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What is a College Admissions Consultant?

What is a college admissions consultant and what do they do?

 A college admissions consultant works with high school students to provide an individualized strategy to maximize their desired college admissions results. Whether a student is looking for the right-fit college or is readying themselves for the highly competitive college admissions process, a college admissions consultant should be able to help a student and their family achieve their personal goals. There are two major steps involved in the services of a college admissions consultant, though most college consultants only do the second step.

  1. The college preparation process—how is the student making themselves stand out during high school? How is the student taking advantages of opportunities to build up their academic and extracurricular resumes? Many students start as early as 8th, 9th or 10th grade working with a college consultant to help them to use their time in high school wisely and to build strong resumes that will help them stand out.
  2. The college application and college essay process–this involves helping students to develop an appropriate college list, determine where to apply early, brainstorm and edit the countless college essays, prepare for college interviews, get good recommendations, and ensure that a cohesive narrative is communicated in the student’s application materials.

All of this to say—the college application process begins long before a college application is even touched upon. A good college counselor will assist with all facets of this process including the creation of a curated college list, summer planning guidance, intellectual and extracurricular development, and actual college application and essay coaching.

Why hire a college admissions consultant?

Simply put, we find that most high school counselors cannot provide the same level of expertise and detailed advice that a professional college admissions consultant can. Counselors at a high school tend to be focused on juniors and seniors and don’t allow for sufficient planning, adequate personalized attention, or guidance on the essay process. They also need to think of their whole class and aren’t focused on promoting a particular high school student. Alternatively, a private college admissions counselor spends their entire day focused on the college admissions process and will work tirelessly to best position a student for their individualized success. With college being so incredibly expensive, it is crucial for a student to maximize their potential in this process and ensure that they’re making the most use of their high school years. A college admissions counselor can help ensure that this will happen.

What can you expect when working with a college admissions consultant?

A good college consultant will begin an engagement by conducting an analysis of where a student currently is and what they need to accomplish during the time they have left before applying to achieve their college admissions goals. The frequency of meetings will depend on the student’s grade in high school and how competitive their ambitions are. Also, it depends upon the level of support a family would like. Mentoring sessions involve a college consultant discussing many of the following topics:

This is just the beginning of the countless things a college consultant might discuss in a meeting.

It is important to note that what you can expect when working with a college admissions counselor will vary dramatically firm to firm. Some college admissions consulting firms offer flat rate services, and it’s important to understand how often you meet and what is included in that package. For example, does that include help with summer planning and applying to competitive summer programs? Does that include helping a student to develop their academic area of interest?

On the other hand, some firms will offer packages of hourly services. Typically, firms with hourly packages will be much more comprehensive in their services because they understand that a “one-size-fits-all” approach doesn’t lead to the best results when it comes to college admissions. You should expect that the admissions counseling firm has ways to stay as up to date as possible in the college admissions process because it is a landscape that is changing constantly. Sometimes single practitioners can’t maintain this level of relevance and expertise because they don’t have the resources to do this themselves. And many firms just market independent consultants, but don’t have a unified methodology or internal learning.

How much does a college admissions consultant cost?

When discussing the general cost of college admissions consulting services, there is a tremendous range as there are so many different approaches to college counseling and different levels of quality. Additionally, the price will vary depending on the extent of support desired by a particular family, and the grade in which they begin this process. Generally, beware of flat-rate packages since this generally provides a lack of incentive for a college consultant will have to work as deeply and thoroughly with each student. That said, sometimes flat rate packages a good option for those families who are on a tight budget but are still want college admissions consulting services.

Typically, a higher price and hourly packages reflect the higher quality of service being provided. Firms can charge higher prices when the firm is receiving a lot of referrals and repeat business due to successful consulting and a high quality of service.

How to select a good college admissions consultant?

What it’s like working with Spark Admissions

Spark Admissions values the client relationship in a way that sets it apart from all other college admissions consulting firms. All of our consultants are full-time, dedicated, passionate forcollege coaches. They work with students during high school to help them grow both intellectually and interpersonally. We have a proven methodology that continues to get us the best results in the country.

We treat each student individually by helping support them in their holistic development so that they can best achieve their and their family’s college goals. At Spark Admissions, developing a strong client relationship is important to us and that extends to students and parents alike. The college preparation period can be an inherently stressful experience for the entire family, and Spark aims to alleviate this stress. We will help your student decipher the college admissions process so that attaining their college goals is not an intimidating process.

Each of our college consultants are ready to help along every step of this process and will be there to guide your student as they develop and improve their academic narratives, navigate extracurricular opportunities, and we are here to offer our extensive coaching to assist with the intensive application and college essay process. We are extremely responsive and empathetic, and we pride ourselves on providing nothing less than an impeccable level of service to each student and family we serve. If you are curious to hear more about our process or admissions counseling services, please feel free to contact us here to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our expert college consultant advisors.  We look forward to helping you find success in your child’s college admissions process.

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