What Is College Access Counselor?

In today’s competitive and cutthroat environment, it has become the norm for students to harbor guilt for pursuing their interests because of societal pressure and peer expectations when it comes to choosing an “acceptable profession”. The use of career counseling as a tool can help students realize their full potential and find employment that fits their natural interests. The beginning of a student’s degree program is the ideal time to introduce them to the concept of career counseling.

Some students may be able to decide what they want with absolute certainty. However, when choosing a career path, the majority of students find it difficult to get started and long for direction. These students typically wait until they are enrolled in college before trying on careers, and it is uncommon for them to switch majors twice or three times. However, with tuition costs on the rise, parents and students can no longer afford to lose thousands of dollars on uncertainty. 

College counselors can save families money by encouraging students to assess their career options while still in high school and preventing the costly consequences of changing course midstream.

What is the meaning of college counselor? 

Professionals trained to assist students in navigating their college and career pathways often include school counselors, college advisors, trained mentors, career advisors, and other specialists.

A college counselor assists students in identifying and pursuing their career goals. Students’ priorities for their college experience are forced into consideration by college access counselors. They aid students in their research into the possibilities of a college degree. Their responsibility is to ensure that all requirements for student applications are complete. They even send transcripts and recommendation letters to help students find jobs.

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The career outlook for college access professional development

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a “faster than average” growth rate of 8% for college counselor jobs between the years 2018 and 2028. So, if the question, “Is college counselor a good career path?” comes to mind. It should occur to you that you might want to consider the growth rate. 

An hourly rate of $22.11 is what the average college counselor makes, or $45,991 annually. The average salary for a college counselor is $33,000 to $62,000 per year, which means that the highest-paid counselors make $26,000 more than the lowest-paid.

Some people offer psychotherapy to students in the hopes of assisting them in overcoming a variety of mental health problems and thriving both on and off campus. Others might be employed by the college’s career counseling office, where they can assist students in selecting the best major for them in college and subsequently the best career paths for the rest of their lives. A psychology bachelor’s degree is a great place to start if you want to become any kind of college counselor. A master’s degree is required to work on a college campus after that. State licensing is required for those who pursue a career in psychotherapy, but career college counselors are exempt from this requirement.

College or university settings are where college counselors can find employment. Typically, they will see students for one-on-one counseling sessions during regular business hours at the health center of their institution. For students who are going through a similar struggle, they might also organize group counseling sessions. By using a video chat platform, college counselors can also work remotely. This is more likely as online education grows and students’ busy schedules get busier. 

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Additionally, counselors may choose to leave their college or university and start their private practice. In this instance, they are free to consult with clients in any way they see fit.

Responsibilities of a college access counselor 

If you’ve been wondering how to become a college counselor, the following is to mention a few of the responsibilities of a college access counselor.

  • Help with the speech of financial aid, scholarships, and grants. 
  • Carries out the high school planning guide in conjunction with a meeting with the guidance counselor at the high school.
  • Responsible for counseling students one-on-one, in groups, or with their guardians to get them ready to enter and stay in the best post-secondary programs possible.
  • Assist families and students with the annual financial aid application. 
  •  Plan college visits and tours for groups or individuals.
  • Update knowledge and database systems with all special and difficult-to-find financial aid.
  • Keep track of every student’s post-secondary enrollment. 
  • To ensure that every student succeeds, keep in touch with students and post-secondary institutions. 

What are the skills and qualifications required for a college access counselor?

  • A Bachelor’s degree is required. 
  • 3 years of experience counseling students in low-socioeconomic environments or a college counseling certificate or degree are preferred. 
  • A Word, Excel, and PowerPoint expert.
  • Experience working with underprivileged groups, including undocumented students/families, young men of color, students from low-income backgrounds, etc.
  • Experience building trusting relationships with students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills; the ability to listen and write clearly and analytically;
  • Willingness to be “on duty” when necessary.
  • Understanding of racial inequity, including how it arises within organizations; the capacity to identify the possibility of racial disparities and suggest solutions that advance racial equity; a commitment to continuously developing in this area.
  • Showcase exemplary teamwork while upholding a high standard of pride, openness, and honesty in all facets of your work, and take ownership of your actions and decisions.
  • Shows professionalism when dealing with difficult situations and does not let feelings get in the way of working or interacting with others.
  • Possessing a proactive attitude, being able to foresee potential problem areas, and taking preventative measures to resolve them.

College access counselor salary and career options   

1.  School counselor: $553,87

School counselors offer support to students from primary education to college. They serve as both important resources for students’ academic progress and advocates for their well-being. They listen to students’ worries as a school counselor. To better the lives of their students, both inside and outside of the classroom, school counselors undertake a variety of duties.

These professionals are trained to recognize and report potential cases of neglect or abuse because they are in a position to work closely with students.

2. Mental health Case manager: $79,750

As a case manager for mental health, you are in charge of assisting your patients in accessing different types of recovery services, including enrollment in rehabilitation programs, drug and alcohol treatment centers, and other medical facilities. You also act as an advocate for your clients, helping them to create recovery plans that address their particular needs and objectives, such as harm reduction and employment.

3. College admission consultant: $68,996

College admission consultants offer advice on everything from choosing high school courses to preparing for standardized tests. To give students the best chance of being accepted into the schools of their choice, they can also help with the college application process.

4. Career counselor: $47,333

When people are unsure about decisions related to their jobs, career counselors offer advice. Career counselors can assist high school students in identifying their interests and selecting a college or program of study. They also assist recent college graduates in identifying the jobs for which they are qualified and determining whether further education is necessary for them to succeed in their chosen field.

Though they frequently work with students, career counselors may also help workers who want to switch to a different line of work. They offer their clients information about job requirements, salaries, required skills, and more because they have in-depth knowledge of multiple career industries. 

5. Academic counselor: $47,454

A counselor who works at a postsecondary institution and gives students advice on their education and careers is known as an academic counselor. They help students choose courses, organize their schedules, and decide which teaching method is most effective for each student.

6. Guidance counselor: $53,529

The guidance counselor will offer support to students in the areas of academic success, personal or social growth, and career exploration so that each student can pinpoint their objectives, talents, and interests as they develop into well-adjusted, responsible adults.

7. Independent college counselor: $61,063

An expert with extensive knowledge of colleges and college admissions is an independent college counselor. Parents or guardians of high school students employ them. Like an admissions counselor employed by a college, the task will be to assist these young students in finding the best colleges and programs and navigating the college application process.

8. Director of admissions: $88,158 

Typically, a director of admissions works for a college or university. They are in charge of choosing which students will be offered acceptance and deciding how many students the school will accept into various programs each year after reviewing student applications. 

They would evaluate new applicants’ applications and academic records as a director of admissions to decide whether they meet the criteria for admission. You would be in charge of directing the admissions procedure at its full length.

9. Therapist: $51,468

College is a time of significant change, with different difficulties and obligations than those faced by students in high school. Daily stressors and academic demands faced by college students have the potential to worsen mental health conditions if ignored. The students can get assistance from a therapist in situations like this. Colleges often employ therapists to assist struggling students who require help from a mental health expert.

10. Juvenile justice counselor: $75,102

In terms of helping troubled youth, a juvenile justice counselor is similar to a mental health counselor. They assist young people in overcoming any social or mental health problems they may be having while creating success-oriented plans for them. They work with minors who have been convicted of crimes and are under the age of 18.


A college access counselor does more than just assist with college application preparation. A good counselor will also provide you with uplifting words of encouragement, informed direction, and beneficial advice so you can get the most out of your high school experience. 

A college admissions counselor can walk with you as you start your college admissions journey in addition to having a thorough understanding of the application process.

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