Advice for inital mtgs and followup with a GC

<p>ok
our kiddo will be meeting with the GC assigned for the next jr/sr yr...</p>

<p>What advice do you have for kiddo and parents when working with a school's GC?
--Inital mtg of kiddo and new GC...
--Inital mtg of parents with GC...</p>

<p>etc</p>

<p>This school has 3-4 GcCs that help the kids.
They do have Naviance and the kids have already taken things like Meyers Briggs as well as provided a current "resume" and schools wish list....</p>

<p>Have heard from a parent recently that they can been rather tunnel-vision focused, handing the kids a list of LACs...mostly in our region....and have heard from more than one parent they can be a little discouraging to the kids...(several which got into schools the GCs said woluldn't happen)
So not trying to look for trouble--but I have learned ALOT here at CC
so just wanting to go in calm, prepared, open minded (this is their field of expertise) and not as a heavy handed high maintenance parent...</p>

<p>advice?</p>

<p>Best advice is just to come prepared. The GC's you have to understand are probably overwhelmed (3-4 is not very many depending on the size of the high school) so they're not going to have the time to do a lot of research for you. However, if your son comes prepared, not just with a wish list, but maybe a list of schools he's "kind of sort of considering" and why, they could advise if his choices are good ones and if his reasoning is sound. Basically, meet the GC half way. Do your own work and then come to the GC's for a "gut check" about whether he's going in the right direction/being realistic</p>

<p>It's good too for him to ask what kinds of resources are available in the counseling office that can be accessed without the help of a counselor. Does the counseling office have books like Fiske or Colleges that change lives that kids can read in their study period? Could he use the counseling office to make a call to a school he's interested in, even if cell phones aren't normally allowed during school hours? Sometimes just being able to go to the office and read up on schools can be a great, stress-free way to research and a good way to mak ehte ounselor's familiar with your face, so they can write good recommendations later.</p>

<p>Finally, don't be put off if they don't lavish attention on your son right away. They're probably focused on dealing with seniors right now who are applying to college and for juniors and below, just interested in giving a little gentle guidance. There's still time for them to kick it into high-advising gear, so do'nt be alarmed if they go slow at first.</p>

<p>Thanks
Each sr class is about 150 ... so as a mid yr Jr--the counselor kiddo gets will shepard the process through the fall/spring etc...
We have a spread sheet with 39 schools right now--a pretty wide net (some high reachs and some easy walk ins)--SATs/ACTS etc on it as well as if the school has kiddo's expected major and varsity sport...</p>

<p>First SATs are in 2 weeks--I think the inital mtg with the GCs is sometime in Feb so hopefully kiddo will have done fine with the SATs...
UW GPA is very high and ECs are excellent. AP Eng teacher already has the Jrs writing prompts and considering essays...</p>

<p>Hoping the GCs have a password for the kiddo to use Naviance at home like other schools...otherwise its going to take me a bit of time at the schoolls office to look this all up.</p>

<p>Honestly, if you have Naviance that's great news. I didn't think either of our GCs came up with great suggestions for my kids, but they did give a large list of possibilities in the reach/match/safety range. I actually found most interesting the casual conversation - the story of the girl who didn't get into GW with better stats because she didn't visit. (GC called and asked.) I think the most important thing to come out of the meeting with is what their deadlines are. i.e. How much advance notice does GC need to get out the paperwork. My younger son, blew this part and got yelled at, but in the end the GC came through and was perfectly nice the next time he met with her. </p>

<p>If they don't already have a questionnaire to fill out, you can ask what you can do to help them get to know your kid better. You can also ask how they determine the rigor of a curriculum and ask how many APs/IBs/Honor courses kids need for the kind of colleges your child is likely to be looking at.</p>

<p>If you think the suggestions are too local, just come here for some more suggestions. I like the guide (Fiske?) that has other schools that share traits in common with the one being described. Though I have to admit my son is applying to school with and without core curriculums, with and without a lot of gen ed requirements, one (largish) LAC and a bunch of medium size Universities.</p>

<p>Our GC was more optimistic about our son's chances than I was - and perhaps rightly so - since I was not expecting the EA acceptance my son got.</p>

<p>We were asked before the meeting what schools my son was considering. It's a good jumping off point. By the time we met we already knew he didn't want rural or small.</p>

<p>fogfog, Use this meeting as a "Getting to Know", not as a "We already know". You want to have your GC as a great advocate to your son. As Mathmom says you can always come back to CC for further questions. Good luck and allow your child and yourself to develop a relationship with the GC!!!</p>

<p>Don't mention you are on CC.</p>

<p>Also, don't mention you're looking at 39 schools! lol</p>

<p>I'd use the mtg to find out what the school's policies/procedures are. Let him/her know the general kinds of schools y'all have talked about, looked at.</p>

<p>thanks for the advice</p>

<p>yes we plan on the low key approach...</p>

<p>until our kiddo gets some initial SATs, we won't know if certain schools are possibles, reached or out of this world ...</p>

<p>as far as getting 39 down to 6 or so---it won't happen..but maybe 8-10...unless as a student-ahtlete the recruiting gets hot at certain schools and helps give us and kiddo a sense of things</p>

<p>casting a wide net is what we have been told--- to cast a wide net...</p>

<p>welll</p>

<p>much to our disappointment--our private hs--guidance office does NOT meet with the parents until fall of Sr yr...
which is very different from the other parents/privates we know..</p>

<p>I have friends who have talked about how great their GC is for the student--the use of Naviance, the meetigns (multiple etc)</p>

<p>and yet
at this private
there have been 2 short meetings for our student</p>

<p>--the first was to hand our student a "list" of schools shich included some we/our student had already ruled out...
Makes me think the GC had NOT read the rather long thoughtful responses our student wrote for the questionaire...</p>

<p>One mtg our studnet went in to ask about getting a password for Naviance --and was told NO--that use of Naviance was ONLY in the GCs office...</p>

<p>and the GC made another comment I wont even dignify here..</p>

<p>All this is to say--what the heck are they getting paid for..
Our student has been to the required Jr "seminars" and said that there was nothing gaiend beyond what we already knew/what our student already knew </p>

<p>Our student has taken the SATs and ACTs etc based on the recommendations fo CCers--(wish I had been here soph yr to know what to do the beginning of jr yr)</p>

<p>The first and only time of a "planned" mtg with this GC is in the fall--unless we try to set one up..</p>

<p>I am vacillating on this because frankly I think the GCs do not want parent involvement--
and yet why would you ask a 16 yr old to suddenly navigate this time in their life without a parents support.
I am not talking about parent hovering--</p>

<p>I just think the GC isn't doing much of anything--and this person is going to write a recommendation...and doesn't kow our studnet at all....</p>

<p>What I really wanted to know during our first real meeting related to college was approximately what is my D's GPA??? Where does she fit? Approximately where is she in the class? What level schools do I even start with? The GC doesn't like to give out information that is not "official" so it was like pulling teeth. I guess for this reason, an early SAT will give you an idea of where test scores might be, but I still needed to know her GPA. When D and I finally got an answer, we nearly fell on the floor (it was better than we thought, and I think that was motivating for her the rest of her HS career). Then, you can use Naviance (my S, a HS freshman, already got his password!)</p>

<p>A few things I learned first time around about college meetings with the GC:</p>

<ul>
<li><p>Do your own research (as stated here already). We benefitted because I was willing to put in the time to investigate. Yes, ideally, D should have done it all. In reality, she had no idea where to start. Doing this together was perfect. GC had her favorite schools, which she always pushed, from the beginning till the end (even though they CLEARLY didn't fit in to what my D told her she was looking for).</p></li>
<li><p>Advise the GC of YOUR timetable, e.g., D will be applying to these schools EA, so please be ready to send the transcript, etc. to the schools by X (in our school, the GC won't send them until student's apps is sent to the school). Also, with some of D's classmates, I heard that the GCs were taking their time even getting really close to the deadlines. That was NOT going to work with us. In the same vein, have your D or S make sure that the teachers they are getting recs from also know the timetable.</p></li>
<li><p>Don't let your GC dissuade you from applying anywhere, whether due to academics, location, etc. They are people too, with their own opinions and biases. They do not know your background, your values and they don't know your child as well as you do.</p></li>
</ul>

<p>For students younger than seniors, here are a couple of good tips I got from a friend (will use these with S):</p>

<ul>
<li><p>Use GC meetings to review your child's "resume" to identify the holes. There's no use waiting till college app time to realize it would have been better to have more community service or try to be a leader in a particular club. Discuss strategies for filling those holes.</p></li>
<li><p>Use GC meetings to review test schedules for upcoming years; get ahead on these; don't wait till the last minute. You know your S/D schedule better than the GC. Are they tied up in marching band and a fall sport? Then don't plan an SAT in October. Is spring the busy time for your S/D? Take SAT in the winter. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.</p></li>
</ul>

<p>My D's GC actually told my D that "your mom is stressing me out" (because I was all over her about making sure she got in materials to meet a priority deadline at a reach school). Are you kidding???? I bet she wishes she dealt with more parents like me. D's apps were all in before the end of October and she got in almost everywhere (one waitlist, one deferral). I just wish we didn't listen to the GC and try for more challenging schools).</p>

<p>You need the GC's for part of the process - handling the school end of things. But don't depend on them for everything. If you are an informed/involved parent (most of us on cc), you can't leave things to the GC. There's so much more information on this website than there is in the guidance office.</p>

<p>Maybe it's because my kids' HS is a largish public high school (1700 students, 400+ in graduating class each year), but I don't recall personal meetings with GC's to discuss our kids' college plans and the application process. I do recall some invitations to large group meetings to discuss the process and what kinds of help were available to the kids, etc. I didn't attend these meetings---but then I'm a college professor who is the daughter of a college professor and who spent the better part of a decade eating lunch with the dean of admissions at a LAC similar to the ones my kids were interested in.</p>

<p>Figuring out which schools to apply to was largely a process of us providing the kids with some guide books, including a friend's copy of CTCL, which for better or worse did influence what they decided to look for in a college, and listening to what they said they wanted in a college and making suggestions of places we know about based on knowledge gained from being in the profession as well as the guide books. D, unfortunately, did make a critical mistake in the whole process: She vastly underestimated the importance to her of the availability of high-quality music ensembles and instruction; she later transferred out of the small LAC she originally chose primarily because she was extremely unhappy with the quality of the music program and the ensembles. S is four years behind D and as a good second child has avoided the landmines D stepped on. His college search started when he was trapped at my office one day and I suggested he do some web browsing looking at college sites in the computer lab down the hall. He asked about small LACs with good music. I rattled off about 6--8 names of places off the top of my head and he took it from there to start identifying what he did/did not like about individual schools. </p>

<p>I do recall meetings with kids' GC's to discuss problems with their HS schedules. Even here, we really tried to make the kids deal directly with the GC first and have us only step in if they had tried unsuccessfully to resolve the problem. In D's case, we had to run a fair amount of interference because D was shy and her GC was one who typically said "X can't be done because of Regents requirements." And we'd have to show her what the requirements actually said. In S's case, the GC was happy to listen to S, research what S was proposing, and act on it in a reasonable fashion. As a result, S was able to skip out of 9th grade earth science and into 10th grade honors biology his freshman year and do a number of other things that will allow him to graduate next month in spite of spending this entire academic year on a state department funded exchange program in Russia.</p>

<p>
[quote]
What I really wanted to know during our first real meeting related to college was approximately what is my D's GPA??? Where does she fit? Approximately where is she in the class? What level schools do I even start with? The GC doesn't like to give out information that is not "official" so it was like pulling teeth.

[/quote]
We had this experience too. (We knew GPA, but not the rank.) When she told us our son would "probably" be in the top 10%, I knew that he at least had a chance at his reaches. If your school gives colleges ranks this is a very important number! The sooner you have a handle on what it is likely to be the better.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Our GC was more optimistic about our son's chances than I was - and perhaps rightly so - since I was not expecting the EA acceptance my son got.

[/quote]
This is my post from January. Our GC was right, his chances were pretty good. Ultimately he was in top 6% of his class and he got in to his reaches, though not the uber-reaches. </p>

<p>I'm often surprised what our huge public school with 200+ students per GC manages to do. Parents meet with the GC spring junior year and fall senior year and they meet multiple times with the students - sometimes in small groups and sometimes individually.</p>

<p>My S goes to a private. About 300 + kids per class. No sure how many kids per GC, (guess about 150 total, with about 35 of them sr.). The kid has the same GC throughout HS. Each year the kids have guidance one semester per year in a class that meets once each cycle (about once every 7-8 days) so the GC is given the opportunity to get to know the kids. Of course, it is unlikely my kid particpates much in these classes and probably fluffs them off. Parents were requested to turn in a fact sheet about a month ago listing stuff the GC may not know about out S that could be helpful on the college rec. The guidance dept has also had several college planning sessions for parents and kids, although compared to what I have learned here, I could have stayed home. My feeling is that my S's guidance dept will be pushing kids to the schools they know and that the guidance dept does not have time/energy to think out of the box. </p>

<p>Freshman year we approached S's GC with a concern we had which she promptly turned around and told us to handle ourselves. I told H that it was a good thing he had been talking to her and not me because I would have promptly elevated the issue to her boss. Since freshman year she has been on maternity leave 2X and both times I have hoped she would not return. This past month we had another issue with S, met with one of his teachers and the academic dean. The dean noticed something about underperforming son that might be helpful to point out to colleges on the application. (S performs very well on tests and quizes indicating he knows the material but fails to turn in deliverables such as homework and papers). H asked the GC to make note of this on her recommendation and she refused. GC told H to have S note it himself. I would have thought she would be looking for any opportunity she had to gets kids into the best colleges possible. sigh..... So S will have to figure out a way to incorporate his "love of learning" but hatred of deliverables and details into his app and put a positive spin on it. </p>

<p>As others have said, I wouldn't expect much beyond what they have to do.</p>

<p>OP- given what you've posted, the GC has done you a favor. You have your expectations set. IMHO, you should view the GC as the "administrative resource" for getting the transcripts out, coordinating the teachers recommendations, making sure your kid doesn't blow a major deadline. But clearly the GC does not have the bandwidth (or possibly the expertise) to provide the coaching and the counseling- which now becomes your job.</p>

<p>This is better. You are early enough in the process so that you will not have a nasty surprise come October that you are expecting a lot of "gee, is CMU a better fit than RPI" conversations with your kid that never took place.</p>

<p>So you know what you need to know. The best favor you can do yourself is to try and speak to a parent with a kid who has interests similar to yours in the current senior class and find out what advice they can give you. Better to know now what the potential glitches are then to be surprised later on. If your HS has a policy of not sending out any transcripts for RD schools until the ED school has turned your kid down; if your GC's are pretty knowledgeable about tech schools but not LAC's or vice versa; if your GC's don't know which schools meet full need and which one's gap, etc.... better to get that on the table now so you know what research you need to do.</p>

<p>After watching lots of parents go through the process at lots of different types of colleges my wizened opinion is now that it's better to have an administratively competent GC who doesn't know Penn State from U Penn, than someone who is heavily involved in the "What are my chances" type of discussions but can't get an accurate transcript out on time.</p>

<p>My two cents.</p>

<p>mamom writes:</p>

<p>
[quote]
The dean noticed something about underperforming son that might be helpful to point out to colleges on the application. (S performs very well on tests and quizes indicating he knows the material but fails to turn in deliverables such as homework and papers). H asked the GC to make note of this on her recommendation and she refused. GC told H to have S note it himself. I would have thought she would be looking for any opportunity she had to gets kids into the best colleges possible.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I'm lost: Why on earth would you want such a statement as "fails to turn in deliverables such as homework and papers" on the GC's letter of recommendation? That could be a huge flag on your son's college application in my opinion. The "best colleges" (and even the mediocre ones) want students who turn their work in on time.</p>

<p>Now---if this is one facet of a larger, diagnosed disability problem (AS, ADD, etc), that's a different issue altogether and would have to handled according to school policy.</p>

<p>I read the list, thinking about Dougbesty's smile and nod thread. Most of you sound as if the relationship is an adversarial one, when it defintitely does not have to be.</p>

<p>Blossom, your comment is spot on as most people have no idea as to what the GC is responsible for doing. Unless your school has a dedicated college counselor, if the same person is responsible for both the mandated counseling and the college advising there will be things that take precedent.</p>

<p>
[quote]
For students younger than seniors, here are a couple of good tips I got from a friend (will use these with S):</p>

<p>1- Use GC meetings to review your child's "resume" to identify the holes. There's no use waiting till college app time to realize it would have been better to have more community service or try to be a leader in a particular club. Discuss strategies for filling those holes.</p>

<p>2- Use GC meetings to review test schedules for upcoming years; get ahead on these; don't wait till the last minute. You know your S/D schedule better than the GC. Are they tied up in marching band and a fall sport? Then don't plan an SAT in October. Is spring the busy time for your S/D? Take SAT in the winter. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.</p>

<p>3.My D's GC actually told my D that "your mom is stressing me out" (because I was all over her about making sure she got in materials to meet a priority deadline at a reach school). Are you kidding???? I bet she wishes she dealt with more parents like me. D's apps were all in before the end of October and she got in almost everywhere (one waitlist, one deferral). I just wish we didn't listen to the GC and try for more challenging schools).</p>

<p>4.You need the GC's for part of the process - handling the school end of things. But don't depend on them for everything. If you are an informed/involved parent (most of us on cc), you can't leave things to the GC. There's so much more information on this website than there is in the guidance office.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I could not begin to tell you how far off the mark this advice is.</p>

<p>1 You should not be using the GC to help you develop a strategyfor filling the "holes in yoru child's resume." It is much better for your child to be actively engaged in one or 2 things where s/he is growing in responsibility and leadership, than to have a laundry list of things. All to often I see kids in my office asking "Ms.<strong><em>, should I take </em></strong> in order to get into __?" </p>

<p>Your kid does not have to participate in every activity or be president of every club. Some people totally underestimate the value of having a plain old after school job. Your child is better off working at the Mickey D's , where s/he could eventually become shift leader, managing people and schedules than belonging to club A, B, C and D.</p>

<ol>
<li>Test schedules: it probably took you more time to wander of to Cc, that it will to find out the test schedule. By the summer both the college board and the ACT will post the exam schedule for the year. You better than the GC knows your child's time table and commitments. </li>
</ol>

<p>Unless your child needs a fee waiver, use of a computer in school or is coordinating an in school SAT prep course, you will not need the GC in order to schedule your child for exams. </p>

<p>Your time would be better served getting a transcript update, and to make sure that all high school testing is done. Even then, the NYS regents exams are given about the same time year January, June and August. I would recommend not scheduling SAT's or ACT around the same time you are prepping for regents.</p>

<ol>
<li>I think that you were walking a fine line and that you were very fortunate that the GC simply told your daughter that you were stressing her out. Some people would have used your behavior against your child and wrote in their recommendation that perhaps, your child lacks the maturity to be proactive with out her parent intervening.</li>
</ol>

<p>
[quote]
- Advise the GC of YOUR timetable, e.g., D will be applying to these schools EA, so please be ready to send the transcript, etc. to the schools by X (in our school, the GC won't send them until student's apps is sent to the school). Also, with some of D's classmates, I heard that the GCs were taking their time even getting really close to the deadlines. That was NOT going to work with us. In the same vein, have your D or S make sure that the teachers they are getting recs from also know the timetable

[/quote]
</p>

<p>I think you have this backwards. It is you who needs the GC's timeline for getting out things. I post a calender at the end of the school year for the next school year according by application dates (with updates each month during application season).</p>

<p>For example, if a student is applying to a school early action on November 1, I will want his/her information to me no later than October 10/15. I tell my juniors at the beginning of the spring term, if they need a recommendation from me, what I need from them (in addition, I do not write any recommendations for students that I do not sit down and have a one on one meeting with). Again, if you have a dedicated counselor, then all of this may not apply to you. However , if your GC takes care of mandated counseling, programing, attendance, ACS issues, etc. in addition to the college piece, you will need to work with him or her.</p>

<p>First and foremost, most of the decisions concerning college is going to take place in your house; location, money, fit, etc. Our job is to provide guidance, to work with you and your child and advocate for them when necessary. If I had a kid whose parent was "stressing me out", I would not be amenable to picking up a phone and calling on that child's behalf. However, you gotta love the child more than you dislike the parent.</p>

<p>Just a few thoughts... FWIW.
My boys HS has 2500 students and only 4 GC. They are divided by alpha so they have the same GC all four years which is a plus. We requested that S2 meet with his GC in the fall prior to the LOR being written as a 'mini-interview' (we did not reference it in that way to her), to review what he has done in HS and his goals. For her reference S will leave her with a sheet listing activities broken down by year along with awards (there is not a laundry list...but he doesn't want anything getting lost in the shuffle because she forgot). He will also talk about three main schools he's applying to and make her aware of his first choice and why he feels this is the best fit for him. These schools will be noted on this list. With that many students there is no way she can write anything but a generic letter unless she is reminded of the specifics. As he is not looking for advise in what schools to apply to, his needs are different, however some of the above may be helpful.
My son is not an aggressive obnoxious child so he will be able to do without an 'in your face' attitude. He's rather quiet so this method will work ok for him.</p>

<p>You should be able to request a copy of your students transcript any any time. Now would be a good time. Check for any errors. They happen more often than you think. You will see your students GPA and class rank here depending on information your school provides. If you know the number of students in your class you can easily determine their percentile.</p>

<p>Just my 2 cents...</p>

<p>I'd suggest that you remember that many GCs have little or no substantive understanding of financial aid, and you need to do your own work to make sure that your child has real financial safety schools. We were lucky that our D's GC was pretty good in this area (and absolutely fabulous in terms of knowing about different colleges and programs), but other families really, really got burned. </p>

<p>I'd strongly encourage all junior parents who might think that they might need financial assistance to do the FAFSA forecaster to get an estimate, at least for FAFSA purposes, of what the EFC might be, and understand that many schools may expect families to contribute more than that. </p>

<p>One of the most helpful things we got from the GC was some indirect help with which teachers to use for recommendations. D said she thought she could ask Ms. X, Ms. Y, and Ms. Z for letters, and the GC said, "Oh, Ms. Y and Ms. Z both write very thoughtful letters." That was a pretty good hint that Ms. X wasn't as desirable on the recommendation letter front, though she couldn't come out and say that directly. </p>

<p>I'd also ask the counselor directly which of the boxes the counselor is likely to check for courses taken: most demanding,... -- sometimes you won't get the direct answer, but if you do it can be very helpful. Sometimes counselors instead describe what they're looking at to give that response (at least 7 AP classes,...) I doubt that too many kids without major hooks get admitted to super selective schools without that "most demanding" box checked. (Not at all suggesting that you push the counselor to check it, merely that knowing ahead of time gives you a better sense of where the counselor sees your kid in the context of other kids in the class; something that isn't otherwise always easy to tell if your school doesn't rank.)</p>

<p>I'd also ask for a copy of the school profile. It has a lot of really useful information. I wish I'd gotten it sophomore year.</p>

<p>That is very good advice regarding financial aid. D's GC seeemed to be of the opinion that the sky was the limit - when she learned our EFC she was shocked as D would have definitely qualified for some programs. I guess she was surprised to learn that having two children in college does make a difference. And no, money doesn't grow on a tree in our backyard. </p>

<p>When D started HS we met with her guidance counselor as D was deviating from the usual plan. Other than that meeting, D definitely handled these meetings on her own as did S. We would rehearse the anticipated conversation, but I think it is usually best to encourage the student to handle these things on their own. </p>

<p>Definitely check the transcript for errors. Our school sent a copy home at the end of junior year for that express purpose.</p>

<p>@sybbie719: I really enjoyed your post. As I've read through the thread, it has struck me how demanding some folks seem to be---as far as the college search and application process is concerned. And I agree with you, that these expectations are not really reasonable if the GC is not a dedicated college councilor. GC's simply have too many <em>high school</em> related things to take care of in addition to working with the seniors who are applying to college.</p>

<p>Both my D and S's GCs did everything I thought they were supposed to do during the college application process: For my D, it included dealing with NMF paperwork (while D was in Turkey) and making sure accurate transcripts and the GC report were sent out on time. For S, it was just the accurate transcripts and the GC report since he was clearly not NMF material. In both cases, the GC set reasonable deadlines on when stuff needed to be gotten to them and limited their comments about where my kids were applying to a nice, polite, "Those sound like really nice schools that fit your D/S well." And that's really all the feedback I and D&S wanted about their choice of where to apply---nice, polite, non-judgemental---in the sense that both of them only applied to colleges that here on on CC would have been called "high safeties/low matches".</p>

<p>And, as I said in my first post, the G office does run large group sessions at least a couple of times a year for parents and kids about how the college search and application process works. I'm sure that for some these sessions are worthwhile; but with my own background I didn't think I'd learn anything I didn't already know.</p>

<p>But coming up with a list of colleges---that was (and is supposed to be) the student and parents' joint responsibility. Yes, the G office has lots of resource materials for the kids to use, and I'm sure that GC's will help when asked by a truly clueless student, but it's not the GC who should be suggesting to kids long lists of schools that "match" based on nothing more than test scores, gpa, and Naviance data.</p>

<p>And signing up for SAT/ACTs---that was (and is supposed to be) my kids' responsibility. I talked to them during the fall of their junior year and told them figure out when you're taking the test and get yourself registered. When you reach the credit card payment page, come bug me. Why does any parent think the GC should be responsible for anything concerning the SAT/ACT?
[It is nice that the high school web page lists the dates and that the GCs make sure the information is sent out to parents in the school's news letters.]</p>

<p>And arranging for letters of recommendation from teachers---again that was (and is supposed to be) my kids' responsibility. My H and I let them ask us for advice on how many and who might be good to ask. Kids had to make the formal request. Because both kids were abroad their senior year, I took on the responsibility to follow up on the letters (which wasn't very hard with the common application.) One of S's letter writers was slow; S took that challenge on by emailing the teacher himself, but cc'ing me.</p>

<p>Where S's GC sparkled was in the substantial help she has provided S in navigating his way through NYS Regents HS requirements in a way that allowed him to go to Russia this year and still graduate with his class in June. We were happy that every time S had a problem, he could go to his GC and she would listen, do some research, and come back with a workable solution. D's GC, on the other hand, was a goof-ball; she didn't really have a solid grasp of the NYS Regents HS requirements and didn't seem to be willing to learn anything about them either. (All professions have a few below average members, and D's GC was one of them.)</p>