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What does one put in a counselor letter?

Halftime Hope

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Did you do a gc letter for her college applications?


I got samples from several people here and elsewhere, and cobbled together one for my dd. Then I had several people read it (including dd herself since it was about her and for her benefit). I really feel like the final product is a true representative of who she is.


I discussed our reasons for hs'ing, her major strengths and why I felt she would be a good fit for XYZ college.


I should add I started a draft in the summer, which got totally redone in the last fewmonths. :glare:

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I would say that the counselor letter is a place to show your child's strengths (and a token weakness to show balance). It is also the place to discuss any issues that may not have been addressed elsewhere. For example, if your child was ill or if there was a family crisis that resulted in a poor semester, this would be a place to discuss it.


I'd be happy to send you (or anyone else who wishes it) a copy of my counselor letter. Simply send me a personal message with your email address.




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I'll do the same. Kareni's CL was quite helpful in crafting my DS' CL too. The other item she suggested I look at was a list of character traits and identify a few that really showcased my DS's strengths. Here's one such list


although I believe the one Kareni provided was easier to work with since an explanation was also provided.



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My younger son is in public school. His guidance counselor asked us to fill out the following information forms so she can write letters for college admissions/scholarships. This may provide a clue as to what she writes!


Here is what she asked for:

Self-Assessment Form

Part B


Parent/Guardian Name:

Son’s/Daughter’s Name:


As your son’s/daughter’s counselor, I want to write a most positive summary letter for him/her. This letter will accompany each transcript packet sent to colleges, scholarships, and other programs. For me to write this, I must have the two parts of the Self-Assessment form.

Self-Assessment Form: Part A, which is filled out by your son/daughter.

Self-Assessment Form: Part B, which is filled out by a parent/guardian.


In an effort to provide the most thorough and accurate summary letter for your son/daughter, I need your input on Part B as the parent/guardian. Please respond to the following questions and either mail or email back to me.


• Describe your son’s/daughter’s personality and uniqueness.

• Please share some anecdotal experience(s) in your son’s/daughter’s life that are examples of his/her exceptional ability to learn or his/her love of learning.

• What can you tell us about your son/daughter that we should convey to college representatives to let them know how very special your child is?


• Has your son/daughter had any adversity in life that you may want to explain?


Here are the questions on Part A that my son filled out.


Part A



Name you go by:

Home High School:

Home Town:


Please respond thoughtfully and thoroughly to these questions. Your comments will be essential to your counselor writing a strong, effective summary letter. This letter will be sent to all colleges to which you apply and to some summer opportunities and scholarships. Without this document being completed and returned, a summary letter will not be written for you.


• Describe your family’s history: members and relationships to you; where your family has lived; parent/guardian education and employment; etc.

• Describe your home school and community.

• What 3-5 words best describe your character? Give specific examples of why each word is applicable to you and how your descriptions make you unique.

• Describe at least two extra-curricular activities such as, but not limited to, research, music, sports, leadership experiences, or community service that have had the most impact on you. Describe the ways in which you grew from this.

• Describe two or more significant academic experiences. This may have been in or outside of school. BE SPECIFIC.

• Give and explain an example of how you have taken initiative.

• What else do you want to make sure college admissions officers know about you? Are there any extenuating circumstances that you would like us to share with them? Be specific.

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