I have been working on my BS applications with help from an education consultancy. One of the (paid for) services they offer is advocacy on behalf of their clients, meaning that they would call their connections at BS’s and provide additional recommendation. Anyone knows how helpful these would be? Thank you
Calling up to say admit my paying client? Zero. And a heavy eye roll from the AO.
Maybe negative 1000, depending on the school.
I think it may not be that black and white. Many of the consultants have been in business for many years and have established strong relationships with the admissions offices. So, I’d imagine their opinion on applicants (if based on facts) may matter. In any case, would be great to hear perspectives of those who tried this,
I think for some international candidates, this is a common practice. Many Asian students use a consultant and it’s common for the consultant to come with the student on their interview along with the parent. One of my kids has many Asian friends who did this. The kids are all really strong students. Apparently, it’s very expensive and the consultant vets the kids.
Don’t know how useful it is for American applicants, however.
I meant to say kids from Asia, not Asian-American kids.
We used an educational consultant and paid for the “full package”. It did not appear to give us an advantage at all. In fact, I do wonder if it hurt kiddo’s chances, as we were quite disappointed on M10.
I lean against this practice, A select few, however, usher their client applications in like a boarding school college counselor might to its more common college relationships. Hard for me to get there, but some people swear by it. A number of consultants worked in admissions prior to hanging up a shingle. They are still in the crowd.
I think that for many of the international students, the consultants (particularly in Asia) have relationships with AOs and that often, their input is helpful to the AOs because they know more about the middle schools, competitions, etc. I seriously doubt though that an AO would admit a kid based on a consultant’s recommendation. Over time, the consultant’s input will prove reliable (or not!)
I knew 2 very well established consultants in the U.S. and my overall impression is that what they did best was find the right fit – picking schools where the student would thrive and compile a list that ensured there would be good choices come M10. (Not, as @cityran experienced, 100% acceptances.) At some level, if they do this right, no advocacy is needed although both of these folks I know seemed to know EVERYONE in admissions and was highly respected. So if one of these consultants called the AO to chat about xyz’s interest in abc , the school also knew that this kid’s fit for the school had been vetted.
I would be somewhat wary of a consultant who offered tiered services like this. They are essentially saying “I’ll help you put together the best list and application possible but I’ll be telling the schools to admit the ones who paid me more.” Feels all wrong.
Keep in mind that OP is asking the question as a. domestic applicant.
Just for clarification, my consultant had three tiers:
1: Putting a school list together
2: Tier one plus interview practice and application advise.
3: Tier one and two plus advocating for the student and advising on the right fit.
We chose 3 to help find the right fit (which was a moot issue in the end). We naively felt she had a strong enough application to get into the majority of the schools to which she applied without any help.
For us, the idea was no different than using a college counselor. But we quickly realized that I had enough knowledge of BSs to make our own list (one our counselor simply confirmed was fine), and the wonderful parents on CC helped fill in any questions we had during the application process. We will not be using a consultant when kiddo2 starts the BS process.
Also, at no time did we expect a 100% acceptance rate. We were just expecting a different end result. Neither of the schools to which she was admitted were at the top of her list. In the end, using a counselor (who is highly regarded within the BS community) was not worth it for us.
Wasn’t suggesting that @cityran expected 100% acceptance. Trying to point out that advocacy does not equal admission!