College Admissions Consultants

A college education can open the door to future success. But navigating the college admissions process can be complicated. Some high school students underestimate the importance of working with a college admissions consultant to help them get off to a good start.

Such consultants can give floundering students an edge by providing personalized guidance and support. If you’re doubting the necessity of engaging a college admissions consultant, here are a few things you should know.

The Role of College Admissions Consultants

Imagine you started showing symptoms of a rare, life-threatening health condition. You could try to treat it on your own, but you’d be much better off getting professional help. The first step you’d likely take in such a situation is to make an appointment with a doctor. Similarly, if you were served papers unexpectedly, you’d probably schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney right away. These scenarios highlight how quickly most people seek professional guidance in certain life-changing situations.

College is one of the most life-changing experiences you’ll ever go through. It can shape your choices and professional opportunities for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s so important to speak with a skilled college admissions consultant to assist you in finding the ideal college match. A consultant can make the process of selecting and applying to institutions of higher learning much simpler than it would otherwise be.

How Admissions Consultants Help Students

High school upperclassmen often get a rude awakening when they begin researching and applying for colleges. They face a number of challenges from selecting the right institutions to affording tuition. Some may underestimate how long the process takes and end up scrambling at the last minute to find a college that will accept them. Here are a few ways admissions consultants can help students through these complex processes.

Selecting a College

Not all colleges are a good fit for all students. Admissions consultants work to match students up with the most appropriate schools. They do this after meeting with students and considering each applicant’s academic performance, likely degree program, interests, and budget. Of course, the recommendations consultants provide needn’t be taken as gospel. But they can save students time and energy by suggesting the most appropriate colleges for their needs and goals.

Submitting an Application

Filling out and submitting college applications is a notoriously tedious process. It involves sending transcripts, writing essays, compiling recommendation letters, and other steps that can be stressful for some students. Admissions consultants can provide guidance on these processes. With their assistance, applicants may be able to boost their chances of getting approved for their college of choice.

Preparing for Interviews

Many institutions of higher learning conduct interviews with potential students as part of the application process. Those who are well prepared to meet with college representatives are more likely to make a good impression. Admissions consultants can boost student confidence by providing practice questions and tips for acing interviews.

Accessing Financial Aid

Getting accepted into the college of your choice isn’t always the toughest part of gaining a higher education. Once you’re accepted, you’ll have to figure out how to pay for it. Scholarships and financial aid can significantly lighten your financial burden, but they won’t do you any good if you never apply. Admissions consultants can inform you of available financial aid options and scholarships for which you might qualify.

The Ethical Considerations of Working With College Admissions Consultants

College admissions consultants can make life much easier for high school students preparing for higher education. However, the cost of their services can be prohibitive for some students. The average hourly fee for a college admissions consultant is around $200. Many families simply can’t afford to pay that much, which means wealthy students typically have better access to these professionals. That puts low-income students at a clear disadvantage when it comes to receiving college admissions assistance.

Various organizations are currently trying to combat this disparity and give low-income students access to free or low-cost college counseling and mentoring. The accounting firm EY is one such organization. Through its College MAP program, it dispatches employees to dozens of high schools to share their experiences earning a higher education. While the program doesn’t offer formal counseling, it does provide free mentoring services to students who may not be able to pay for them.

How Consultants Enable Students to Find the Best-Fit College

Despite the high cost of college admissions consultants, many high schoolers attest that they are worth it. Experienced consultants know the ins and outs of various admissions processes. They are intimately familiar with the most common questions college representatives ask hopeful candidates. They can also help students highlight their strengths most effectively on their applications.

Students who meet with admissions consultants often feel much less anxious about college selection and application. They also have a better chance of navigating these processes successfully and getting accepted to their chosen schools. Finally, students who work with consultants frequently have an easier time paying for college because they’re made aware of scholarships and financial aid opportunities.

For these reasons and more, high school students should consider meeting with a college admissions consultant. A single consultation can go a long way toward helping students get accepted to their dream college.