College Counselor (Meaning, Duration, Benefits, Roles, Schools, Salary)7 min read

Every student will need a college counselor when evaluating and applying to colleges. A college counselor assists students in their college search.

Each university has an advisory service where students can make appointments to discuss problems in a confidential and supportive environment with a certified college counselor.

This article will explain who a college counselor is, the benefits of being one, and the duration to get a college counseling degree.

Who is a College Counselor?

A college counselor is an expert who works in elementary, middle, and high schools to proffer academic, career, social-emotional advice, and college access (checking for affordability and available admissions) to all students through a college counseling program.

Every high school likely has at least one internal college counselor to assist students in finding colleges and applying.

College counselors comprise a few various professions, which are mental health counselors (licensed expert counselors), psychologists, and social workers. 

What does College Counseling entail?

Counseling is a form of talk treatment that focuses on assisting students better understand their thoughts and feelings.

This is an opportunity for them to talk about anything that worries them and to examine their thoughts and feelings.

Students can get in touch with college counselors when they feel sad, unhappy, lonely or when they feel they have lost their sense of purpose or direction.

They can also talk about their depression and anxiety, stress from school, exams or work, bullying or abuse, grief, family or relationship problems, sexuality or gender, self-harm, suicidal thoughts, etc.

Regardless of what is troubling students, college counselors can help them understand themselves and develop effective coping skills.

Often, college counselors clearly explain the privacy policy to the student on their first visit. Moreover, it is necessary for teenagers to feel safe to trust the college counselor to help them with their issues.

Privacy also helps when teenagers decide to change their behavior or be truthful about some of the toughest feelings in life, such as sadness, anxiety, fear, shame, or anger.

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How long does it take to become a College Counselor?

The first step towards becoming a college counselor is to earn a four-year bachelor’s degree. Acquiring a bachelor’s in education, psychology, or sociology prepares applicants for higher studies school work.

It is also fine if the candidate has already earned a bachelor’s degree in another discipline. The master’s degree most sought after is the Master of Education in Counseling, which lasts two to three years.

This degree provides a blend of learning and practical experience. After the master’s degree, two years of hands-on experience is often required for a license from the state.

To acquire this license in any field, individuals must finish a graduate and postgraduate internship experience.

Some states might request a teaching diploma. The guidelines to follow to get a license and certificate for psychologists differ from state to state.

NB: Always check the guidelines for the area you plan to study in. Moreover, contact the American School Counselors Association for information on requirements.

Most counseling graduate programs and states might request the passing of the National Counselor Examination External link (NCE), the National Clinical Mental Health Counseling External link (NCMHCE), and other types of exams.

Benefits of becoming a College Counselor

Many college counselors benefit from happiness when they offer personal attention to a student, conduct a small group meeting and evaluate the risk for the student.

They help students address their current concerns and encourage an increase in their well-being.

It is a great opportunity for college counselors as they can affect the lives of adolescents on the threshold of adulthood who are faced with a myriad of options. 

Roles of a College Counselor

Both children and teenagers need advice and help to deal with academic, personal, parental, and social pressures.

Supporting them to reach their prospects must be the ultimate goal of a college counselor. To achieve this feat, college counselors ought to be warm-hearted, flexible, adaptable, and patient.

College counselors help students at every stage, right from basic school to college. They become advisors for the sake of the students’ well-being and in building the academic strength of the student.

College counselors are required to listen to students’ problems first. This is because not everyone has the same home or social life, and they could be the only ones to fulfill that need at a particular point in time.

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They can assist students with bullying, disabilities, low self-esteem, poor academic performance, and relationship problems.

Whenever it is needed, they could direct students to a psychologist or mental health counselor for more assessments.

Furthermore, college counselors examine students’ skills, interests, and characters to assist them to create practical academic and professional goals.

They succeed in doing this by carrying out proficiency tests and developing possible paths to success. Most importantly, they direct a student’s high school’s procedures to:

  • Receive letters of recommendation from instructors.
  • Fill in the advisor’s letter of recommendation.
  • Submit official transcripts to colleges.
  • Choose extracurricular activities.
  • Search for colleges and outline their college list.
  • Answer their FAFSA questions.
  • Find and apply for regional scholarships.
  • Could you fill out and submit their applications?

Top schools to Study College Counseling

East Carolina University:

East Carolina University offers a Master of Science in Rehabilitation and Career Counseling. The program lasts two years (full-time study).

The program also requires 62 Credits, and the student is expected to take part in personal counseling and practicals. The admission requirements are:

  • Online graduate application and fee.
  • Official transcripts.
  • Admission test scores.
  • Written statement of purpose.
  • Letters of recommendation.

Edinboro University:

Edinboro University offers a Master of Arts for a College Counselor. The program takes two to three years, depending on enrollment status. The program also requires 60-63 credits.

The student must successfully pass a comprehensive exam. A 12-credit internship with 600 hours of in-house experience is important. The admission requirements are:

  • Online graduate application and fee.
  • Official transcripts from accredited institutions.
  • Three letters of reference and contact information.
  • Written sample of up to 500 words.

Indiana Wesleyan University:

Indiana Wesleyan University Indiana Wesleyan University offers a Master of Arts in College Counseling. The program takes two and a half to 5 years. The program requires 48 credits.

The admission requirements are:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university
  • Official transcripts
  • An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0
  • 6 credit hours in Psychology
  • Three credit hours must be in abnormal Psychology (Developmental Psychology for Student Development Counseling and Administration)
  • 6 credit hours in Bible courses
  • GRE Score with a minimum 146 on verbal
  • Autobiography
  • Three recommendations

North Carolina State University:

North Carolina State University offers a Master of Education in College Counseling. The program lasts three years.

The program requires 60 credits and an internship. The admission requirements are:

  • Official transcripts confirming the bachelor’s degree from any recognized institution
  • Online and department application with fee
  • Resume
  • GRE or MAT scores
  • TOEFL for International Students
  • Three academic recommendations
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Who is an Independent College Counselor?

Despite the numerous appointments students get with their college counselor, some parents may still choose to employ an independent college counselor to direct them through the admissions process.

Academics, practical access, campus culture, life quality, financial assistance, and ROI are among the criteria used by an independent college counselor to help students find the greatest match school (ROI).

They also filter the list of schools and identify the ones students should focus on, creating a unique admission strategy for each institution.

They show their students the best way to submit their applications to make them stand out from the crowd.

Independent college counselors help students reduce stress by helping them choose appropriate examinations and courses, as well as admissions and financial aid options.

Hence, independent counselors devote the majority of their time to college counseling and are inclined to work with a lesser number of students.

How are College Counselors paid?

College counselors have responsibilities that are universal. Conversely, college counseling includes academic and admissions work, among other duties.

The College Counselors are paid by the colleges that use their services.


College counselors are saddled with various responsibilities that are relevant to any college. Conversely, college counseling includes admissions work or even academic counseling as it also involves many other responsibilities.

It is worth noting that college counselors are priceless resources to any school.

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