Why should I hire an independent educational consultant?
With today's admission rates at an all-time low, tuition costs rising and high school counselors overworked, many parents are turning to independent educational consultants (IEC). In fact, a recent survey indicated that 26% of high-achieving seniors used an IEC to help apply to college (National Research Center for College and University Admissions).
- Choosing a college is often the first major decision in a student's life and the second largest financial investment (after a house). Finding the right college can enrich a student's life and impact his or her future, but often students and parents have no idea where to even start looking and can be overwhelmed by the process.
- Choosing the wrong college can be costly in both time and money if the student needs to transfer. With nearly 30% of students transferring from one college to another, it makes sense to invest in expert guidance to increase the likelihood of a student finding the best-fit college from the beginning.
- Busy parents and students do not have the time to read and research all of the college options (there are over 2,600 four-year colleges in the U.S.)
- Working with an IEC reduces stress as parents and students know that they "won't be missing something" in the application process. Students will also learn how to showcase their strengths to increase their chances of admission.
- With tuition costs rising, an IEC can help with scholarships and knows which schools offer need and merit-based aid.
- An IEC keeps up with admission trends by attending conferences, visiting colleges, and networking with admissions officers.
When should I start working with an independent college counselor?
Most students begin working with a consultant during their junior year of high school. This allows us time to really research colleges based on your unique academic, social and financial needs. However, some students may consider starting earlier so that a consultant can help guide them with high school course selection, extracurricular involvement and summer activities.
I don't know what I want to major in. How do I pick a college?
Relax! Did you know that according to one survey, over 90% of college graduates changed their major at least once? When you go to college, you will be exposed to possibilities you may not even know exist today. While it is a good idea to begin thinking about possible career paths according to your interests and personality, you shouldn't feel pressured to declare a major before you attend college.
My parents can't afford the tuition at a private college and will only let me consider state schools. How can I convince them to let me apply to my dream college (which is private)?
Many private colleges have large endowments and are generous with their merit aid making them more affordable than some state schools. You should not rule out colleges based on their listed tuition without exploring this further. Look for a Net Price Calculator on the college website to get an idea of possible financial aid. You may be pleasantly surprised by the financial aid offers at your dream school and you should definitely apply if it is a good fit.
I'm not a top student. Will I have any college choices?
Absolutely! With over 4000 colleges and universities out there, you will find a college that fits you. Over 80% of colleges accept 80% of applicants. After all, only 1 student out of 10 is in the top 10% of their class.
My sister loves her college and talked me into going there, but now I'm miserable. What's wrong with me?
Absolutely nothing! It sounds like your sister found a best-fit college for HER, but not you. Don't despair-we can begin looking for a college that fits YOUR needs and consider transfer options.
I'm not sure I want to go to college right after high school. What are my options?
Consider taking a Gap Year. There are many programs designed to help students learn about different careers through internships or do community service work at home or around the world. These programs have been popular in Europe for some time and are gaining popularity in the United States. Studies have shown that students who take a gap year arrive in college more mature and focused on their goals. You can still apply to colleges during your senior year and may request a deferral of admission to take a gap year.