The Right Guidance for College and Career Success: Maximizing Your Educational Investment

Parents, in particular, may wonder what the advantages are to hiring an independent counselor rather than simply using their child’s school counselor. The information below helps to differentiate the two different roles. We believe the investment in a ForwarDirections independent counselor helps students and their families by providing specific and targeted guidance and ultimately saving them both time and money.


Most students have a counselor at school. School counselors are awesome and important in providing general college application guidance. BUT, college admissions counseling is not necessarily their specialty and definitely not their only responsibility. In addition, school counselors carry huge caseloads of students. In fact, the national student-to-school counselor ratio is approximately 500 students to 1 counselor!


In contrast, ForwarDirections counselors specialize in college and career counseling and are able to focus on the unique needs of your child. And of course, we work with a much smaller number of students than school counselors do.


Follow the links provided to find out more about

School CounselorForwarDirections Counselors
Getting to Know the Student

  • Provides guidance to students on how to be successful in high school

Getting to Know the Student

  • Gets to know each student as an individual

  • Assesses student interests

  • Seeks parental input

Clarifying a Career Path

  • Provides year-to-year course selection based on student interests, college desires, and future career

  • Guides students towards graduation from high school

Clarifying a Career Path

  • Assists student to design a customized career path

  • Makes recommendations regarding high school coursework

  • Guides student in selecting a college major(s)

College Selection

  • Provides ideas about how to select a college

  • Recommends college visitations

  • May host college days on campus

College Selection

  • Explores and discusses college options (e.g., public vs private; in state vs out of state; large vs small; etc.)

  • Guides the student in the college selection process

  • Helps decide how many colleges to which the student should apply

  • Provides guidance about college visitations

College Applications

  • Provides ideas about how to complete the college admissions application

  • Provides the school transcript

  • Provides letters of recommendation
College Applications

  • Helps students to craft personal essays for each college application

  • Suggests ways to improve the essay prior to submission

  • Provides specific guidance in how to complete the college application

  • Advises students about who and how to ask for letters of recommendation

  • Helps students decide which letters of recommendation are most useful

  • Prepares students for in one-on-one college interviews

Financial Aid / Scholarships

  • Provides lists of local and pertinent scholarships

Financial Aid / Scholarships

  • Works with students and parents to develop financial literacy when it comes to paying for college

  • Helps identify colleges that are a financial fit

  • Provides guidance to fill out the FAFSA and CSS Profile

  • Offers specific strategies to identify scholarship opportunities

  • Provides guidance in completion of scholarship applications

College Acceptance Process

  • Helps students identify which college offer is best, including financial aid

  • Guides students through how best to accept and reject a college offer

  • Helps students make personal connections within the university

  • Explains about when and how to register for classes

  • Provides follow-through with items like college housing

Summer Before College

  • Discusses importance of attending orientation

  • Helps prepare students about how to deal with college living situations (e.g., dealing with roommates)

  • Identifies what to pack for college

  • Makes preparations for move-in day

  • Talks about how to be successful and confident on day 1 of college

First Year of College

  • Ongoing support is offered to ensure success during the first year of college