College Consultants – The Dirty Secret
Getting into an elite college isn’t always easy. While many high schools provide college counselors of some sort to aid the process, that is not always enough. Some high school college counselors are stretched too thin, trying to help too many students at once; others aren’t a good personality fit for a child or a parent; still others don’t think they need to be as involved in the process as others; and some high schools don’t even provide such resources. For these reasons and many more, many parents and students are turning to external college consultants to help ease the application process.
The reasons for hiring a college consultant are diverse, and their roles may be, too. Some college consultants may be asked to help by providing a list of schools for students, or by assigning students to research specific programs; others may be involved in standardized test preparation and essay writing and revising; others may focus on specifics like finding scholarships or finding a fit for student athletes; and some may do all of the above and more.
Despite their wide range of specialties and frequent use, college consultants aren’t talked about much. Many parents and students are not forthright about consulting with an additional counselor. Perhaps students want to claim sole responsibility for getting into the college of their dreams, without attributing any success to a third party. Similarly, parents may want to believe their children are capable without extra help – or at least want other parents to think that. Maybe both groups are embarrassed about needing the extra hand, and prefer to keep the college consultant out of the story because of this. On the contrary, other parents and students are very open about using a college consultant, and cite their help as a main factor in college application process.
Perhaps it boils down to the reason the college counselor is initially hired. Is the family able to provide the extra resource, and thus does so to include every resource possible? Is the family in serious need of extra help for fear students will not get into college without it?
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