NYC private high school admissions consultant experience

Hello, we are looking for help with admissions process for 9th grade in 2023 for our son to top tier nyc private high schools like Dalton, Trinity, Horace Mann, Riverdale, etc. Does anyone have any experience to share regarding using consultants? We are new to the nyc area and the admissions process here. Is it common/helpful to use consultants?

NOTE: No recommendations for private businesses or individuals please.

Some people use them and other’s don’t. My friends who did not use claim that if your kid is the type of kid these schools want, you don’t need to pay for outside help. My friends who DID use claim that it’s too hard to penetrate “what kind of kid belongs at Horace Mann” without an expert guiding you.


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My sense is that if you know the schools really well, you can pick the schools that will want your kid and it’ll be fine. With that said, few people are that savvy.

A good consultant doesn’t get a kid in, they have them apply to schools they’ll get into. And they often know the finer elements that differentiate the schools and can find a place where your kid will be happy and thrive.

If you are new to the City, this could be really halpful.

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It depends on where you’re from. If you’re international or came from Small Town America, I’d use a consultant simply because it’s very different. A lot of school admissions people speak this weird local code language that’s difficult to unravel.

This is based on our experience going from a small town to DC, which has a similar educational market of a few hard-to-get-into schools.

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Have you been in touch with The Parents League of NYC? They are a nonprofit that’s been around for 100+ years whose mission is to, “supports [sic] families and children by providing a broad range of educational and parenting resources.” They offer advisory services which are more geared to helping families like yours learn more about NYC independent schools. I would recommend reading more about them on their website and consider making an appointment with an advisor.

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yes we have, didnt find them super helpful

I didn’t find them helpful either when we were applying for my public school 5th grader going into private schools. We used Inspirica and she got into every school (5) and waitlisted on (1 which was never really a consideration and they knew it) We’re now currently using Elevate for different child for college. Anyway, we did not know what the heck we were doing or what we were in for when we applied for the 5th grader and the consultant really helped us navigate it all. I highly recommend you speak to someone it will only help the process. Good luck!

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Sorry to hear that. Best of luck with your search.

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