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Admissions Consultants as Supplemental Recommenders

divdaddivdad Registered User Posts: 50 Junior Member
Couple questions for the board...

First how many of you used an admissions consultant to help prep for SSAT/ISEE and with application essays?

Second, if such a consultant is someone with 30+ years experience in prestigious private schools and thinks highly of your child how do you think a supplemental recommendation from that person would be received by a tier 1 admissions committee? Seems to me there is a conflict of interest given the existence of a fiduciary relationship with the recommender. But I'm new to this world so perhaps I am wrong. Curious to hear if others have had positive or negative experiences with this idea.

Thanks in advance!

Replies to: Admissions Consultants as Supplemental Recommenders

  • soxmomsoxmom Registered User Posts: 667 Member
    We used a consultant to help come up with a good list of schools and with the application process (essays and interviews). The consultant recommended a separate SSAT tutor. I did think that a consultant was useful in helping us come up with a short list of schools that really fit what my daughter was looking for, and certainly helped her in being more confident about the interview.

    I've never heard of a consultant actually being one of the people submitting a recommendation. I can't imagine that would be very useful -- it just seems to me as though it would be viewed as "buying" a recommendation or that your child can't find anyone else to get a recommendation from. Of course the consultants do have relationships with admissions officers, and they can and I'm sure do give some informal input through that relationship. I think for the most part, that informal input is more along the lines of explaining why they think this school is a particularly good fit for a particular kid/family, or giving a school some insight as to whether it's the first choice for that kid. But in terms of an actual written recommendation, no, I wouldn't think so.
  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom Registered User Posts: 857 Member
    I agree with @soxmom. I wouldn't "waste" a good recommendation on a consultant as I would think they AO would consider it to be a paid recommendation, whether or not that's the case.
  • sgopal2sgopal2 Registered User Posts: 2,815 Senior Member
    Agree don't use any recommenders that you've paid in any capacity.
  • 6teenSearch6teenSearch Registered User Posts: 270 Junior Member
    The admission consultant presumably has AO relationships, and is presumably steering your kid to schools they think are a good fit. As such, their recommendation is implied. I would never use the recommendation for a consultant; there should be other people who know your child better.
  • RedSoxFan18RedSoxFan18 Registered User Posts: 221 Junior Member
    I don't think you want the school to know you even used a consultant.
  • MAandMEmomMAandMEmom Registered User Posts: 857 Member
    I think many consultants actually go to the visit with you based on what we've seen at some schools. Or, maybe it was just an extra parent:)
  • lostaccountlostaccount Registered User Posts: 4,582 Senior Member
    Better still, don't use one.
  • 6teenSearch6teenSearch Registered User Posts: 270 Junior Member
    We used a consultant for an older sib, albeit for day schools. This consultancy also did BS, but that was a different staff member. In both cases, they call AOs to discuss their candidates. It is no secret at all. They sort of bill themselves as a first screening or matchmaker. The AOs trust the good consultants to bring worthwhile, "admissible" candidates. The consultants also try to steer kids to a good fit school, so as not to waste anyone's time. The consultant can also be used to convey additional information that might not come out in an application.

    We ended up choosing a day school our consultant knew little about, so the whole thing was a (big) waste of money for our oldest. Thankfully for our next DC we have her school's placement office to serve a similar role so we didn't need to decide whether to hire someone.
  • VACAloverVACAlover Registered User Posts: 75 Junior Member
    Since we had no knowledge of BS at all, I first tried to research on my own. We used a BS consultant on the recommendation of a friend. IMO it was a great use of funds, especially considering the cost of BS. She directed us to look at 6 schools -none of which I had never heard of nor had researched - after interviewing kid for 2 hours. All the schools I had researched were not good fits, either too competitive or too easy. She has followed up with AO kid interviewed with, has given us great suggestions and feedback from her discussions. We could not be more pleased.

    On the flip side, 4 years ago we used a consultant for #3 which was a total waste of money.
This discussion has been closed.