What is an educational consultant?
An educational consultant, also called a higher education consultant, is a professional who assists students and parents with college and financial aid planning. Educational consultants are skilled in helping students find colleges where they can be successful. They also serve as guides to the college application process, making sure that students meet deadlines and prepare complete and effective applications. Some higher education consultants specialize in helping students with special needs, such as learning disabilities.

What do educational consultants do?
Educational consultants are trained professionals who assist students and their parents with the college planning and application process. They help families by providing a realistic assessment of a student’s individual strengths and weaknesses as a prospective college applicant, identifying colleges and universities that match the student’s needs and interests, and providing guidance on all aspects of the college application and financial aid process.

What are the benefits of working with an educational consultant?

Many high schools have high guidance counselor to student ratios. This can make it difficult for some students to get personalized and on-going advice about college planning and college admissions. While an educational consultant does not replace the school guidance counselor, a professional consultant can serve as a guide to the entire college and financial aid process, helping both students and parents feel less stressed, better prepared, and more confident.

How do we know if we need an educational consultant?
The decision to hire an educational consultant is a personal one, and not every family will need or want to work with a consultant. Working with an educational consultant can be particularly helpful if your child is: confused about their college options; has limited opportunity to meet with their school guidance counselor; is interested in a less common major or career; has an unusual academic background or admissions profile; or would benefit from one-on-one assistance with college planning and applications. Educational consultants can also be helpful when a student has learning disabilities or other special needs, when families are having difficulty agreeing on college choices, or for students who are particularly anxious about the college admissions process.

Is an educational consultant a replacement for the school guidance counselor?
No, an educational consultant is never a replacement for the school guidance counselor. While an educational consultant can provide more personalized service than your high school guidance counselor may be able to provide, it’s important to understand that your school counselor will still play a vital role in your or your child’s college application process. You should think of your educational consultant as another member of your college planning team, all working together to help your child achieve his or her goals.

Can an educational consultant guarantee that my child will be admitted to a particular college?
No one can guarantee a student admission to a particular college or university – except, of course, the admissions committee! If an educational consultant or anyone else suggests that they can do so, it is best to find another consultant. Professional educational consultants understand that many variables factor into admissions decisions and therefore they do not make false promises. They can, however, help students improve their chances of admission by identifying colleges that match their admissions profile, and interests, and by guiding them through the college application process.

How much does it cost to work with an educational consultant?

You may have read an article or seen a news report about educational consultants who charge exorbitant fees for their counseling services. Luckily, the majority of professional educational consultants offer reasonable prices for their services. Some consultants offer all-inclusive packages for a single fee, others will work with families on an hourly basis. Still others offer some combination of the two. By comparing services and prices, you should be able to find a professional consultant that your family can afford.

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