Because college consultants are not high school counselors, they can offer a different kind of expertise and flexibility. A consultant’s only agenda is the best interest and success of her students, so when looking for a consultant, just like when looking for a school, parents should look for the best fit for their child.
First, here are a few basics in choosing your child’s college consultant:
Did the consultant complete a Certificate in College Counseling, work as a high school counselor or as an admissions counselor at a non-profit institution of higher learning?
Does the consultant belong to professional organizations that serve their regions as well as independent educational consultants (National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and/or its regional affiliate, Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), Certified Educational Planner (CEP)?
Does the consultant regularly meet with admissions counselors, participate in conferences, continuing education and travel to see colleges on their own?
If the answer to any of these questions is NO, then stop right there. You deserve to work with a consultant that continues their education, has a network of resources and understands current admission trends.
Also, many consultant’s businesses are built on referrals. Check with friends and neighbors for names or ask for references.
Second, review the consultant’s website and contact them with questions to determine if their style, approach and fees sounds like something you think would be a good fit for your family.
Third, review your notes from the conversation with your son or daughter.
Do you feel like your child would respond well to the consultant? Is your child ready to engage?
What was your gut reaction in talking with the consultant, sometimes that matters more than the words spoken.
You ought to have a trusted partner in the college admissions experience: a partner with expertise and knowledge, and someone to help simplify the process while showing care and kindness.
The three members of The College Crew have combined 30-plus years of experience, guiding more than 1,000 families through the college journey supporting both students and parents along the way. We feel privileged to be a trusted professional during such a pivotal part of a teen’s life!
Amanda Hirko, Hirko Consulting INC
Ellen Gaddie, Simply College Prep
Susan Monken, College Untangled