The college admissions process is a long road fraught with pitfalls and costly mistakes.
Applying to a school at the last minute usually leads to an incomplete application and, thus, rejection. Forgetting to submit a transcript by the indicated deadline will land your application in the rejection pile without a second look. Applying only to the “safe” school may mean you never reach your potential nor feel satisfied.
A college admissions consultant helps students and families avoid all of these scenarios and more! It is the consultant’s job to help families navigate all aspects of the college admissions process and reduce the overall stress created by this journey. The consultant helps students choose which schools to apply to, ensures that deadlines are met, and applications show an accurate, detailed picture of the student.
But, isn’t this what high school counselors do for free during school hours? Not really.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, high school students receive an average of only 38 minutes of college counseling per year. High school counselors are forced to wear many hats on a school day, from providing individual, social, emotional counseling, group counseling, academic advising, crisis management, and now, in a virtual world, online content related to psychological health as well as educational guidance. Simply put, high school counselors do not have time to give students individual direction when applying to college.
How does an Education Consultant help with the college admission process?
Consultants Serve as Navigators
The college admissions process is overwhelming and confusing for most students and their parents. There is new terminology to learn, schools to visit, deadlines to meet, applications to complete, and essays to write- and that’s not all! A college consultant’s role is to reduce the stress families are feeling and act as a guide through the process. A good consultant will manage the process for students and families, ensuring all details are covered.
A big part of the admission process is choosing the right schools in which to apply. Consultants know how to help students find schools and investigate which ones might be the best fit. Choosing the right school for a student also saves time and money. No one wants to transfer after one year and risk losing course credit and, ultimately, time and money.
Consultants Have a Small Caseload
A full-time consultant typically works with about 20-25 students at any given time. The American School Counselor Association recommends a student to school counselor ratio of 250 to 1. However, the national average is 470 to 1. School counselors are spread thin, and most students do not get the attention they need, especially when it comes to assistance with college admissions. Consultants provide individual, targeted attention and meet students wherever they are in the college application process. Consultants have the necessary time to get to know students and identify strengths and interests. The college admission process requires students to be self-reflective and self-promoting. Consultants know how to help students do both. A consultant can focus on one student at a time and tailor services to meet that student’s needs. It is not a one size fits all approach.
Consultants are Neutral
Many high school students find it is easier to work with a consultant than with a parent. Students can talk more openly to a consultant about interests and personal and academic goals. Many times, parents are emotionally involved in deciding where their child should attend college (i.e., close to home, in-state, parents’ alma mater, etc.), and these factors can make it harder for students to choose the college that is right for them. The consultant is not emotionally involved in the decision but is dedicated to the best outcome for the student. A consultant wants the student to choose the school that feels like the best fit academically, socially, and financially.
Consultants Provide Accountability
Consultants not only make sure students are aware of deadlines but that those deadlines are met! A crucial part of the student-consultant relationship is accountability. The consultant’s role is to be dependable and available and to keep students motivated, curious, self-reflective, and focused.
It is important to note that having a consultant’s help does not mean less work for the student. Less work for parents, yes, but not students. The student is still the one applying to colleges, completing applications, and writing essays. The consultant is there to guide the process and provide the necessary support to be successful. The consultant also helps the students by reducing overwhelm and always being able to answer the question of “What next?”
Consultants Provide Time Management
Half the battle with college applications is meeting deadlines. And to meet deadlines, students need to plan ahead, which isn’t usually a trait associated with high school students. Consultants provide detailed timelines of when things are due and break down large tasks into small, manageable chunks. For example, an application might be due on November 15, but a completed application includes submission of test scores, a completed essay, two reference letters, and a transcript. Each of those items is a separate task that must be completed well before the actual November 15 deadline.
Consultants also help students balance school and social commitments against the time needed for college applications. Students tend to be less defensive with a consultant whose job is to remind them of deadlines rather than with a parent who they might feel is “nagging.”
Consultants are Knowledgeable
Understanding the college admissions process is the JOB of an education consultant. A consultant is dedicated to understanding the college admissions process, knowing how to effectively “market” a student to a particular college, and stays up to date on the latest news and trends. A consultant knows how to submit complete, well-edited applications, produce effective and unique essays, and meet deadlines. Consultants also understand the terminology (i.e., Early Decision versus Early Action, etc.) and the nuances of the application process (i.e., are SAT/ACT scores really optional?).
Is the college admissions process something you can learn about on your own using Google? Probably so, but do you have the extra time and energy? Education consultants already know how it works and are ready to help.
Why Should I Choose Unraveled Futures?
- I am a qualified consultant with 12+ years of experience working with students at all levels. The college admission process has become my passion and it is my goal to help families reduce the stress associated with applying to college.
- Affordability! The average cost of a college consultant in the U.S. is $200/hour. Unraveled Futures only costs a fraction of that.
- Unraveled Futures is a small company dedicated to student success. Services are specifically tailored to meet the needs of each student. We want each student to find his or her perfect school and have time left to enjoy Senior year! This process does not have to be hard and, with the right help, can be filled with excited anticipation.
Are you ready to hire an educational consultant? Contact Unraveled Futures today so we can start working together tomorrow!
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