What Is The Difference Between An Academic Advisor and An Admissions Counselor?

Academic advisors and admissions counselors both guide and provide advice to students throughout their academic journey. Academic advisor and admissions counselors mainly work within a post-secondary education setting, however, academic advisors can work with high school students. What are the various differences between academic advisors and admissions counselors?

Academic advisors and admissions counselors play a vital role in the life of high school and college students. They are integral in helping students decide on matters affecting their academic life. However, they are unique in their own ways especially when it comes to the level of students they deal with and the tasks they do.

For starters, academic advisors and admissions counselors both work with college students but academic advisors may also be employed by private and public high schools across the country. This is because academic advisors are tasked with the very crucial responsibility of guiding high school students on planning the subjects they can take to prepare them for the program they intend to study in college. When working with high school students, one of their responsibilities is to help the latter determine their fields of interest so that they can choose the right kind of degree programs when they enroll in college, technical school or university. In addition to giving academic advice, they also help high school students prepare for their SATs or ACT exams.

When working in the postsecondary setting, academic advisors help students—especially those attending their first year in college—plan their class schedules so that they will be able to comply with the requirements of their major and engage in other school-related activities or do part-time work at the same time. They have a very thorough understanding and knowledge of the school’s programs and its demands and are able to compare this with the student’s needs, weaknesses and academic interests and help them craft a plan that would allow the student to attain his or her goals.

Students turn to academic advisors when they are having difficulty in their studies. They provide guidance on how they can navigate the rough moments in their academic life. They may give them tips on how to manage their schedules, guide them in determining their priorities and inspire them to keep going.

Admissions counselors, on the other hand, work primarily in the postsecondary school setting. They are the professionals responsible for representing the university or college they work for to prospective enrollees. There are many educational institutions vying for enrollees and schools need admissions counselors to persuade potential students to choose their school. They go on high school visits, meet with prospective students and prepare promotional materials to distribute to students and parents alike.

Admissions counselors are very knowledgeable about the applications and admissions process of their school. They review applications from students, guide them on the financial aid and scholarship programs and assist them so they can comply with the enrollment requirements of their course. If the parents and students have questions about their application, they endeavor to answer these completely. Moreover, admissions counselors seek to develop good working relationships with students and parents because they are the school’s first point of contact for those who are new to the educational institution.

Academic advisors and admissions counselors assist students in different capacities. They are the school’s representatives to the parents and students, helping them feel welcome in their new academic environment. As such, these are the careers for those who love to work in the field of higher education and genuinely enjoy guiding students throughout their academic journey.

Career Spotlight: Admissions Counselor

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