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The Guidance Counselor has not heard of the common app

lmkh70lmkh70 803 replies173 threads Member
edited November 2012 in Parents Forum
Seriously. I just had to share this. The high school guidance counselor was asking for the forms for the GC recommendation. I had to be at the school anyway for something so I went in with my son when he gave the GC the paperwork. While there, I mentioned that he could do this online. Well, this is his first year as a GC at high school. He told me he didn't know that and how would he do it. I mentioned the common app and he had not heard of it.

Just thought I would share.
edited November 2012
106 replies
Post edited by lmkh70 on
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Replies to: The Guidance Counselor has not heard of the common app

  • oldfortoldfort 23509 replies308 threads Senior Member
    Did they list it as a job requirement when they were recruiting or did they just get someone off the street?
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19610 replies467 threads Senior Member
    Oh, dear, lmkh.
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  • CollegiateDreamsCollegiateDreams 943 replies37 threads Member
    Wow, that is pretty terrible.
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  • SVMMomSVMMom 796 replies66 threads Member
    Our GC had no idea she could get waivers for ACT tests. Thought they were only available for SAT. She said she had no idea how to get them. I went home, googled it, called ACT, and sent her the info/link in an email. I mean seriously. How hard is it to google something?
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  • mathmommathmom 33234 replies163 threads Senior Member
    One of our GCs kept calling MIT an Ivy League school. (FWIW it was her first year and she'd been previously at a school in the deep south were perhaps people aren't quite as Ivy obsessed as here in the NE. I actually liked her a lot.)

    But not knowing about the Common Application is pretty pathetic. Ouch.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9484 replies83 threads Senior Member
    For my son (hs class of 2010), the guidance office knew that common app could be done online. But they still did it the old fashioned paper way at their end.
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  • college_querycollege_query 4465 replies362 threads Senior Member
    Four years ago when D was a HS senior, we received a letter in the mail about QuestBridge. I hadn't heard of it, did some research and it looked legit. I asked our HS counseling department about it, and they said it was probably a scam. Our HS is a large urban with 70% low income/free and reduced lunch. My D applied anyway, but wasn't a finalist.

    The good news: the HS has a student who is QuestBridge finalist this year.
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  • reeinazreeinaz 1485 replies46 threads Senior Member
    Well, it seems that most education grad school programs in counseling don't even have a class on college counseling. The Weakest Link in the College Admission Process | The College Solution
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  • MizzBeeMizzBee 4519 replies60 threads Senior Member
    Our former GC refused to to the Common App for students in prior years because she said it was too much work for only 1 school. DS applied to 14 schools on the CA so she was okay with his app. Luckily she is finally gone and the new GC even promotes local scholarships to all students!
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  • MarsianMarsian 938 replies1 threads Member
    After going through this process with several children, I will be well-qualified to be a college advice go-to person (if not a GC) at a high school!
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  • WordWorldWordWorld 367 replies10 threads Member
    This is not as bad as not knowing about the common app, but at our HS with about 10% Hispanic, they had never heard about the National Hispanic Recognition Program. I had to walk them through it after I found out about it on here.
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  • CTScoutmomCTScoutmom 1963 replies10 threads Senior Member
    We have a new GC, but he is wonderful. I have to wonder what kind of preparation this GC got, and whether the degree is worth the paper it's printed on! One of the licensing requirements around here is a semester in a guidance office, much as new teachers have to student teach. Ours happened to serve his semester at our HS, so was already somewhat familiar with the processes they use. Until this year, our school did everything by mail. Now we have Naviance, and everything is electronic. He's learning the system right along with everyone else, and is less prone to "we've always done it this way..." type of thinking.

    I can't imagine a GC refusing to complete the Common App just because "it's too much work." It's part of their job! What if a student applies to an international school, with a completely different process - oh sorry, you can't apply there, because it's too much work for the GC? I would be on the phone to the school board immediately, letting them know an employee is not doing her job, and asking where in the student handbook it says that students can't apply to certain schools.
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  • MizzBeeMizzBee 4519 replies60 threads Senior Member
    Well this same GC refused to complete an ED application for a student because she brought it in after October 15th. Again, she isn't there now. People thought I was nuts when I created address labels, brag sheets and had DS secure and receive teachers recs over the summer. Proof that it mattered came when the GC asked DS to get her Northwestern's address or she wouldn't send the paperwork. Luckily he could tell her to check his file for the label. She also hand't nominated a student for a great scholarship at our flagship in 5 years.
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  • Sally_RubenstoneSally_Rubenstone CC Admissions Expert 3198 replies1122 threads CC Admissions Expert
    Many college admission officers (and even high school guidance counselors) look down their noses at private college counselors (and the families that use them). Although this disdain doesn't seem as egregious now as it was a couple decades ago, it's definitely still out there.

    I wish that some of those college folks would read this thread and realize that private counselors aren't parasites who prey on the rich and nervous but can be lifelines for students and parents who are new to the admissions process and who have clueless guidance counselors.

    Granted, there are some awful indie counselors, too, and it is a buyer-beware situation when choosing one.

    So I'm glad at some parents with lousy GC's have been able to get the help they need on CC for free.
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  • GolfFatherGolfFather 1462 replies57 threads Senior Member
    Well, since my D is a junior we’re still early into the process and haven’t jumped into the deep water yet. But we have done some research and visited a few schools.
    We wanted to try and be as efficient as possible and see if we’re heading in the right direction. So, we e-mailed my D’s GC and asked if we could set up an appointment to go over some preliminary ideas and strategies.
    She said she was too busy to meet and mailed back a very basic one-page Word doc form letter with a few bulleted “tips.”
    We were not impressed.
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  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay 19610 replies467 threads Senior Member
    Golf, in defense of the GS, he/she is in the throes of app season with the seniors. You'd have more luck after January.
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  • happymomof1happymomof1 30844 replies198 threads Senior Member
    Honestly, it doesn't surprise me at all that a brand new HS guidance counselor might not know about the common app. Depending on when that person went to college (and where) the common app may not have been something that person would have personally used. Even if he/she had known about it, back in the day it was only for a very limited number of colleges and universities, and it was paper-based. Likewise, if this counselor has been moved up from middle or elementary school, college applications wouldn't even have been anything he/she had to deal with at all since applying him/herself umpteen years ago.
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  • SVMMomSVMMom 796 replies66 threads Member
    I found Questbridge through CC (of course!). Went for it and now son is a finalist. When we went to guidance for all the early paperwork Questbridge requires, no one had heard of it at all. I again had to send them the links and also got them brochures for their office.

    This also happened when daughter wanted to take a college math corse to skip ahead over the summer. Johns Hopkins class was way too expensive and I asked them for other options. Was told to check the internet, (so helpful!). I met with math Dean at local CC and figured out way for under 16 year old students to take classes there. Had to jump through hoops, but made it work. Then took all info to guidance so they could start program for future students to do this. Now it is part of their program.

    I swear, I do more to educate the guidance office about what is out there than I can believe! I could go on and on. All I do is google stuff and come to CC. How hard is that? At this point I would be much more helpful to students looking to get into college than most counselors at the hs.
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  • beth's mombeth's mom 3256 replies110 threads Senior Member
    We wanted to try and be as efficient as possible and see if we’re heading in the right direction. So, we e-mailed my D’s GC and asked if we could set up an appointment to go over some preliminary ideas and strategies.
    She said she was too busy to meet and mailed back a very basic one-page Word doc form letter with a few bulleted “tips.”
    We were not impressed.

    This doesn't surprise me at all. Sometimes timing is everything, and now is not the time for a junior to try to get a meeting about colleges with a busy guidance counselor. Our GCs have college meetings with all juniors and their parents during the late winter and spring, after the application frenzy for the seniors dies down a bit. At this time next year you'll be glad the GC is focused on the seniors, because that's where the focus should be at this time.
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  • CheckersMidwestCheckersMidwest 1173 replies2 threads Senior Member
    my S '10 had a terrible guidance counselor. She had a roledex on her desk of available scholarships and you were suppose to come in during free time and look through it. She was only in her office 8-3:30 and took a lunch break. She occasionally listed upcoming scholarship deadlines in the daily announcements. One in particular she kept pushing because it was a nice dollar amount. only problem is the recipient had to be african-american. We don't have any african-american kids in our entire school. She didn't even know what the scholarships were for !

    She said she wasn't going to "spoon feed" the kids during the college process because they needed to do it on their own. She didn't help with college match ups or choices, careers, nothing.

    S' senior year she gave the "spoon fed" remark and her usual speach during senior orientation. There were 3 parents attending that were on the school board. needless to say, she was fired and was even asked to leave before the year was up.

    the one we have now is excellent!
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