Why Do I Need A College Counselor?

I often hear people unfamiliar with my work ask, "If I can just submit these essays and applications myself, so why would I need help?" Of course, you always have the option of completing anything in life by yourself-- but when you want the best results, it’s best to consult an expert.

A high caliber independent college counselor is an admissions expert who is certified to help you gain admission into the colleges that fit your goals best. In addition to providing the core services of application management and assistance crafting the perfect personal statements, a skilled private college counselor goes beyond these core services to help you identify colleges, find your passion, win financial aid or scholarships, and much more.

Ask yourself this: Do you know admissions inside and out as an expert with years of experience? Do you know what specific universities look for in an applicant? Which majors increase the chances of rejection? Do you know what adcoms (admissions committees) look for in personal statements? Do you have the time to figure it all out and piece together a comprehensive strategy to achieve your personal goals, while maintaining the grades, the extracurricular activities, and your family’s collective sanity?

It’s no secret that college acceptance rates have been declining despite increases in the number of applicants, making it that much more challenging to secure your spot at the college of your choice. A trustworthy college counselor cannot guarantee you a freshman spot at Harvard, but he or she can certainly make sure that you maximize your chances.

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Another way to frame the question is, "Why would I hire a tax accountant?" The answer is the same: it reduces the stress of an important process, and you gain optimal results. Unlike yearly taxes, however, for most families the college admissions process is a one-shot deal. Getting it right the first time is something an expert who is up-to-date and experienced can provide. Most everyone knows at least 1 academically top-performing student who applied on his/or own and was somehow rejected from every Ivy League school. Usually the reason why is that, while academically talented, he or she underestimated and/or misunderstood the nuances of the admissions process.

A second point of confusion I often hear is, "Why would I need a private admissions counselor in addition to my high school or university counselor?" The truth is that independent college counselors exist because guidance counselors at both public and private schools are overwhelmed. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the ratio of students to counselors is 476:1, and the average high school student receives only 38 minutes of personal advising on college admission! In addition to high student load, institutional counselors have additional administrative responsibilities -- they simply do not have time for the ins-and-outs of competitive admissions. Does the counselor at your institution sit down have the time to meet and go over with you possible college majors, help you find universities that fit you, discuss finances, and help you write essays? The answer I've consistently heard is an overwhelming ‘No’, and it's not the institutional counselor's fault (in my experience, institutional counselors are tireless champions for students). Rather, our current institutions have simply not adapted to the increasing number of students pursuing higher education. Independent college counselors have stepped into the gap to provide the services that students need but have not been able to get at their schools.

College admissions are increasingly competitive, the cost of a college education is increasingly expensive, and many students do not understand how to translate education into careers that will bring them financial and personal fulfillment. Would you invest a fraction of the cost of a college education in order to get into a great university and find an educational path that makes sense for your future? If your answer is ‘Yes’, then like many of the families that I have helped succeed, you have come to understand why you need an independent college counselor.


Tags: “college admissions”, “college counselor”, “admissions counseling”, “college applications”