned last night, or avoid the math worksheet that was passed out? Think again. The day after an assignment is given is the perfect time for a pop quiz. Teachers want to make sure you are absorbing the materials and actually doing the work. Keeping up with these smaller tasks will make things easier in the long run. Make sure you do your nightly assignments and then quickly review them when you first arrive in class. If you are unsure of anything you went over the night before, ask the teacher right away the next day. Your teachers want you to succeed, and if you show that you are having a hard time grasping a concept they will work with you to make sure you get it right.

Pay attention in class, do your assignments, seek insight from classmates and always ask for help when needed. If you practice this advice you are sure to succeed on your pop quizzes and all the other challenges of your classes.