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a year ago
Admissions Advice

How valuable are positioning consultants?

I'm the parent of a rising junior. She has a strong profile, but is looking at highly competitive schools. There are a number of consultants out there and it seems to me they typically offer services focused on one or a combination of these topics: 1. getting in to the schools you choose; 2. helping you choose schools; 3. financial strategy to help get aid/pay for school. What's been your experience with college consulting? How do you assess what services you need? How do you evaluate the various service packages (doesn't seem like apple:apple comparisons)?

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2 answers

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a year ago[edited]

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a year ago

So typically if you will get consultants you should look at an admissions person (helps with school list and getting into the school) and a finicial guide.

Also my mom stressed about aid so we were on a webinar with a semi-sketchy company who just made stuff up. I said I was looking at rice (who meets full aid) and he said that we would help you maximize aid not lower EFC but increase your aid. So be mindful of these very misleading companies personally I’d look at local organizations or non profits and not a national company.

I’d look for a cheaper company/person and the sketchy company I spoke to was like 4000 and advertised that they did both admissions and aid. That was a very high price. Personally I’d look for a sub $2000 dollars combined.

I’d also ask your child’s high school counselor for company recommendations and do not go with a unsolicited company these are the sketchiest of the sketchiest.

As to how to evaluate ask them what school they helped people get into, ask about how big the company is (my expierence is that bigger companies aren’t as good as they are profit seekers may just be me) also ask for any statistics.

Also for making a school list I really don’t recommend you hire a consultant for that as it is fairly easy to do by yourself. You can visit campuses look at common data set for each school (google) majors offered type of school (private research private liberal arts public large or small public. Collegevine has amazing filters to see the stats of the school and you can make a list and see stats side by side.

As for a typical list typically has at least your states flagship school (notable exceptions are schools with sub 35% acceptance rate. Personally my list will have like 7 schools In very confident I’ll get in 3 schools that are a coin flip and 2 ish that are elite elite school as in ivy caliber but that’s just me.

PS look into collegevines advocate tool in your child’s senior year after she gets decisions.

Hope this helps and please comment if you need clarification as I’d be happy to help clarify!

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