Five Benefits of Having a College Mentor

By Huntington Learning Center

All students need encouragement when it comes time to start researching colleges and thinking about the future. While you will be one of your student’s advocates during this important time, there is also value in having a mentor. This individual can help your student through a pivotal period in their life and offer advice, guidance and support.  

Here are some of the other benefits of a college mentor:  

  1. They will share their knowledge. A college mentor shares their experiences and insights in a way that teaches your student things they didn’t know before. For example, if your student has an interest in the STEM disciplines, it might be worthwhile for them to befriend a young professional or science or math teacher. That person can give insight into what the college path might look like, various careers your student could consider and more. 
  2. They can help your student keep focused on what’s really important. High school is very busy and stressful at times. A mentor can help your student rank priorities and keep things in perspective. They might remind your student that there are always stumbling blocks in life and that the path toward college does have ups and downs. A good mentor will help your student stay strong and positive when things become hard. 
  3. The right mentor relationship is your student’s first professional contact. It’s early for your student to be thinking about things like developing their professional network, but your teen’s college mentor could be someone they stay in touch with throughout their young adulthood. Your student can look to this person for advice on selecting a major and deciding what career path to follow. They could even introduce your student to others who will help them as they navigate the higher education decision.
  4. Mentors are great sounding boards. This is probably one of the biggest benefits of having a mentor: your student has someone to turn to with questions and for advice. Sometimes, it’s nice for children to have someone aside from Mom and Dad to talk to about the daunting college journey and all that comes along with it. A mentor can help your student weigh different options and make difficult decisions. 
  5. With college on the horizon, a mentor can guide your student through the milestones. Preparing to go to college is quite involved and can be overwhelming. A mentor’s advice and support can alleviate some stress for your student as they move through the process. From studying for and taking the SAT/ACT to requesting letters of recommendation to researching and narrowing down colleges to choosing extracurriculars and activities that boost the college resume, the admissions process has a lot to it. A mentor would only help!  

While the college journey is exciting, it puts a lot of pressure on students. Your student might struggle to handle this entirely on their own. A mentor can help them during this important period of development.  

Ask the high school guidance counselor about any mentorship programs for students at your school. Teachers can also offer suggestions on where to look for such a program, and you can think about friends or colleagues who might be a good potential match as a mentor. The key is for your student to find someone who can support and guide them as they move toward selecting a college and turning the page to a totally new life chapter.