Mentorships benefit high school students applying for college in many ways, both as a mentor and a mentee. The NSHSS membership thrives on mentorship between members and alumni to build community and provide networking opportunities.
Community colleges, universities, and trade schools all have mentorship programs to provide support to high school students. There are many nonprofit organizations, trade organizations, and corporations offering mentorship programs as well. NSHSS leadership programs open doors for mentorship-style opportunites at both the high school and collegiate levels.
Mentorships have many benefits, and college admissions are just one area in which this networking can be helpful. Here are the 4 main benefits of mentorships for college admissions.
1. Be prepared for the college admissions process.
Collegiate mentors help high school students prepare for and tackle the admissions process. This includes assistance with preparing for entrance exams, writing application essays, and rehearsing for admissions interviews.
The best public colleges and trade schools offer mentorship programs in conjunction with area high schools. The NSHSS Collegiate Council works to increase the accessibility of mentorship programs by encouraging NSHSS alumni in college to support high school students.
The best mentorships for students are those that come directly from the faculty at their high school. Faculty mentorships are not only important for gaining knowledge and skill in a chosen field but also because they provide excellent letters of recommendation for college admission.
2. Create a network and improve interpersonal skills.
The best mentorships for college admissions can be found within the student body of your chosen college. These mentors give high school students a unique insight into the courses and activities that particular institution considers most important. A mentor in your chosen field of study also builds networks and improves the chance of college admission.
More than this, who you know makes a difference in college admissions, particularly with the top universities in the United States. Top universities expect to see letters of recommendation from teachers and those with knowledge of your commitment and aptitude toward your major. Getting these letters of recommendation from college alumni could give you the edge you need to win over stiff competition.
One of the most important benefits of NSHSS membership is the NSHSS Fellows Program. NSHSS Fellows are alumni that continue to work with high school and college students to mentor them in preparation for a successful career in their field.
Mentorship also helps you make the most of those networks. Being able to communicate and work with others is an important life skill that serves you well socially, academically, and professionally. Mentorships in the form of role models and allies can help minorities and other oppressed individuals better communicate and assert themselves. This builds confidence that brings better outcomes in college admissions interviews.
3. Show civic responsibility by mentoring others.
There are plenty of opportunities for high school students to participate in a student mentorship program, and these look great on a college admissions application. Nonprofit organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters offer opportunities to mentor children facing adversity or inequality in your community.
High school NSHSS members can also mentor peers through the NSHSS Ambassadors Program. Mentoring is just one part of this program, but it is very important to the overall success of NSHSS membership.
It is important to note that according to information from the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP), 71% of mentors do so outside of an official mentorship program. Only 29% of the people surveyed as mentoring others belonged to a mentorship program.
This is unfortunate because mentoring through a nonprofit organization carries more weight with college admissions. NSHSS recognizes the importance of being a mentor for college admissions, and as such provides two $1,000 NSHSS Ambassador Scholar Awards per year to outstanding leaders and mentors.
4. Be happier and more confident.
There have been many studies on the emotional and mental wellness benefits of mentorship for both mentors and mentees. One study by Cambridge found mentoring reduced anxiety for high school students preparing for college. This is likely because college students are sympathetic to the stress of the college prep process, and thus they are more easily able to address issues like anxiety about the future or depression borne from low self-esteem.
Meanwhile, the IWGYP says mentored high school students are more likely to attend college or trade school. This too shows how important mentorships are for students seeking college admissions. NSHSS agrees, and as such, we offer three leadership programs in which NSHSS members may participate. Each program is tailored to promote networking and mentorship-style opportunities at all levels from high school to the professional world.