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Are you seeking to find the top college admissions consultants in 2021? Here are some that you can consider! Do your OWN due diligence before you sign any agreement!

What do top college admissions consultants do?

The top college admission consultants in 2021 typically help achieve five results for your student/child:

1. Help pursue the “best-fit” college major for future success.

2. Assist in securing admission in a reputed US college or a university.

3. Help secure financial aid for college studies for students.

4. Place the student in the right career trajectory for future success.

5. Give the student the confidence for success and tackle future failures, if any.

Check out if they are doing all of the above before signing up!

Are top college admissions consultants needed?

In theory, each of the high schools in the US is expected to have a guidance counselor. Unfortunately, the ground-level reality is that the ratio of the guidance counselor to a student in the US is 1:482. Plus in most cases, these counselors are neither well trained nor motivated enough to help high school students. In many cases, they have a lack of understanding of the business and industry needs, which will NOT enable them to guide their students to appropriate college majors and degrees for the student’s future success.

The general perception is that there is a lot of college admissions material available on the internet. However, the problem here is that this material is scattered, not updated, organized for easy consumption, many times inaccurate, and certainly difficult to find when needed. Plus the “insider college admissions track” is not known just by perusing this material.

In short, the college admissions consultants play an important role in your students’ future success IF you can find the correct one and at an affordable rate. Our general advice is that at least have a digital, self-paced college admission consultant. There are many available to provide valuable services of this type at a very reasonable cost (under $1,000 per year). We have listed one here called Career Trajectory.

How can parents differentiate between premium and ordinary college admission consultants?

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”

The ordinary college consultants take shortcuts and may try to do the college application on the student’s behalf, or worse, cheat or use other inappropriate means for success. The students learn nothing and build no self-confidence.

The premium college admission consultants spend the necessary time and resources teaching and educating the student (and their parents) on how to win in the college application and the career trajectory “competition.”

The goal of a student going to college is to ensure career success. Success is intentional, not accidental. It has to be earned not awarded. Premium college admission consultants know this and work towards preparing the student appropriately to create exceptional, winning college admission plans, strategies, and applications. Insist on it!

How are the Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman college admissions scandals likely to impact college admissions?

US colleges are taking stern and serious actions and are expected to make major changes in their college applications and admissions processes for the coming years.

One major expected change is a declaration by the student in their college application if they used a college admission consultant, and if so, the name of the consultant and the specific areas and ways the consultant helped the student.

Lying or cheating on this declaration could be the cause for dismissal from the college later (even if admitted). Pay special attention to ensure that the college admissions consultants are not writing your college essay or personal statement or worse enabling cheating on your standardization tests.

The colleges are investing in technology to identify such students, and this can cause immense damage to the reputation of the student and the parent.

How is the COVID crisis likely to impact college admissions and college admission consultants?

COVID has severely impacted the colleges and universities and they are trying to adapt to this changing world. Most colleges and universities make only a partial amount of their funding from tuition fees. A significant portion of college funding comes from other activities including research, sports, dorm rooms, food, and beverage services. Many of these non-tuition services have been severely impacted by covid. So don’t expect colleges to reduce the tuition fee if they’re doing online teaching. They are actually trying to increase these tuition fees and not reduce them. With lower funding coming in, many colleges and universities have reduced their scholarships and assistantship program for students too.

The second big issue is that standardization tests like the ACT, SAT, GRE, GMAT, and others have become optional. As a result, colleges have only the college grades to go by in the selection of students. Additionally, many students have not been able to do any extracurricular activity like internships or co-ops so that differentiation has also been reduced. Therefore, grades and college interviews will be the norm here. Also, students have started applying to more colleges than normal due to the optional standardization test. This has resulted in colleges having many more applications than normal and the waitlist has grown longer. Our advice is to apply to only those number of colleges where you can put in a quality application. There is no point in applying to many colleges if the quality of the application goes down. The goal is to get into a quality college and not to apply to as many colleges as you can!

What if you are an international student or parent seeking college admission guidance?

As the US moves towards herd immunity by vaccination while Europe and Canada falter, most international students are gravitating towards US colleges and universities. As is, the US was the leading destination for higher education in the world. Now, with the Covid crisis, international students wanting to study in the US is only accelerating.

International students need more assistance in college admission advice and guidance and typically the local consulting may not be up to par. Our experience with international admission consultants as many of them are focused on kickbacks from international universities and therefore send the students to the costliest universities so they can make more money. This makes it harder for international students and their parents for making international college payments. Our advice in the international situation is to look at the self-paced digital college admission programs that are affordable available at any time in any time zone.

How much do top college admissions consultants cost in USA?

This is a tricky question. This marketplace is not regulated nor is it transparent. The price typically ranges from $4,000 to $40,000 for the face-to-face, one-on-one programs. These programs can start from the 9th grade and go all the way to the 12th grade or even for undergraduate students applying for graduate programs. Caution — please don’t spend all your money trying to get into a good college and then taking huge loans for your tuition and other expenses and paying them over a lifetime. Find an affordable consultant, what we call a “value consultant” and get into a good college that can minimize your loan requirements.

Do make sure to check out the innovative, digital, self-paced programs which are gaining a strong footing, are very affordable, and exceptionally comprehensive. Such self-paced programs are typically costing in the range of $500-$1,000 a year. They have captured a significant part of the market in the COVID era.

Here are a couple of ways to avoid being taken advantage off by college admissions consultants:

1. Don’t go by all the hype of Ivy college admissions facts and figures given on these college admission consultants’ websites. No one is verifying this data as far as we know. Plus, only a very small portion of the high school students will eventually go to Ivy League colleges!

2. Don’t get fooled by names and branding. Especially, with names like Great Ivy Consultants, Top Notch Consultants, etc. There is a wide variation when it comes to one-on-one consultants even within the same company. Some can be really good, others not so much. Therefore, if the program is self-paced you can be assured that all the aspects are covered, and everyone is getting the same coaching.

2. Visit college admissions consultants’ websites who transparently advertise the pricing of their services first. Those who don’t, are typically negotiating individually with students and there may be wide variation in their final prices and services.

3. Most college admissions consultants will offer a free 30–90 minutes session or digital preview of their program. Make sure to take it and compare the quality of what is being discussed then make a decision based on the quality of service, the price of the offering, depth of knowledge, and the ease of access to the service.

4. If you are going for a personal one-on-one consulting, insist on talking to this consultant and having the first session free to check out the program and this person’s capability. Never get trapped into a situation where the consultant who speaks to you for the first time is different from your regular admission consultant. This is called bait and switch.

4. Check for the consultants to give line-item details of the program or curriculum the students are expected to go through. If the price of the programs is very high (in thousands of dollars), ask to speak to a few students who have gone through their programs.

General advice is that you look at value college admission consulting and not for the costly consultants. In our opinion costly does not equate to better. If you want your students to learn more, then look at one of those self-study online programs where the student and the family work together to put in an application. Ultimately, applying to college is a very big step and probably the next costly step to buying a new house. Students and parents have to work together to achieve the best results, and there is nothing wrong with students and parents brainstorming the best practices to get into the best colleges. Ultimately, students know themselves best and their parents know the students the next best.

List of Top US College Admissions Consultants

Here is the list of some top US college admission consultants. Please review the consultant, research them, speak with them, test out their free session or watch their free preview and then select the consultant. ScaleUP USA or its parent company Launch Dream is not responsible for the results achieved or not achieved by you by engaging with any of the below alphabetically listed services:

1. Applying to a top program is a stressful process. Accepted college consultants position you so you fit in with the school’s culture while also standing out from the competition (Listed Price: $9,000–12,000).

2. Ann Ivey: Are former admissions officers and experts at coaching college applicants through all phases of the college application process. They have a number of packages starting from 9th grade to 12th grade (Listed Price: $7,500+).

3. Career Trajectory: This comprehensive, US-global, self-paced, online, digital, affordable program focuses on helping high schoolers (9th-12th grade) to start thinking critically about college education, research career opportunities, and build a custom formula for their future college and career success. This program is ideal for the current coronavirus crisis (Listed Price: $299/year)

4. College Coaches: Their goal is to help each student maximize his or her chances of success through services focused on their personal desires, goals, individual strengths, and accomplishments. (Listed Price: Not Available).

5. Creative College Connections: Work with students in person in their offices in downtown historic Leesburg, VA, and remotely with students throughout the world, and offer several consulting options, depending on when you start and how much support you desire. (Listed Price: Not Available).

6. Ivy Coach: Is a leading college consultant committed to counseling students from around the world so that they can gain admission to Ivy League and other highly competitive universities. Their consultations are available via Skype, FaceTime, and phone. (Listed Price: Not Available).

7. Solomon Admissions: Are former college admissions officers and they work with the college applicants to craft memorable narratives and personal statements that best address their unique backgrounds, interests, and how they will contribute to the college to which they apply. (Listed Price: Not Available).

8. Top Tier Admissions: is a company devoted to empowering students from around the world in the college and graduate school admissions process. Their Application Boot Camp helps develop an application strategy to increase your college acceptance odds. (Listed Price: Not Available).

9. Veritas Prep: Has multiple School Packages, with one goal in mind: getting you admitted to your dream schools. All their experts have years of experience helping competitive applicants get into their dream schools (Listed Price for 4 Colleges $9,000).

More articles/resources on the topic of college admission assistance:

> Study in USA after 12th

> Study in USA after 10th

> College Admission Assistance Thru Employers

> Free Workshop on College Admissions

> PTO Fundraising Programs

About the Author:

Nitin Pradhan is an educator, technologist, and social entrepreneur based in the Washington DC metro region. He is the former award-winning CIO of the US Department of Transportation and an Obama Appointee. He leads the ScaleUP USA’s Digital Growth Accelerator including their Federal Business Accelerator, the Federal Career Accelerator, and the Career Trajectory Accelerator. He also advises Career Trajectory Live and All GSA programs. Business and government leaders can connect with him on LinkedIn.



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