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Have you used a private admission consultant, if so what is your experience?

jzducoljzducol Registered User Posts: 498 Member
I know this topic was probably covered from time to time. But it seems the landscape of admission changes every year and so do the fees. My D is a junior and we are debating about getting her a consultant. I would like to know for applying to top ten schools have you retained a private admission consultant and how much do they cost nowadays?
My thinking is that for public schools seniors counselors do not really offer much of advise or assistance. For parents and kids there is probably no way to figure out how their application stacks up with others who are also super competitive for top colleges. And I don't think it would be wise to post a whole application for certain school on CC to get feedback and input. DIY can achieve a lot and there seems to be consensus on CC that DIY is preferred over hiring private consultants, but how do you actually get honest assessment and good advice without consultants?
If you hired consultants did they make a difference and how much did you spend?
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Replies to: Have you used a private admission consultant, if so what is your experience?

  • boudersbouders Registered User Posts: 2,233 Senior Member
    I'm interested in seeing what others have to say. After D16's disappointing experience last year, due to zero support from her out of country public school, we hired an admissions consultant for S14's law school applications.
  • 3puppies3puppies Registered User Posts: 1,532 Senior Member
    OP, What part of the country do you live in?
  • jzducoljzducol Registered User Posts: 498 Member
    We live in Ca. I know that CC can give brutally honesty opinion on any profile. But the thing is everyone applying to top ten would have perfect stats. The intangibles like essays can not be posted on CC anyway, and they are probably what distinguishes a successful applicant from others.
    So, I am very interested to know if there are CC parents out there who feel they kids would not have been successful in admission process had it not been the private counselor's help.
  • Jliu32472Jliu32472 Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    We didn't get a private counselor for my daughter. The prices (over 10k) were just plain silly for the services they provide. We did get her a tutor for her essays.
    I had the time so I helped my daughter instead.
  • LindagafLindagaf Registered User Posts: 8,157 Senior Member
    Google one of the companies I suggested and ask for a customer reference.

    And yes, mostly everyone at a top ten school will have stellar stats, which is why it isn't just about stellar stats. It's about the person and what they have achieved.
  • jzducoljzducol Registered User Posts: 498 Member
    I imagine if a kid needs parents nagging to apply to colleges, he or she would not have accomplished a profile good enough for top ten colleges.
    It seems there is a lack of stories here among CC parents who have spent $10k or more for this specific purpose---to help them separate their kids from the rest in the application pool. I speculate that for top ten schools, its much like competing sports at elite level, every little edge counts. Are there good or bad outcomes to share here?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 71,002 Senior Member
    I do know folks who used private consultants to help kids with college search, selection and application to top schools.

    BUT they didn't start at the end of 11th grade. To be honest. That's sort of late. What do you want this oersonnto do for you? It's a little late to help you with things like course selection, ECs, and the like. It's alsmoat too late to make suggestions for schools to visit. And it's certainly too late to change course selections to meet requirements for some colleges.

    You may find that some of these college consultants already have a full load of kids who will be seniors next year...

    But if you want someone, I'm sure you can find someone.

    Fact is,mhowever, your consultant will advise you on choices based on what your kid has to offer on their application. If anyone promises you they can get your kid into a top ten school...I would not work be suspicious of that claim.

    And you knew someone would ask...is your kid ONLY applying to top ten schools?
  • eiholieiholi Registered User Posts: 312 Member
    edited March 2017
    I know some students who went to top ten schools without using private counselors. I feel if they used one they could be at a top three school. It must be helpful to let someone look at your application if that person is a former top school AO who saw thousands of applications and made decisions who to admit. If my son turns out to be a candidate for a top school and there is a former top school AO around I'd pay her/him to take a look at son's application. But I'd rather see that kind of helping eliminated soon.

    The significance of essays may be exaggerated. Lots of things are likely in play and for many years before junior year to make a top school contender, if the kid is the right material at all. So, it'd be nice to have a private counselor or put the kid in expensive private schools early. But I'd rather keep the kid close and be involved.
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