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


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

  • Tperry1982Tperry1982 Forum Champion Yale Posts: 1,554 Forum Champion
    @jzducol - while students do not post their essays on CC, they do sometimes ask folk to read them and send them via PM if they agree. I have read them on occasion since that is something that I do on the side (full disclosure - not a plug for your business). It is a way to get a free review. I am always amused when I see fellow applicants offering to read essays.
  • oldfortoldfort Registered User Posts: 21,689 Senior Member
    D1 had a very bad college application process, so I hired a private counselor for D2. It was a consulting team, not just one consultant. The advising started end of sophomore year. They looked over her profile, and based on her interest and aspiration, came up with their first list of colleges beginning of junior year. As more stats came in, like GPA, test scores, ECs and such, they revised the list. They gave her guidance on summer activities and ECs, as well as on what courses to take in school. They had very good sense on what many of those top schools looked for in applicants because they hired ex-admission people from those schools. Those ex-admission people only reviewed students profiles, they didn't work with students directly. In senior year, they helped with essays and applications. They were very helpful in making sure D2 was on schedule with all her tests, essays and applications. I thought D2's final application looked a lot better than D1's. To be clear, they didn't write D2's essays. They helped with topics and editing, but they were all D2's words.

    I found D2's process was a lot painless for me and we were happy with the result. By the time D2 was going through the process I was already on CC for over 5 yrs, but I still learned a lot from this consulting firm. They got many students into their reach and high reach schools, especially during ED/EA.

    I recently refer a friend to the same consultant. My friend said the price tag was 25K for 2 yrs package now. It was less for me 5 years ago.
  • kkfieldskkfields Registered User Posts: 71 Junior Member
    @suzyQ7 we used a consultant for my DS BS/MD applications this cycle. We are more than thrilled as he has been accepted to 5+ programs and some of his classmates who have higher class standing and ACT/SAT scores have been rejected at the same programs.

    It is pricey. the company we went for my DS charges $50K for a 4 year program (approxmately $12K) per year which includes everything such as SAT/ACT prep as well..

    We did not know about them until last summer so we went with the one year comprehensive program for 1 program and then added on services for additional programs. It has been expensive but well worth it as my spouse and I are both not in health fields and wouldn't have been able to support my DS properly.
  • eiholieiholi Registered User Posts: 312 Member
    You get what you pay for applies here too I assume. Can you pinpoint where they helped the most, @kkfields?
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 26,914 Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    I agree no one can promise to get your kid into one of their top 3 choices, unless they so modify those choices that you're down to those with a stats-based selection process. But, refocusing your kid's targets to what's truly more reasonable *is* one thing good private counselors do.

    "...how do you actually get honest assessment and good advice without consultants?" You take your own savvy approach, research everything, and don't get sucked into the search for praise, nor fall for "it's all a crapshoot." .I.e., you make this very rational and comprehensive. That inlcudes safeties.

    "My DH once told DD that in order to get into these great schools, you have to be smart enough to figure this out for yourself." I agree with this, in this respect: if you're looking at tippy tops that value activation, vision, solid critical thinking, you need to be that sort of kid. Not one who takes this lightly, goes on hearsay, and assumes that what works in his hs is what works for the leap to a most-competitive college.

    I had friends who spent 25k each x 3 kids. And where those 3 ended up at were not top 25 colleges, though they found their matches and were happy.

    Many adcoms can tell when an app is too polished. Many consultants don't really have the admissions experience they suggest, or not recent enough to know what's going on now.
  • quietdesperationquietdesperation Registered User Posts: 595 Member
    we should have hired a pay by the hour for our oldest son. Our public school counselor was useless, we thought he'd be competitive at top 20 schools. In retrospect, his essay was good, his supplemental essays weren't very good and the app didn't tell his story. In the end, he was admitted to a top 20 lac and a top 30 university but we could have saved him a lot of heartache by improving his app and moderating his choices. I did receive some good advice on CC but in the beginning, it's hard to figure out who really knows what they're talking about.

    by the time it was S2's turn, we had it figured out. he was admitted to several schools with the lowest gpa in our hs history (according to naviance) because his story was so strong (and he had a high sat score).

  • suzyQ7suzyQ7 Registered User Posts: 3,434 Senior Member
    @quietdesperation did you have the help of the consultant for S2?
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