If the idea of working with a professional college counsellor seems new, you might be surprised to know that approximately 26% of high-achieving seniors have used an independent educational consultant in the college search and application process*. Still, students and families often wonder about private college counselling and how it works.
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FAQ: From Parents/Guardians
Q? How often do you need to meet with the student?
This will vary depending on the needs of the student.
Q? Why do we need a consultant? Can’t my student just apply on his/her own to the colleges he/she wants?
Even a motivated student will quickly find that the demands of college admissions are incredibly time-consuming. Essays can take several days or weeks to perfect, and some colleges require multiple essays. Simply filling out forms can take hours for each application and often requires additional documentation, which takes time to procure. Multiply this by just a few college choices, and the task quickly becomes overwhelming. Your College Connector helps you and your student manage time and energy with efficiency – from thinning down your list of schools to streamlining paperwork. We also ensure that application essays are in line with what college admissions committees are expecting. You’ll find that our expertise eliminates the uncertainty and frustration of the application process, allowing you to enjoy time with your child and make a college decision that works for your family.
Q? Will hire an educational consultant to improve my student’s chances of being accepted to the university or college of his/her choice?
No professional college counselor can guarantee admission (and if you meet any who do promise placement to specific colleges, approach them with extreme caution). However, Your College Connector can ensure that your student is presented in the best possible light and, more importantly, is applying to schools that are a good fit for his/her academic strengths, talents, career ambitions and financial constraints. Students and families often find this “perfect match” aspect to be the ultimate value in working with a professional college consultant.
Q? The guidance counselor at my student’s school already advised us that college isn’t really an option for my student so why bother?
School counsellors are indeed valuable assets, but it is important to realize that they work with hundreds of students on a daily basis. As such, they often have little time to devote to students with unique circumstances – like students from outside the U.S., students with undecided career paths, and those with learning difficulties, disabilities or even average academic performance. This does not, however, mean that college is “not an option” for those students. Your College Connector offers an initial pre-consultation to review each student’s potential opportunities fully and completely, with the personalized attention that you and your student deserve.
Q? Are educational consultants agents of certain university or college admissions committees?
Absolutely not. (Again, if you meet a consultant who makes this claim, proceed with caution.) The value of Your College Connector lies in our ability to see the “big picture,” to determine what schools want and what students can deliver and then make the right connections. While colleges will occasionally send admissions advisors to visit high schools, it is important to understand that they are not there to provide individualized guidance. Rather, they are there to create excitement for and gauge the interest of students wishing to apply to their representative universities. Your College Connector will help you and your student decide which schools are the best fit and then develop a strategy for the strongest application possible.
Q? College admissions are so competitive. How will you help my student stand out?
Truly, admission to the country’s top schools is more competitive than ever, which is all the more reason to hire a private college counsellor. At Your College Connector, we draw upon close to two decades of secondary school experience combined with many years of specialized expertise in the college and university admissions process. This carefully honed insight allows us to zero in on your student’s unique qualities that make him/her inherently attractive as a candidate. What’s more, we know which colleges have preferences for students with exceptional talents or abilities and can make sound recommendations for applying to those schools.
FAQ: From Students
Q? I’ve already decided which colleges I want to attend. Why do I need an educational consultant?
It’s important to have clear goals in mind before applying, but you may be surprised by the time-consuming and frustrating nature of the process. You likely have extracurricular activities you’ve committed to and a substantial school workload, not to mention a social life. While it’s never intentional, college applications often end up at the bottom of the priority list until deadlines are looming. Think of Your College Connector as your personal assistant for college admissions. We’ll help keep you on task, organized, and working steadily toward deadlines without feeling frustrated, rushed or overwhelmed by what should be an altogether positive experience. We also help your whole family manage expectations so there is less stress for everyone involved.
Q? All of the schools I want to go to are too expensive. Can you help me find scholarships?
Your College Connector believes that nothing should stand behind a motivated student and his/her desire to earn a degree. While we do not “search” for scholarships, we will help fine-tune scholarship applications, essays and other submission materials. We can also recommend colleges and universities that offer similar atmospheres to those “too expensive” or competitive schools. Identifying the best value for your college tuition dollar is one way to ensure that you get the most out of your entire college experience.
Q? So will you tell me how to write my essays to make sure I get in?
It can be tempting to tell the admissions committees what you think they want to hear: that you’re a straight-A student with amazing extracurriculars, volunteer hours and crime-fighting abilities. But, in reality, admissions committees are wise to that tactic. What they truly want are real people with a passion for something that a college degree will help make possible. They want students that will add to the on-campus experience. That being said, Your College Connector will certainly help you brainstorm essay topics and application responses that reflect you and your unique strengths, and we’ll help make them as eloquent as possible while preserving your own individual writing style. Then, when acceptance letters come in, you’ll know that it was on your own merits.
Q? Are you just going to hound me like my parents would about applying to college?
Quite honestly, Your School & College Connector believes that when you take an active role in your college applications, great things can happen. In other words, you’ll get out of this process what you’re willing to put into it. That is why, from the outset, we’ll ask you what YOU want from the college application process, and we’ll work with you, your parents/guardians and teachers to ensure that everyone keeps those goals in mind. Yes, we will remind you about deadlines and suggest revisions to your essays, but our aim is that you’ll feel less annoyed by the process and more empowered to pursue the college or university education you deserve.