Why Hire A College
Ways In Which A College Consultant
Can Help Families
By Jolyn Brand
Here are five reasons why more than a quarter of
high-achieving high school students are utilizing the
services of independent education consultants, better known as college consultants.
I am, so why he be A consultant can provide an updated perspective on college
admissions and what students need to be working
on now, in order to get accepted later.
Focused one-on-one attention. Studies by the U.S. Dept. of Education and National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC)
point to average public school counselor-to-student
ratio of 471 students to counselor. The American
School Counselor Association recommends a ratio of
250:1. What is the ratio at your school?
As a guidance counselor you can only devote part
of your time to college advising, since your duties often include scheduling, crisis management,
behavioral concerns, and discipline issues. For
families who would like more individual attention for their high school student, an independent
consultant can play a helpful role.
Rising college competitiveness.
Gone is the day of your student filling out one single
form, mailing the form to his/her college of choice
and getting in. College admissions are more competitive now. Students are applying to more and more colleges as a means of securing the most acceptance and
highest financial aid and scholarships possible.
Add that to the increasing size of the high school
graduating class (more than 3.3 million in 2011,
but only 2.6 million ten years ago) and you begin
to see the problem.
This competitive, complex landscape requires more
guidance than it used to. It can be misleading and
unrealistic to rely on parental historical benchmarks: went to Penn and my son is as smart as
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Mistakes are costly. I am talking about
cost in terms of student self-esteem as well as time
and money. It is essential to have a realistic college
list, with an appropriate number of schools,
not too many reaches or safety colleges.
Unrealistic expectations may exacerbate the anxiety and stress of the college process, and result in
your student having to for a school that is
not the best fit. They say, can always
and true. But having to at a new
campus can be emotionally challenging.
And forget, transfer students are not always
considered for many scholarships for which freshmen are eligible. If the new requirements
differ from the original the student may have
to spend extra time and money taking additional
courses. Why let a high school student go through
this potentially costly experience? Advice
from an experienced counselor can prevent unnecessary expenditure of time, money and angst.
Families typically spend as much as $80,000 for
years at a public college and up to $200K for a
private college, one of the largest investments they
will ever make. An initial advisory service seems
like a reasonable course of action before launching
into such a venture.
A third party can help navigate
the tricky parent-teen relationship. The
college process creates the perfect storm in an