The Ivy Coach Daily

May 16, 2024

How Much Do College Consultants Cost?

This is an evening view of Dartmouth Hall on Dartmouth College's campus.

With more and more students turning to private college counselors, one might wonder about the typical cost of enlisting such services.

“You can’t put a price tag on getting into your top college. Or maybe you can. With competition among college applicants as fierce as it has ever been, some students are doing whatever they can to get a leg up — no matter the cost. That’s where private help comes in. A growing number of college counselors offer their expertise — for a price,” writes Jessica Dickler in a piece on private college counseling for CNBC entitled “To get in to an Ivy League, more families turn to expensive private consultants.”

While it should be no surprise that private college counselors offer their expertise for a price, just as it should be no surprise when a dentist takes your payment after cleaning your teeth, let’s zero in on the typical fees of private college counselors.

How Much Do Private College Counselors Cost?

Back in 2018, a survey conducted by a college counseling organization discerned the mean college counseling fees across the nation ranged from $850 to $10,000, with average prices in the $4,000-$6,000 range.

But, like in any industry, there are excellent and poor as well as inexpensive and expensive practitioners. There are private college counselors based in Lincoln, Nebraska, and private college counselors based in New York, New York. The cost of an iced latte in Lincoln is not the same fee as the cost of a latte in Manhattan.

In the United States, businesses can charge what they wish. In 2019, Ivy Coach’s managing partner, Brian Taylor, defended capitalism, offering up the “Quote of the Day” to The New York Times: “If someone wants to pay a fee that you command, they have that right.”


Ivy Coach Fees: the World’s Leading College Consultancy


The fees of Ivy Coach, perhaps unsurprisingly due to press attention over the years, are significantly higher than this purported range for private college counselors.

Yes, Ivy Coach’s fees for college consulting have been featured in The New York Times, on the cover of a Sunday edition of The New York Post, and even the subject of commentary on CNBC.

That said, Ivy Coach’s fees, which tend to increase yearly and are based on the firm’s track record built over the last three decades, are not always reported correctly. Additionally, Ivy Coach’s fees vary based on the number of colleges families enlist the firm’s assistance with to optimize their case for admission. Working directly with the firm’s Founder or Managing Partner is also a more expensive option.

Yet Ivy Coach, while unapologetic about the firm’s fees which can often inspire dropped jaws in America’s free market economy, understands that the costs are not for everyone.

As Ivy Coach’s Brian Taylor said candidly on Nightline in an interview with Juju Chang, “Not everyone needs a private college counselor. And if they just used some common sense — and so many times they don’t use common sense — they can beat this process.”

College Consultant Fees FAQ

How can Ivy Coach justify charging more than the annual cost of college tuition?

We justify Ivy Coach’s fees with three words: our track record. Also, we can only work with so many students each year. We are not in the business of working with the masses. Thus our fees are our fees are our fees.

Why does Ivy Coach charge so much more than its competitors?

Our fees are not based on other private college consultancies. Our fees are based on Ivy Coach’s track record and service demand.

You helped my child earn admission to Harvard a few years ago, but now your fees are higher. Why is Ivy Coach not rewarding my loyalty?

We appreciate your loyalty just as we hope you appreciate our success. Your child earned admission to Harvard with our assistance. As we joke at Ivy Coach, “We always get the siblings. We usually get the cousins. We rarely get the friends.” Parents don’t want to acknowledge their children had help earning admission to the colleges of their dreams — and that’s ok!

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