The college application process is difficult enough when students use all of the resources available to them.  Unfortunately, many students fail to take full advantage of one of their best resources – their college advisor.   While college advisors have become increasingly busy, as high schools have slashed budgets and increased the numbers of students for which they are responsible, they still can prove to be a wealth of knowledge when it comes to getting into college.  The key for high school students is to find a way to develop a good relationship with their college advisors early on in their high school careers to ensure that they can get the most out of this relationship.  Here are some tips to help make this possible:

Find your way to your college advisor’s office early- Don’t wait until you need to start filling out college applications to finally meet your college advisor.  It is never too early to introduce yourself to your advisor.  The more you can do to develop a good relationship with your college advisor, the better he or she will be able to guide you in the direction you need to go when the time comes; and, the more passionately he or she will help make a compelling case for acceptance to your prospective school.  Many college advisors have hundreds of students that they are responsible for on a yearly basis.  It is up to you to differentiate yourself from everyone else by actually fostering a relationship with your advisor.

Keep your advisor up to date on your accomplishments- College advisors, like teachers, want to cheer on the accomplishments of their students.  By keeping your advisor informed about what is going on both inside and outside of the classroom, you can keep them involved and allow them the opportunity to make suggestions on things you can do to improve your chances of being successful when it comes time to apply to college.  Advisors can also provide students with vital admissions data about prospective schools that can help clarify where you need to focus your efforts to improve your chances of getting into that school.

Be ready with specific questions when you go to meet with your college advisor- Like teachers and other high school administrators, college advisors have an enormous amount on their plates these days.  The more time you can spend preparing for your meeting with your advisor, the more focused you can be when it comes time to sit down to meet with them.  By asking specific questions and being proactive in controlling the direction of your meeting, you can ensure that you get all of your questions answered and effectively utilize your college advisor.    Taking time to research the schools you are interested in before you meet with your advisor can help ensure that you don’t leave anything out when it comes to applying to that school.

Like any relationship that you develop in high school, you are destined to get out of it what you put into it.  While students often develop close relationships with teachers and coaches, they seldom put the same time into fostering a good relationship with their college advisor; yet, they depend on them to help guide them through one of the most important decisions of their lives.  Be sure to give your advisor all the information he or she needs to guide you in the right direction!