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10 Great College Counselor Resources Worth Checking Out

Being a great education counselor means you offer your students the best possible guidance in their academic journey. However, higher education is a complex and constantly changing landscape. Keeping track of multiple areas like admissions processes, financial aid, and career pathways, can be a lot. It’s crucial for counselors to keep up with the latest developments and offer the most relevant advice. In order to do so, here are 10 great college counselor resources that offer valuable insights, tools, and information.

 

Resource Type: Organization

The NACAC is an organization dedicated to supporting and advancing the work of college admission professionals. It provides professional development opportunities and resources that will help you stay up-to-date with research in the field. Having more than 27,000 members, it’s also a great way to network with other professionals. As a member of the NACAC, you will get access to reports on the latest trends, certificate courses, webinars/seminars, and guides for specific topics such as advising student-athletes. The organization also offers accolades to high achievers and a career center with a job board that can help you find the next step in your career.

 

Resource Type: Organization

While the NACAC is more geared towards high school and postsecondary counselors, the ASCA is useful for counselors working with students in K-12 settings. Membership in the ASCA will get you professional liability insurance and access to professional development opportunities like affinity groups, conferences, webinars, and workshops. It also includes discounted access to books and periodicals with advice and insights on topics like school violence, social development, and more. You will also be able to download the ASCA National Model App which can be used to organize your school counseling program details.

 

Resource Type: Online Publication

Owned by Times Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed offers news and insights in the field of higher education. The publication offers articles on admission practices, changes in policies, opinion pieces from experts, information on best practices, job market insights, and more. Through a paid subscription, you can also get access to a weekly newsletter, daily news updates, special invitations to events, and a library of in-depth research. Inside Higher Ed’s content has also previously appeared in other publications like Slate and Business Insider.

 

Resource Type: Blog

Lumiere Education organizes research programs for ambitious high school students who want to engage in college-level research. The company’s blog is a valuable online resource to find opportunities for high school students to take part in — summer programs, research programs, competitions, and other pre-college opportunities. The blog also has comprehensive deep dives into specific programs which can help you determine if they are right for your students.

 

5. Common App's Counselor Resources

Resource Type: Application Platform

Used by over a million students each year, Common App is a widely used platform for students to apply to colleges. One profile can be used to apply to 20 colleges and the platform’s streamlined process can help counselors aid their students in applying as well as tracking their applications. You can also use it to preview your students’ applications before they are sent. Additionally, you can access data analytics and reporting tools to study application trends.

 

Resource Type: Website for college comparison

Niche is an online platform that lists, ranks and describes colleges across the country, including reviews by those who attend. The site boasts over 200,000 in-depth profiles on schools, companies, and neighborhoods and is used by a lot of students during their decision-making process. As an education counselor, you can use Niche’s data points, user reviews, and comparison tools to help your students consider the different facets of a college (ranking, environment, culture) while making a choice.

 

Resource Type: Materials for standardized test preparation

College Board is a non-profit organization that develops and administers standardized tests such as the SAT and AP exams. In addition to organizing the tests, College Board offers resources like practice materials and study guides for test preparation. It also has toolkits that counselors can use to help their students pick a college, plan how to pay for it and explore career options. There are also webinars, workshops, and a monthly newsletter that counselors can use for their own professional development.

 

Resource Type: Website for college comparison

Provided by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), College Navigator is another online tool to help students compare and choose a college. The website includes comprehensive information on universities, including admission statistics, program details, campus safety, graduation rates, available financial aid, and more. Education counselors can use this resource to help students explore and compare institutions based on various different criteria.

 

Resource Type: Information for financial aid

The FAFSA Toolkit, offered by the U.S. Department of Education, provides comprehensive information about the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Financial aid is a key part of the college admission process and the FAFSA Toolkit has multiple resources that can help you in this area. You will be able to access step-by-step guides, checklists, timelines, and worksheets that can be used to assist your students and their families. Additionally, you can use the toolkit to learn about policy or process changes in the system.

 

 

Resource Type: Podcast

Getting an insider’s point of view on the admissions process can give you a different but useful perspective. The “Inside the Yale Admissions Office” podcast offers a first-hand account of admissions officers from the Yale Office. They provide insight on the strategies used to review and select a diverse set of students from incredibly large volumes of applications. Their episodes dive into topics like college admissions lingo, application updates and the issue of AI use in college essays. College counselors can use such information about what top-tier institutions look for in applicants to guide their students effectively.



If you’d like to recommend a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, you may want to consider the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here. You can also reach out to us at contact@lumiere.education to know more, or to have a chat about possible collaborations!


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!

  

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: Lumiere Education logo


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