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What is the purpose of the high school counselor recommendation on college apps?

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Replies to: What is the purpose of the high school counselor recommendation on college apps?

  • roethlisburgerroethlisburger Registered User Posts: 2,626 Senior Member
    If your counselor, truly doesn't know your kid from Jack, then the GC recommendation is one of the dumber parts of the application process. My cynical view is the GC recommendation is one way to tilt the admissions playing field in favor of rich, private school kids, who tend to be full pay.
  • DCCAWAMIIAILDCCAWAMIIAIL Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    @murray93 Sounds a lot like my daughter's public HS - great kids but most are going to the state flagship literally down the street. My daughter is going to Rice University in Houston - I would guess around 25 out of 325 students are going out of state.

    She had three different counselors in her four HS years - the first was a frosh/soph counselor who discouraged the students from taking AP World History and APUSH because it was so much work. The second was a junior/senior counselor who was pretty good and then for senior year they switched to an alphabetical system so her senior year counselor barely knew her and didn't know much about highly selective colleges. They do have a College and Career Counselor but I think all he does is liaise with the state flagship. They were supposed create a group for those interested in applying to selective schools but it never got off the ground. Our daughter (along with our help) did all of the leg work for the places she applied.

    She did fill out a senior form that had lots of good questions on it for the counselor - I think they met once to review it. We were concerned that there wasn't much familiarity with Early Decision applications and timing but it all worked out.
  • chaphillmomchaphillmom Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    I have to admit that the whole GC/ LOR/ school reports has been such a muddle to me. We are just starting this process for our oldest, and we had no idea how much was involved, or that he needed to start planting relationship seeds with teachers/ GCs for future LOR requests. Like others, he has to pass the gatekeeper before he can get an appointment with his GC. The one time he proactively met with her as a sophomore to introduce himself and ask some questions, he felt really embarrassed afterwards because she clearly didn't understand why he would come to see her for something so minor. It definitely left an impression. 'Guidance' was basically giving him an info sheet on a Naviance account. Anyway- we have been working through this on our own, but it isn't straightforward.
  • cptofthehousecptofthehouse Registered User Posts: 27,507 Senior Member
    As I said, sometimes it’s an advantage to have a distant GC. Write up a REC as you like it and chances are good it will be used. With a GC that is very involved , it usually means a very involved parent oriented, selective college school, and the GC will be under all kinds of pressure. It’s not always positive to have that situation; I’ve seen too often when it hasnot been positive for the student.
  • VickiSoCalVickiSoCal Registered User Posts: 3,276 Senior Member
    I admit to being a little worried about this. My first kid's GC knew nothing about her and everythign turned out fine.

    The second kid's GC only knows her via IEP meetings and I am concerned she may focus on her disabilities more than her abilities.
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