Much is written about the burdens of high school counselors and the advantages private counselors have. School counselors have large caseloads. And they deal with social and emotional issues as well as scheduling tasks.  Although some schools have counselors dedicated to college admissions, most do not. Private counselors, like me, appreciate the job school counselors do.  We want to work with them, not against them.  And yet, many feel threatened by us and defensive toward us. I have a friend who was a school counselor who used to hand out the business cards of the local private counselor to any student whom he thought could benefit. I provide my cards to school counselors who promptly shove them in their desk drawers.

We don’t compete with school counselors in the sense that they can lose money because of us. We, private counselors, compete with each other. Because of this fierce competition, we work weekends, holidays, and evenings. We visit colleges on our own time and on our own dime.  But because we are business owners, we can take Schedule C deductions that school employees can’t take. And high schools don’t budget for their counselors to visit colleges. So we do it, and school counselors generally don’t. How important are college visits for admissions counselors? Very. If all you do is look at the glossy brochures and scroll through the school websites, you never really get a sense of the atmosphere of the college and what sets it apart. The brochures make all schools look alike. And they’re not.

I usually try to pick an iconic landmark, get someone to snap a picture of me in front of it, then post a blurb along with the picture on our agency’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

This picture from the University of Virginia included this blurb: “When Thomas Jefferson, whose statue is pictured here, founded the University of Virginia, he had the iconic Rotunda (and Lawn) built to resemble the Roman Pantheon. It was a thumb in the eye to the Christian religion. Jefferson was a deist, and the Romans built the Pantheon as a temple honoring all their gods. Jefferson had become disillusioned with his alma mater, the College of William and Mary, for becoming too religious. Jefferson took the unusual step of building his campus around a library, not a chapel, signifying his support for secular education.” Be sure to visit Curtis Hier & Associates Facebook and Twitter pages to see more of these posts.