Do You Need To Hire An Outside College Counselor? The truth is, it depends.
Sometimes you do and sometimes you do not.
This solely depends on how much time and energy you want to put into the process.
Given the fact that you are a dancer with a special talent, your time is limited.
This means that you need to start earlier in the process than many others start. Role Call Prep recommends that you work backward from your application deadline.
Application Deadline: January 1
Every piece of paper needs to be done by the previous December 1 to allow one month for review.
Ask your teachers (and dance instructor) for a written recommendation in September of your senior year.
If a test is required: Take the test at the end of your Junior year, and then again at the beginning of your Senior year.
Essay written: Junior/Senior summer completed - you might need to revise it during the first semester, but generally you need to have it written when you start your senior year.
All final college choices should be completed at the end of your junior year, or (at the latest) in the beginning of your senior year. This does not mean that you can’t change your mind, but you should have very specific colleges that you have investigated to feel certain you would be happy to go there, if admitted. This is super important. If, for example, you are applying to 10 schools, all 10 of those schools should be equally desirable. If you only get admitted to one, that’s still great! This is particularly important if those 10 are competitive schools!
During your junior year, you need to investigate options and decide if you want to major in Dance, a Dance related field, or double major in Dance and another field. You need to also consider what type of degree you would like: BA, BFA, if the colleges offer them, and do you want to major or minor in Dance?
Given all of these considerations, will you be able to make these decisions in a timely manner, or do you need some help in your decision making?
Perhaps you only need a little encouragement?
Outside counselors are available on an hourly basis, so be sure to ask them.
If you feel overwhelmed, then perhaps you need to consider hiring a full-time consultant to help in this process.
Always be aware, however, that you WILL need to do some of the work! Writing your essay, for example, is your chance to show colleges and universities your commitment to your education. Use this opportunity to do just that! Don’t depend on the counselor to do it for you.
External help is good if you need someone to help you organize your time and paperwork, to bounce ideas off of and to get advice. But YOU still need to do the personal decision making that is needed in the process.
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Photo Credit: Keenan Constance
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