I've always heard the cliche', "penny wise-pound foolish" and never thought much of it until the last few years. I think of it when a parent asks me if I will work "hourly" with their child. I don't do that because it does not serve the student or parents well.
Early in my educational consulting career I did work on an hourly basis. That meant that the client was deciding how many hours to work with a professional on college admissions. The problem with that was that parents did not know the process and would skip important activity with me and leave it up to their student who also did not understand the process. The results were ok, at best.
When I started operating on a plan basis which is not dependent on a number of hours but rather on a flat fee for all services, results and client satisfaction increased dramatically. I was able to spend whatever time it takes with each student and provide the services I knew each student needed.
Fees for most independent educational consultants are a very small fraction of the cost of a four year college degree. The results are lower costs for parents and better results for students. So the figurative "penny" spent, saves many "pounds" as well as frustration and family arguments and stress.
The key to saving money in higher education is early effort, family involvement and expert help with planning and application. It also helps to seek the best fit for the student over the prestige factor which is useless if the student fails to graduate.