College Admissions Counselor Job Info

The role of a college admissions counselor can be complex. Counselors have to deal with inquiries and concerns of intending college applicants who may or may not have sufficient basic information to make decisions, or need guidance through highly technical requirements for degrees.

The work environment

College admissions counselors are much like "case managers." The role of admissions counselor has several functional roles. The content and quality of advice given is particularly important to students, and needs to be practical, accurate, and informative. The admissions counselor should also provide information that is appropriate to the student's intended academic goals.

Getting information

Pre admission interviews are held with applicants to assess their needs. The admissions counselor needs information from applicants to assess their academic situation and needs. They may also need to check specific pieces of information in complex cases, or where academic entry issues are unclear. This role includes: 

  1. Evaluating grades
  2. Entrance examinations
  3. References
  4. Data maintenance (basic record of interviews and related information)
  5. Evaluating specific admissions programs criteria run by the college for which the student may be eligible

Giving information

The admissions counselor explains options and issues to applicants, which can involve detailed descriptions of:

  1. Streams (categories of studies)
  2. Specific courses
  3. Entry requirements
  4. Electives and related issues
  5. Giving basic How To information regarding applications
  6. Explaining fees, loans, and other payment issues
  7. Advising regarding recognition of existing entry qualifications

Discussing individual requirements for academic goals

The admissions counselor explains the issues in relation to the student's case.  It requires a thorough knowledge of the academic paths and getting a clear idea of the applicant's goals. This can be a very difficult process. The professional requirements of some degrees are quite complicated, and may take up to ten years to complete. It's essential that applicants are given thorough, clear, advice regarding their situations. Some counselors specialize in specific academic areas for this reason.

Colleges provide useful standardized information about college entry requirements, degrees, and postgraduate studies. This information, however, isn't always clear to students as it applies to their own cases. Typically a lot of counselor's time is spent clarifying how the information applies to the student's needs and explaining available options.

Wages and Hours

The average salary is $35 to 40,000 per year. The counselor will work during standard business hours, with some extra work in peak admission season.

The career environment

The admission counselor's role is essentially administrative, and the career path is based on academic administrative organizational structures. The natural career path of the admissions counselor is straightforward:

  • Admissions counselor
  • Senior or specialist admissions counselor
  • Management roles in academic admissions
  • Directorship of admissions

The top of the profession relates more to which colleges are involved in career progression. The upper strata of US colleges are both complex and competitive career jobs, and their career prestige is high at senior levels.