5 Reasons to Use An Educational Consultant for College Admissions

Flickr: Trenten Kelley

The college process can be overwhelming. Even if you’ve been through it before it, the landscape has undergone major changes. As you likely have heard, there is an entirely new SAT this year, the Common Application has new essay prompts, and schools have altered their testing and score reporting requirements. For these reasons alone, working with a consultant is the common sense thing to do.

1.) Level the playing field. In 2013, 26% of all college applicants hired a private or independent educational consultant; that’s three times higher than the number in 2003. What was once believed to be an edge is now a necessity.

2.) Individualize your search. There are hundreds if not thousands of colleges out there. Guidebooks and the Internet can’t learn about your interests or help you filter through the waterfall of information in order to find a school that will meet your distinct needs, celebrate your unique strengths, support you through very specific challenges, and enrich your life. This takes a comprehensive knowledge of the schools out there, years of experience in matching students and, above all, a commitment to understand each student as an individual.

3.) Schools need a helping hand. There is an average of one staff member per 500 students in U.S. public schools. Elite high schools — the best in the country — still have only one or two staff members, at the most, to cover the college process of an entire senior class. Even the most exemplary and conscientious school counselor doesn’t have the time or ability to provide the meticulous, personalized guidance and service of an educational consultant.

Flickr: Oxfordian

4.) Make a worthy investment. Educational consultants can more than make up for the expenditure when they assist with finding scholarships, revising application essays toward those scholarships and helping families navigate the financial aid process. Additionally, top tier institutions provide some of the absolute best grants and financial aid packages available — so increasing your chances of admission using the strategies and guidance of a consultant is a financially sounds choice.

5.) Chase your dreams. In my work as an educational consultant at Stratus Prep, the first thing I tell my clients is: “don’t be terrified; be excited.” Finding a college isn’t the most important decision you will ever make in life, but it is one of them. It doesn’t need to be a stressful rollercoaster. Make the process one of introspection and pursue all avenues of support in order to best position yourself. When you get into and attend the perfect school for you — you’ll be happy you did.