I'm often asked what kinds of families hire Independent Educational Consultants. I work with primarily public high school students, where they maybe meet with their school counselor once or twice a year. Most of my students come from middle/upper-class families with some money saved for college (but not a lot). They are often overwhelmed with options and confused with all the college terminology. Many of the parents did not attend college in the United States, and often this is their first child going through the college admissions process. They want someone to help them navigate without missing critical steps along the way. While there are MANY reasons people hire people like me, I think these are the top 5.
The average student-to-school counselor ratio is 424:1, and counselors spend just 38 minutes on college planning over 4 years. An IEC can give you continuous support and come up with a college plan that works for your family. Most of my comprehensive families come to me during their Sophomore year, and they average about 35 meetings by graduation.
To Generate Ideas
While there are thousands of colleges, it's hard to look beyond our bubble: local schools, where we attended, or where our neighbor went. IECs have knowledge of all types of colleges and can help your family find the right fit for your student. I have visited over 80 colleges in the past 3.5 years and have met with admissions counselors from over 125 more. I'm constantly reading books, blogs, and news articles on college admissions trends and changes and connect with colleagues around the country on a regular basis.
Help Make Your Student Shine
Every year, more and more high school students apply to college, often the same ones. Your student has unique characteristics, but often, they don't know how to articulate those to others. I work with students to help them identify their skills, values, personality, and aptitudes. I ask probing questions, and often my students tell me they've never thought about them before. We talk about college preferences and dig deep into why they want to follow the path they are dreaming of.
To Save You Money
At first, this may seem counterintuitive since an IEC costs money. However, college is extremely expensive, and it's essential to know which schools are best for your budget. We talk about the four numbers you need to know before applying to college, and I help them determine how much they are willing (or able) to pay for four years of college. Families often ask me questions about scholarships, and the largest ones often come directly from the college, not a third party. On average, 81% of my students receive merit scholarships, and the average award is $72k.
Applying to college can be confusing. There are so many dates and deadlines to abide by, and it's easy to become overwhelmed. Having a third party can alleviate stress by streamlining the process, in turn minimizing conflicts. Families can focus on what matters: Spending quality time together before your student heads off to college.