College prep services help students navigate the college admissions process. They guide students through the high school curriculum, select colleges, write supplemental essays, and even apply for financial aid.
A consultant with advanced degrees from top universities can offer an invaluable perspective to help students crystallize their goals and prospective career paths. Moreover, teens can be more receptive to suggestions and feedback from a third party than their parents.
A top college counselor can also provide insight into the admissions process, helping students understand what it takes to enter their dream schools. In addition, some consultants have extensive writing and interview coaching experience and can help students develop a compelling college essay. When choosing a consulting service, ask for testimonials, success stories, and case studies to gauge their effectiveness and track record. Additionally, find out whether the consultant works solo or with a team of coaches and their availability.
A good college preparation consulting service will have a solid track record of success. Look for testimonials and case studies demonstrating their ability to help students achieve their admission goals. You should also be wary of companies that offer guarantees or make bold claims, as the admission process is inherently unpredictable.
Look for consultants specializing in specific areas, such as helping students with learning challenges, art and film school applications, or athletic recruiting. Smaller firms or individual consultants typically have more flexibility and can provide personalized advice. Larger consulting companies may have a more established reputation and extensive resources, but they must be more flexible in their approach to counseling students.
A good college consultant can help you make smart decisions about the admissions process and guide your child through it. They can help you find colleges that are academically, socially, and geographically the best fit for your student. They can also assist in crafting solid personal statements, interviewing well, and creating thoughtful college lists.
Some consultants charge by the hour, while others offer packages that include various services. It is important to find one that suits your family’s budget.
Look for a college consulting service member of IECA or HECA and ask about their credentials. They should be able to provide references from past students and families. They should also have experience with college admissions, scholarships, and financial aid.
Choosing a consulting service is an investment, and for some students and families, hiring one can be outside their budget. However, some services offer different pricing tiers, packages, and financial help for low-income students. A college prep consultant can evaluate a student’s academic standing and identify the right moves in high school, including rigorous college prep courses, extracurricular activities, tutoring, leadership roles, and standardized testing. They can also assess social fit and recommend schools that best support a student’s interests and values.
For students who don’t need an entire package or families who would rather buy consultation hours by the hour, some college prep consultants offer that option. This allows them to work with students on only the areas of the application that they need help with.
Some colleges’ prep consulting services even offer special programs and packages for students with unique needs, such as different learning styles, art or film school preparation, athletic recruitment, or BS/MD applications.