College advisors, also known as independent college counselors and higher education consultants can significantly increase student admission, scholarship and financial aid outcomes depending upon their focus and background. Sometimes parents ask what is the value of hiring a private consultant to help get their children to college when public and private high schools provide school counselors to help with that? The answer is TIME.
College preparation and the college process takes tremendous time with the student for best results. Most public high school counselors report student loads of 400-500 students for a HUGE list of important tasks of which college is but one. Public high school counselors have wonderful information about college and encourage students to take the steps they need to take to get ready and to apply-but all they can do with the time they have available for each student is to encourage and provide information. Most students need more than that to reach their full potential at the conclusion of the college process. Not all private schools have quaiified school counselors to help with college process. Instead students are helped with college activities by teachers or school staff. Again, TIME is an issue and probably qualification.
Private college advisors are so effective, in part, because most of them are trained specifically for what they do and they work only for the family and student. They have no competing interests from a school or other entity to bias their advice. They devote a large amount time to individual, one-to-one advising, planning and support for accomplishment of college tasks.
Like all professions, college advisors and consultants come in all levels of experience and skill. Some do work for financial or educational private companies. The services provided can vary. The best way to choose is by interviewing advisors and through referrals from happy current and former clients.