How to Choose an Admissions Consultant

Admission to the top-tier colleges in the United States is more competitive than ever. In light of this competition, some parents are deciding to hire an admissions consultant in order to give their child an edge over the competition when applying to these colleges. An admissions consultant assists with each step of the college application process. A consultant helps students write a personal story that highlights their talents and strengths, and also helps them figure out which colleges are the best fit. Admissions consultants also help with resume critiquing, application completion, personal statement essays, and extracurricular activity advisement. If you are thinking of hiring a professional to help your child, there are some key criteria you should consider that will help you choose an admissions consultant.


  1. Image titled Choose an Admissions Consultant Step 1
    Determine whether your child truly needs an admissions consultant. If he or she has an excellent grade point average as well as strong involvement in extracurricular activities, with no transcript deficits, it may not be necessary to hire a consultant. If your student is strong in these areas but also has some weaknesses, such as a dip in grade point average, hiring the right counselor may make a difference.
  2. Image titled Choose an Admissions Consultant Step 2
    Compile a list of independent admissions consultants in your area that are certified. Look for consultants who not only have admissions experience, but who have also completed the Certified Educational Planner (CEP) course or the College Counseling Certificate Program. In addition to having one of these certifications, the consultant should have a master's degree in education or counseling.
  3. Image titled Choose an Admissions Consultant Step 3
    Talk to friends and family who have recently hired professional admissions consultants, or conduct your research online to compile your list.
  4. Image titled Choose an Admissions Consultant Step 4
    Schedule meetings with the consultants on your list, and conduct interviews with each one. Be sure to cover the following topics during your interview, and take notes:
    • Is the primary focus on the student? The counselor should be focused on finding the right fit between school and student, and there should be a lot of student-led interaction between the counselor and the student.
    • What experience does the consultant have working with students?
    • Which university did the consultant attend?
    • How familiar is the consultant with the university or universities your child wants to attend?
    • How will the counselor handle any deficiencies in the transcript, such as a bad grade that does not truly reflect your child's abilities?
    • What are the fees?
    • Does the consultant offer a free assessment of the student?
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    Ask the consultant about the rigor of his or her approach to the application process. There may be many assessment tests that the consultant uses in order to get a clear picture of your child's unique qualities. It can be stressful and time consuming, so it is important that you and your child are comfortable with the demeanor of the consultant that you hire.

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Categories: Applying for Tertiary Education