Strong collaboration between high school counselors and admission counselors is a critical component of the college admissions process. The more these professionals can connect and communicate with each other, the better the chances that students will be exposed to higher education options that are the best fit for them.
Erica White, the school counselor who founded RepVisits.com and now serves as a Product Manager at Hobsons, knows first-hand how important making connections with admission counselors can be. Here, she explains how building relationships with those on the other side of the desk helped her students enroll in colleges where they would thrive and reach their educational goals.
As a school counselor, how did making connections with admission counselors help you on a day-to-day basis?
After nine years as a school counselor, I had established great relationships with the admission counselors who worked with my high school. I felt that I could call or email them at any point during the school year. During the fall, I would reach out to them so I could advise my students on a specific program or to clarify application requirements. As the year progressed, I would follow up on a student’s admission status or get advice for unique financial aid situations.
How did these relationships help your students find their best-fit college?
Developing these relationships helped me understand the latest admissions trends and determine which colleges would be an academic match for my students. Being able to identify reach, target, or safety options for my students ensured that my seniors had a well-rounded college list.
I also learned about each college's unique characteristics, which helped drive conversations with my students regarding fit. I could quickly identify which colleges had the characteristics that my students were seeking (i.e., specific majors, campus settings, diversity, financial aid, extracurricular options, on-campus support services, etc.).
My admission counselor connections and the information they provided helped me support my students with finding their best-fit college.
Can you share an example of a time when your admission counselor connections helped a specific student pursue higher education?
A few years ago, I had an extremely deserving student who came from a low-income family. She received admission to her best-fit college, but there was one challenge in her way. The financial aid package left a $4,000 gap and her mother couldn’t get approved for a loan. I worked with the connections I had in admissions and financial aid to increase the amount of her Stafford loan and to get her an extra $1,000 in scholarship money so that she could pursue her dreams.
Not only was she the first in her family to attend college, but she also graduated with her bachelor’s degree. To me, it is a story like this one that truly illustrates how “it takes a village” to ensure student success.
Why did you start RepVisits?
I started RepVisits to create a simpler way of connecting with admissions counselors across the country. I needed a way to minimize the back and forth correspondence while increasing the number of colleges visiting my high school. Today, RepVisits has more than 12,000 users at 1,600-plus high schools and more than 2,000 colleges and universities around the world.
Now that I’m with Hobsons, I am eager to use my experience as both a school counselor and the founder of RepVisits to improve the connection between high schools and college admissions offices. I’m particularly excited about integrating RepVisits within Naviance, and the launch of our new Hobsons Counselor Community that will help high schools and colleges connect and collaborate on helping students achieve their education and life goals.
To learn more about the Hobsons Counselor Community, download our webinar.