Why Hire A College Counselor

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Why hire an independent college counselor or admissions consultant?

Pride is a funny thing. Most folks like to feel important, unique, capable, and independent. But when you ask truly successful people how they got to where they are today, it’s usually because they asked for help at some pivotal juncture, acknowledging the strengths and expertise of those around them. So, if you know a few friends who had the help of an independent college counselor as they applied to highly selective colleges, just think how many friends were too embarrassed or proud to tell you they had help. Read More

If you’re a parent, think twice when a mother at the grocery store tells you how her daughter got into Yale without any help. Do you think she wants to admit that she had to pay a sizable fee to help make her daughter’s candidacy stronger to admissions officers? Or do you think she’d rather allow you to believe her daughter got into Yale because of her excellent Tiger Mom parenting? You decide.

What we know, according to a 2013 nationwide study conducted by marketing firm Lipman Hearne, is that at private four-year colleges, 22% of freshmen cited using a college counselor in the college admissions process. And 26% of high-achieving seniors cited using a college counselor. That’s roughly a quarter of all students attending these schools — and that was back in 2013. Now, imagine the numbers if every student spoke the truth! Each year, more and more students are turning to independent college counselors and consultants to improve their odds of acceptance. It’s a trend that’s been on the rise for years and it’s one that’s not flatlining anytime soon.

Why’s that? Well, the average caseload for high school counselors in the United States is between 250-500 students. The average high school counselor is able to spend approximately one hour total during junior year with a college applicant’s parents to discuss the highly selective college admissions process. That’s simply not enough time. Too many students. Too little time.

An independent college consultant is available around the clock and will spend hours with college applicants to brainstorm college admissions essays and help perfect them. Draft after draft. And that’s just the college admissions essays. There are so many other components of a student’s candidacy that high school counselors often don’t have the time or expertise to address. But a good college consultant does have the time to give a student individualized attention. And a good college consultant does have the expertise. From SAT tutoring to helping refine compelling essays, a good consultant can provide students with the personalized counseling that helps students stand out in the intensely competitive applicant pool at highly selective colleges.

How do I know if an independent college counselor is qualified?

There are thousands of college counselors across the United States. And just like in any industry, some are good while some are not. A good counselor will be a member of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Ivy Coach is a member of this organization. Read through the college counselor’s credentials. Have they worked in college admissions as a high school counselor? As a college admissions officer? Or have they only gotten into the business because they found success helping their child get into an Ivy League school? If the latter, probably best to look elsewhere! Read More

Lots of folks are in the business of independent college counseling for the money. And don’t get us wrong — we are no non-profit. Experts charge commensurate fees. Doctors do it. Lawyers do it. Mechanics do it. We don’t deny charging high fees. We’re made fun of on CNBC for our fees. But our expertise leads to acceptance letters for our students to highly selective colleges year in and year out. If you’re paying $65,000 a year for a college education, we’d ask isn’t it worth the investment to improve your child’s case for admission so he or she ends up at a great school rather than a pretty good one?