Counselors who will soon be helping the Class of 2018 apply to college have a lot of changes to contend with this year—a new SAT, the Coalition Application, and the Prior-Prior-Year for the FAFSA, in particular. Considering how dedicated most counselors are to their students, it’s no surprise that so many of the counselors I interact with personally or within our various social media groups are anxious about all the upcoming unfamiliar territory. All of us seem to want more information, more answers, and frankly, familiarity with a landscape that seems to keep changing no matter how fast we scramble to keep up.
But if you’re a counselor who’s unsettled by what’s ahead, please remember that your students have the wonderful advantage of a counselor who cares enough to be concerned.
It’s unsettling not to know exactly what lies ahead. And it’s frustrating when changes like these unravel your previous systems and create more work for an already overworked counselor. There’s no cheerleading around that.
But the fact that you care enough to be concerned, that you’re reaching out to colleagues and comparing notes, that you’re scouring our social media groups, collecting whatever information is available, and considering how to best help your students—all of those things are a sign that your kids are in good hands.
The most veteran counselors have seen big changes before, from the advent of online applications to the introduction of the Common Application, and previous big changes to the SAT (which seem to happen every 4-5 years). They were unfamiliar at first. They concerned you on behalf of your kids. They created frustration and additional work. And somehow, you got your students through it.
It’s not the easiest time to be a college admissions counselor. But your kids are going to need you even more this year than ever before. And given that kids are the reason that we all got into this business, that just might make this season your best one yet.
P.S. Nearly 400 counselors have signed up to be notified when we release our first batch of counselor training programs this fall. Click here if you’d like to be added to the list.