Mark Sklarow, the Executive Director of IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association), an organization we’ve been a member of but nonetheless believe to be somewhat of a joke (what a waste of $600 a year!), reports that an AP poll indicates high school students are not happy with the college counseling they receive at their high schools. Writes Sklarow, “A majority said that their school wasn’t good at helping them choose a field of study, aiding them in finding the right college or vocational school, or assisting them with ways to pay for continuing education. All the more frustrating was that the vast majority came to the process excited about the idea of college, but felt unprepared to go about the search and application process.” And that’s where the role of independent college consulting comes in.
College consulting — if done right — can ease the burden of the college admissions process and improve students’ chances for admission to the colleges and universities of their dreams. High school guidance counselors are overworked. We know. Our founder, Bev Taylor, was a high school guidance counselor for many years. High school guidance counselors, while a wonderful and important school resource, are often not up to speed on the latest trends in college admissions and their expertise isn’t necessarily college admissions. It’s just a part of their job.
High school guidance counselors may not have the time to visit top colleges. They may not know that a student checking box x or writing z in a college essay will hurt one’s chances for admission to highly competitive universities. Writes Sklarow, “Most high school counselors are among the most over-worked and under-appreciated members of the school community. They struggle with caseloads two to three times the suggested average. They are rarely afforded the opportunity to attend professional training, even as the issues they struggle with become more complex.” Good college consulting can help students and their families big time.
According to the AP article by Connie Cass, “Most of the 18- to 24-year-olds surveyed gave high schools low grades for things that would ease the way to college: A majority say their school wasn’t good at helping them choose a field of study, aiding them in finding the right college or vocational school or assisting them in coming up with ways to pay for more schooling.” Independent college consulting offers a buffer between stressed out parents and stressed out students. Students and parents don’t need to be fighting in this process. They don’t need to be worrying if they’re doing things the wrong way (and quite often, they are indeed doing things the wrong way). That’s why more students and parents are turning to private college consultants than ever before. A good independent / private college consultant can be the difference between admission to your dream college or reluctantly attending your safety college.
Check out Mark Sklarow’s post on the IECA’s website.