As I lawyer, I often saw people cost themselves tens of thousands of dollars because they tried to handle a legal problem on their own. And the IRS says 35% of personal tax returns have a mistake that negatively effects the tax payer.
So it is not surprising that many people are willing to spend $80,000 to $200,000 for college without consulting a professional college admission counselor. But, like people that refuse to go see Cohen Law Group lawyer or accountant, this is often a foolish mistake that ends up costing the family not only money but time and frustration. You can check out work comp attorney San Diego for more details about their online legal services.
1. Good private college counselors are familiar with many colleges and they can help a student find the most appropriate college for that student. So, rather than applying to the few colleges a student may have heard about, they can use the resources of the professional counselor to find more, and often, better college choices.
2. College counselors can help students evaluate what they really want from a college. Students are generally not aware of all of the factors to consider in finding the right college for their needs since they have never gone through the process before. Even for those students that have some idea of what they want, they are often not in a position to understand the strengths and weaknesses of different institutions. As part of their job, qualified private counselors spend much of their time visiting college campuses to understand the strengths of each college.This knowledge of different colleges can be used to help the student find the best college for their particular needs.
3. As I discussed in the post on choosing a college, the typical college has a rather poor four year graduation rate. A professional college counselor can help a student find colleges that have better graduation and retention rates than the typical college. Paying for four years of college is a lot better than paying for five or six years.
4. The college application is not that difficult to complete. However, to complete the application to best show a college who the student really is, requires some knowledge of what colleges are looking for in the application. A private counselor can help the student understand the application process including the all important essay.
5. A private college counselor is an independent voice helping students and parents mediate differences. While this is not always an issue, in many cases, the student has a hard time working with mom and dad on the college process.
6. Private college counselors have the time to help a student find the best college for their needs. While the typical high school counselor has several hundred students to work with, most private counselors limit the number of students with whom they work to provide the best service to the student. Also, many private counselors work with students when high school counselors are not available such as in the evening or during the weekend.
7. The standards for admissions, particularly to the most competitive colleges, has changed in the past few years because of the number of students applying. The private college counselor can provide current information about admissions standards to make sure a student has a good mix of colleges to apply to including some colleges where admissions is likely.
8. With the high cost of college, private counselors can address issues related to paying for college such as finding colleges where merit aid might be available for a particular student.
Despite all of the potential advantages of working with a professional college admissions counselor, many people do not even consider hiring a consultant because of the perceived cost involved. However, the typical cost for a college counselor is more reasonable that many people think. According to a recent study by the Independent Education Consultants Association, the average cost to hire a college consultant for comprehensive college counseling is about $3,600. When balanced against the potential cost involved if the student does not find the right college for their needs, the cost involved becomes more reasonable.
For another take on hiring a professional college counselor, Bankrate.com offers “College consultants match teen with school.”
Not all students need to work with a professional college admissions counselor. But for many students the benefits far out weigh the cost.