Student Life

Top Questions to Ask Your School Counselor

As you are planning your class schedules, communication with your school counselor is key.

Student Contributor, Alondra Arevalo

April 03, 2022

Top Questions to Ask Your School Counselor
What should you ask your school counselor when discussing your schedules next school year?
Congratulations! The school year is nearly coming to a close, and you’re picking your classes for next year! Unless you’re a high school senior (which means you’re getting accepted into colleges and planning your futures, congrats!), there are many things to keep in mind when going into that Student-Counselor meeting.

What should you have for the meeting?

Although you may think that your school counselor will have all the materials you need to succeed, you should be helping them out a bit. Keep in mind, your counselor has many students to keep track of, so helping them could help you have a successful planning session.
I always brought my four-year plan (your planned classes that you will be taking the next couple of years), and a list of questions I had about it. Having picked out your classes beforehand not only makes the process less stressful, but it also helps your counselor help you! Now, what questions should you ask when you are with your counselor?

I’m planning on majoring in (blank), what classes should I take?

This question could be a huge factor in deciding if you actually want the career you’re planning on pursuing. For example, I was thinking about being a STEM major when I started high school, so my counselor put me in honors STEM classes. It turned out that I really did not enjoy any of them, I ended up enjoying my English and History classes a lot more! So, I am now pursuing a career in humanities, and I couldn’t be happier! It’s good to experiment with classes now that you aren’t paying for them (you pay to take every class in college), so this helps you find what you are interested in, in a risk-free way.

I’m tied between (Class A) and (Class B). Which class is best for my major?

As a humanities major, I didn’t know if I wanted to take AP Calculus or AP Statistics. After discussing this situation with my counselor, we both decided that statistics was the most beneficial class for me. After looking into some course catalogs for my major, this decision was perfect, as I need statistics for a lot of my future courses! Taking classes that are relevant to your college major helps you stay more engaged in the material, as you’re actually going to use it in the future.

I am planning on going to (your college of choice), should I take the SAT/ACT? What’s the difference?

Nowadays, admissions requirements regarding standardized testing are changing, and some colleges favor testing more than others. For example, the University of California and CSU system have disregarded SAT/ACT requirements for the next couple of admissions cycles, so you may not need to take the test if you are planning on applying to these schools. Other schools, like the Ivies, really take standardized testing into consideration. Communicating this concern with your counselor could help you understand what you need to do in order to get into the college of your dreams. These standardized tests cost money, so make sure you are making the right decision and you are preparing for it!

I’m worried about my financial situation. What scholarships do you know about that I can start preparing for?

Your counselor may know of scholarships that you can qualify for, and they want to help you! Expressing this concern helps them keep a lookout for scholarships that you may be interested in, and they can also help write you letters of recommendation for some of them also!

Am I missing any credits in my Four-Year Plan?

This is a question many people skip out on, and they don’t realize they’re missing credits until it’s too late. Make sure you are on top of your credit requirements and meet all of them, so you don’t fall behind. Every state and school is different, so that is why it is best to discuss these with your counselor, so you know you are on track. The main thing with this meeting with your counselor is to grow your understanding of what lies ahead. Make sure you listen attentively to what they have to say, and don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if you don’t understand something! Your counselor is there to help you; it’s their job! I hope this has helped improve your understanding on the things you should discuss with your counselor as this time period continues. I wish you the best in planning out your future, and don’t be scared to try new things! You may never know if a new passion will arise from it!

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