Are College Admissions Consultants Worth It?
Choosing a college can be one of the most daunting tasks in a student's life. On top of that, it can become overwhelming to decide on a degree that is cohesive with their skillset and interest. So, to help families ease into the process, hiring a college admissions consultant can be very much worth it.
There is so much information that students and parents do not have access to, nor do families have much time to do their research. This is why hiring a professional to help in the process will be a life-changing decision. Admission consultants are able to bridge the information gap between students and universities meanwhile helping students deal with issues related to indecisiveness, career path, and writing personal statements.
What is College Admissions Consulting, and what do College Admission Consultants do?
College admissions consulting is the process of assisting students (particularly those in their senior year and transferring, but can start freshman year) in their college preparation journey. College admissions consultants direct their clients towards appropriate colleges and programs based on the student's objectives and career goals. They have sessions with the students and/or their guardians to navigate the application processes for the shortlisted colleges. The most value is from the college consultant's experience seeing what has worked in the past, mistakes to avoid that are not typically found online, and keeping up with admission trends.
How Are College Admissions Consultants Different School Guidance Counselors?
High school guidance counselors offer their services in the form of career, academic, personal advice, and mental health. These professionals do not limit their services to just college applications. They guide students generally throughout all grade levels. School counselors are often overwhelmed with the amount of students they work with and especially at public schools. The typical student to counselor ratio is 250-to-1 which doesn't allow much time for tailored college preparation assistance; hence, having a private college counselor could be necessary.
Why should you hire a College Admissions Consultant?
1. One of the major reasons is they make your job easier. They're professionals with firsthand experience with different college admission offices, giving them an idea of what colleges look for in applicants. By hiring them, you're giving the reins to another experienced person who knows what they're doing for peace of mind.
2. College admission consultants help applicants stand out to have the edge over other applications. Because these professionals know what admission offices require when going through different applications, they can showcase their client's strengths by picking specific attributes that are unique. Hence, increasing the enrollment chances of their clients.
3. Bridging the information gap by keeping track of the important deadlines, directions, and common mistakes to avoid. Because of their experience and expertise, college admission consultants know tips and tricks for writing personal statements and building portfolios by closely evaluating college requirements. This way, they can prioritize universities based on higher acceptance chances.
How do College admission Consultants help Applications Stand out?
While there have been plenty of cases where a student can get into a good university or college on their own without the help of a college admission consultant, every year gets more competitive. Most highly ranked colleges have an acceptance rate below 10 percent. So, to have a certain edge over this competition, hiring a college admission consultant is a good idea because they can:
Make a list of colleges that you have the most chance of getting into
Prioritize the right colleges based on chance and the difficulty of the admission process
Be mindful of your financial limits and what colleges are the best for you, not only based on your interest and chance but also on what you can afford. According to statistics, private colleges cost around $43,000. In comparison, public colleges range from $11,000 to $23,000 annually, based on whether the student is going for one in or out of state. (For international students, this number grows exponentially)
Help you find and shortlist your favorite degrees and career paths and select colleges based on that
Guide your application and personal statement process and sift out the appropriate extracurricular activities and voluntary work
Advise on financial aid and scholarships
Although, you have to keep in mind that ultimately, all this work has to be done by you. Your consultant is only there to help you through the process. Not do it for you.
What to Look for in a College Consultant?
Finding a good college consultant is not always an easy job. You have to pay attention to a few details such as:
Connection with the student
Qualifications and credentials
Number of years of experience they have
Results they have had throughout
Reviews they have
If you are looking for a certified college and career coach for your student, visit the About Me page to learn more about Tiffany Phu owner of College and Career Champion, and how to best work together. I work with students ranging from 9-12 grade and recommend reaching out no later than second half of freshman year to plan for coursework and build a strong resume.