What is the typical process when working with a private college advisor?

Hi all!

I’m a senior in college now helping my younger sister (she’s currently a junior in high school) with the process. She wants to seek out a private advisor for the application and financial aid process since she’s applying to a lot more competitive schools than I did, but we don’t have the money for that, so I’m hoping to be as helpful as possible.

What does a paid college advisor usually actually do? I’m thinking of just making her a weekly plan of tasks for throughout the summer and first semester senior year. Is there more to it than that? I guess I’m just wondering what the structure of working with an advisor is, so I can help her as efficiently as possible.

thanks in advance!

@lemondrop77 It’s very thoughtful of you to help your sister in this process! She is very lucky to have you look out for her. A (good) paid advisor will do more than list the set of tasks needed . They may have insight as to what are the best types of colleges that your sister should be thinking about, and they will also help with essays and other aspects of application.

Since you say your family does not have money for that, you should first realize that competitive universities your sister may gain admission to may not meet full financial need (like NYU or BU). The ones that do meet full need, like Harvard, Yale , etc, are extremely competitive to get into and reaches for everyone. You can look into Questbridge to see if your family qualifies due to finances. It’s a program to help bright, lower income students get into competitive colleges. The program itself is competitive.

If you can give us some details as to the stats and financial parameters, that may help us to give some general direction. Or your sister can make an account and ask herself. And you can then help her with understanding the responses.

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I would highly suggest to make another thread and give information about your sister. Grades, unweighted, Scores, Ecs, interests, proposed major. Awards etc.

Then people will be more then happy to help guide you through the process. You will remember a lot of it also so it won’t be foreign to you. There are also websites for monthly tasks to do from right now till the day she decides. Google around to find those. That can be helpful.

I would also make a spreadsheet that you can share via Google docs or the like. List the schools of interests, due dates, costs, break down room /board, instate /out of state, deadlines to apply. Deadlines for each schools scholarships, EFC for each school, Professor to talk with etc…

Have her call her high-school since they might already have some information that can be helpful.

It’s great that your helping your sister out.

Also, have her start forming ideas for the “Why” x college essays. Like an outline. Good thing to do over the summer.