IN ADDITION TO OPERATING IMFIRST.ORG, THE CENTER FOR STUDENT OPPORTUNITY (CSO) PUBLISHES THE “I’M FIRST! GUIDE TO COLLEGE,” WHICH OFFERS ADVICE FOR THE FIRST-GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENT AND THE SUPPORTIVE PEOPLE IN THEIR LIVES LIKE PARENTS, TEACHERS AND COUNSELORS. AVAILABLE IN BOTH ENGLISH AND SPANISH, THE 2015 EDITION OF THIS GUIDEBOOK INCLUDES AN ARTICLE ENTITLED “HOW TO USE YOUR HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR” BY THE 2007 PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR COLLEGE ADMISSION, MARY LEE HOGANSON. A HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR HERSELF WITH MORE THAN 35 YEARS EXPERIENCE, HOGANSON INCLUDES IN HER ARTICLE THE FOLLOWING TOP 10 LIST OF ITEMS FOR STUDENTS TO COVER WITH THEIR OWN COUNSELORS WHEN PLANNING FOR COLLEGE:
1. Plan classes that will prepare you for college.
2. Review your academic record and suggest areas that need improvement.
3. Identify the questions you should be asking, like: Do I want to stay near home? Does the
college have my major? How important is size?
4. Get information about specific colleges and universities.
5. Identify opportunities like college fairs, weekend or summer programs on college
campuses (often free for first-generation or low-income students), internships or
community college classes open to high school students.
6. Register for college admission tests and get fee waivers if your family can’t afford to pay
7. Write a letter of recommendation to colleges or universities.
8. Complete and submit college applications carefully and on time and ask colleges to waive
9. Figure out how to pay for college.
10. Compare offers of admission and financial aid from all of your colleges.