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Is Admissions Hero/College Vine worth it?

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Replies to: Is Admissions Hero/College Vine worth it?

  • melvin123melvin123 1526 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,544 Senior Member
    I didn't use College Vine, but I did use 2 other things.

    One was college karma, which I think is run by people who used to run CC. I can't remember whether it was $100 or $150, but they reviewed my D's stats and ECs and talked to her a bit to go over whether her proposed list of schools was reasonable and they gave a list of other schools they thought could be a good fit for her. They spent a good amount of time with us, so I think this service is a loss-leader for them because they offer more extensive packages. I thought there was a lot of good things about that service, but I also thought it was a little more pessimistic than it needed to be FOR US. I think we had the benefit of geographic diversity and our HS has a particularly good reputation and strong relationships with some colleges. I think if we lived in a major metropolitan area, they would have been spot on. Overall, I thought they were very knowledgeable and their comments very helpful.

    The other thing we did was we hired someone to help my D with her essays, and we used a recommendation from someone who was thrilled with that counselor's services. I went this route because it was less expensive than college karma and I thought I was going with someone pretty good. Well, honestly, I'm pretty demanding, and I ended up cancelling the services. A small thing that bothered me is that I wanted the essays completed earlier, and the counselor set up a schedule that resulted in them being due in November. I should have been more involved in that process because I knew my D's schedule and how everything would back up then due to her ECs. The bigger thing that bothered me is that in an effort to get my D to meet the word count limitations, the counselor edited out my D's voice. I thought that the final product was bland and could have been written by anybody, and I didn't hear my D's voice at all. So I let the consultant go, and had my D go back to her original draft and start from there. Although my D was at first resentful that I stepped into the process, by the end she was grateful, since I was careful to limit my comments to those things that she should definitely keep because they reflected on her and her personality, and what things I thought could either be tightened up or could go altogether since they didn't really say anything about HER. In the end she had something written solely by her and you could hear her voice all throughout the essay. So, I guess my point in sharing our story is you have to be careful. If you end up hiring someone, make sure they don't do any of the real work and instead just have conversations with your kid about how they can keep writing to make their essay tighter and all about them.
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  • VAMom23VAMom23 446 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 451 Member
    If you really feel like you need a "coach" hire someone local and reputable. For far less money. And I would tell you that you don't need it. You just need to write your own essays and be authentic.
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  • frozengirl9frozengirl9 11 replies4 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 15 New Member
    Do they correct grammar mistakes and such?
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  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5017 replies64 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,081 Senior Member
    edited July 2018
    A respected and locally recommended college counselor can be very useful.

    For us is was helpful with delivering the realistic school admission assessments and keeping our student to the timelines. And also someone to vent to and get resssurance from as results started to roll in.

    Also, in our case they had students gather in the summer in an essay workshop. Not to write, but to gather in groups and discuss their topics and ideas.

    For our child the concept of us as her parents reading and editing to find her “voice” would have been untenable. Though I am sure that works fine for other families.

    And quite frankly she is brighter and a more gifted writer than either of us.

    We chose the moral support role and hired the pro. I am also pretty sure we would have ended up with the same choices in the end. DD had a very small and targeted list.

    I think it depends on the student and the realistic skills of the parent.

    We liked that the counselor had seen hundred of essays and seen what the outcomes had been. That was comforting too.
    edited July 2018
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  • yjeanieyjeanie 3 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5 New Member
    Could you please explain what the role of the PMs is? I'm thinking about using the CollegeVine service, but I'm concerned about the experience of the student counselors. They are still in college, so I am worried that they will be too busy with their coursework to make time for students. In your experience, how were they able to provide effective guidance and support to you?
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  • Win123Win123 1 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Can you please advise me how to find a private counselor for my child?
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  • HMom16HMom16 684 replies15 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 699 Member
    IMHO the best way to find a private counselor is via referrals from people in your area.
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  • rayamannelrayamannel 1 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I am looking to find out about anyone’s experience with The CollegeVine?
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  • JenJenJenJenJenJenJenJen 1098 replies18 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,116 Senior Member
    If you read above your comment, you'll see why so many are disappointed and see it as having wasted their money.
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  • DC94904DC94904 3 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3 New Member
    Agree with everything said above about Collegevine. Terrible experience!
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  • BCS2018BCS2018 10 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 10 New Member
    same experience here. Totally waste of money and your children's precious time. Wish I came here to read reviews before we sign up.
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  • charliemidcharliemid 3 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I would strongly discourage anyone from using College Vine because they over promise and under deliver. The danger is they lead you to rely on them, then let you down. If you falsely believe they are competent, you will find that you have missed deadlines. In our case, our "PM" quit or was fired in mid November after letting us miss major deadlines. I would recommend people either find a better service, or do the work yourself. In our experience, College Vine is dangerously incompetent. Do not trust them. You will regret it.
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  • smagmitsmagmit 8 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 9 New Member
    Our experience with College Vine has been terrible too. I want to share my experiences on a platform such as this, to ensure the others don't fall into the same trap as I have been . Don't waste your hard-earned money. Look locally for a reputable counselor, who will do a much more honest job. Wish I had done my research here before wasting our time, money and energy.
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  • rphcfbrphcfb 228 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 228 Junior Member
    Agree with finding local private counselor or college advisor. When we looked for such a service, we sat in on a couple of College Vine-type presentations. Our impression was “ too good to be true” and outrageously expensive.

    Talked to friends who had kids in high schools. Got a recommendation ( words of mouth is a way to go). Interviewed him and was impressed with how he came across. He charged per hour and only when he worked with our D. Helped her along as needed starting her junior year. During that 1.5 years, he proprably spent 6-7 hours total helping her at $125/hr, very worth our money.

    You can ask other parents for recommendatins or ask high school counselors if they would recommend anyone. Then interview those advisors and check their credentials.

    I feel that this type of help and advice should start earlier than a senior year. By senior year, it is kind of late.
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  • PeaceOfMindPeaceOfMind 119 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    Be very skeptical about such services. I know of a Ivy League student who just finished her freshman year. She worked for College Vine last summer with almost no training. It appears the company recruits current Ivy League students who seem personable, but who otherwise have no experience in college advisory. Moreover, they are not trained on essay critique either. So not sure what is the value proposition of College Vine.
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  • charliemidcharliemid 3 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Is there an enterprising lawyer out there who wants to certify a class action against CollegeVine? There are clearly a lot of people who believe the service doesn't work.
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  • lostaccountlostaccount 5319 replies90 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,409 Senior Member
    How do they achieve this: 74% of their clients get into an ivy ? Do they just accept those who have the credentials to get into those schools regardless of the essay. Smacks of scam. But I'd say that of much of the college prep industry.
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