Interested in applying to a competitive college? Perhaps an Ivy League school? Top ranking schools are looking for prepared and impressive candidates, so the key is to make yourself stand out as much as possible. You can start preparing by working with professionals who know the most about applying to college: high school and college admissions counselors.
According to the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), the role of a counselor is “to serve students as they make choices about pursuing post secondary education.” There are two types of counselors that you’ll come across throughout your studies: high school counselors and admissions counselors. High school counselors help you apply to college. These counselors aid their students by providing information about admissions tests, college choices, financial aid processes and assisting with organizing the components of their college applications.
How can a college admissions counselor help?
College admissions counselors, like high school counselors, work with prospective students interested in their universities. These professionals seek intelligent, motivated students who take initiative with their education. They are a great source for information related to planning your studies at a specific university.
To realize your dream of entering health care, it’s best to try to start planning your education as early as you can and to take advantage of all of the resources available to you along the way. After all, you’re seeking your best-fit school — and schools are seeking their best-fit students! While you may be considering only seven or so other programs or universities, your first-choice schools are likely considering hundreds of applicants for each seat.
Consider your odds
Let’s drill down to a few specific health care careers that you might be considering. When applying to be a physician assistant, you can expect to find yourself applying among a sea of other applicants. For example, Yale only had 3% of their applicants matriculate into their PA program. Boston University matriculated a little over 1% of their applicants that applied to their PA program.
4% of those who applied to University of California San Francisco‘s dentistry programs were accepted. At Harvard University, about 3.5% of applicants gained acceptance to their dentistry program. These numbers can feel intimidating, and with good reason. The odds of getting into these programs are very slim, so any work you can do to improve your standing could be quite helpful in the long run.
Getting an edge over the competition
Talk to a school counselor or if you have the means, do your research to determine if hiring a private one is worth it to you. Based on data provided by NACAC, a little under two-thirds of students spoke with high school counselors about higher education. About 13% of students and 15% of parents spoke with a hired counselor. And even though over 90% of counselors offered information on preparing for higher education, only a small percentage of students looked into it.
Take advantage of time with your high school or college admissions counselor. It is certainly time well spent!