Counseling Resources on Campus

Recently, colleges have become more aware of the increase in mental and physical health issues among their students and have drastically improved the services and resources available to them. With nearly one third of all students having a diagnosable mental health issue at some point during their freshman year, these resources are invaluable. However, despite the plethora of resources available to them, at least 40% of the students experiencing mental health issues are not getting the help the need. The main problem is not the lack of resources, but rather the student not taking the initiative to seek them out.

One thing students should do early is inform themselves on the campus resources available to them while on tour and considering which schools to add to their list. Once accepted, students should make it a point to get even more familiar with the mental and academic counseling options their college provides - many offer both right on campus. In fact, many schools actually have trained mental health professionals and psychologists on staff and they usually have walk-in hours as well as appointments. From support groups to tutoring or private counseling sessions, many forms of help are available.

Students need to understand they can get counseling for nearly any issue ranging from sinking grades, eating disorders, test anxiety, and sleeplessness to roommate problems, depression, and alcohol and drugs. No issue is too small and it is better to seek help before the problem develops further and continues to disrupt life. The common rule of thumb is if it has been a disturbance for more than two weeks, seek help. Students should never hesitate to give either the academic or mental health counseling offices a call and set up an appointment or just walk in to discuss their options.

In cases of emergency or after-hours, students can call campus emergency numbers, local community agencies, 911, or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and even text the Crisis Text Line for help. They should make a list of these important resources to have on hand.

Whether it is an academic advisor, career counselor, tutor, or roommate, students should also find someone they are comfortable speaking with and not be ashamed of discussing their issues. While these people may not be the proper ones to help, it is always better to talk to someone about problems than to keep them to yourself. At the very least, this person can advise them to seek help where appropriate or get them help when they are concerned.

If students have mental health issues before entering college, it is particularly important that they establish a plan and know where to go when they will need help. It may even be worth considering establishing a relationship with a mental health professional on campus or locally before the stress of freshman year begins.

Whether or not students think they will need some sort of counseling, they should learn about their options and understand that there is no shame in seeking help. Adapting to college life and adulthood is challenging and at one point or another, we could all use some help.

As parents and educators, teaching students to self advocate and take advantage of the resources available to them is an important part of preparing them for college and beyond. We need to make sure our students are comfortable with asking for help when needed and that they know where to go for that help.


For more information visit:

https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Fact-Sheet-Library

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/life-campus


https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

https://www.crisistextline.org


Admissions Decisions

Admissions Decisions

As the admissions decisions are rolling in, students could be faced with several different responses. It is important that you weigh your options and make a decision you are happy with. While you may be disappointed with some of the responses you receive, remember that there is a college for you! This is why you created a 'list you love' to start with.

What Comes Next?

What Comes Next?

After applications are submitted and the giant feeling of relief has subsided, most students begin to wonder what to do next. Each school has their own timeline for when they will inform applicants of their admissions decision. In general, schools which have rolling admissions take 2-3 weeks, schools with Nov. 1 EA will inform you between mid December and end of January, and schools with RD in January will inform you by end of February or March. So what do you while you wait?

Article on the FAFSA and CSS Profile

Article on the FAFSA and CSS Profile

As college application season is fully underway, it is important to learn about the primary financial aid applications and types of aid your student could receive. The two most common applications used by colleges across the US are the FAFSA and CSS PROFILE, and they need to be filed prior to each year the student plans on attending college.

All About the FAFSA

All About the FAFSA

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the standard form used by all schools to determine the amount of federal aid a student will receive. The application opens on October 1 each year and closes the following June 30. The FAFSA calculates the EFC (Expected Family Contribution), what the government considers a reasonable amount the family should be able to contribute to the student's educational costs whether or not a parent wants to contribute to their child's education.

How to Choose Your High School Courses

How to Choose Your High School Courses

When deciding between the courses offered by your high school, you will likely have many questions about what is best. Making better decisions earlier along the high school pathway can lead to a more balanced, stronger transcript for applying to college. Here are 4 guidelines to keep in mind when choosing high school courses. While there may not always be a clear path, particularly during the earlier years, following these guidelines will certainly help.

Demonstrated Interest

A term which is somewhat unknown to many new to the college search and application process has been gaining a lot more attention recently. ‘Demonstrated Interest’ is real and very much alive! Although one can not be certain how much weight it has in the admission decision, it is not something to be brushed aside.

Scholarmatch

Scholarmatch

Last Sunday, I took a crazy red-eye flight home from what was a whirlwind of a trip to San Francisco. I almost spent more time traveling than I did in the actual city, but I used my time well! The purpose of my trip was to attend the Scholarmatch Coach Convening, a day of training and networking for all college coaches volunteering with them this year. It is my first year working with Scholarmatch and I am very excited about their mission.