"When you help manage the daily lives of more than 400 high school
students, it can be difficult to find time to sit down with any of them to sort
out the differences between the University of Miami and Miami University -
Oxford. 'As a guidance counselor, I did everything: class scheduling, group
counseling, one-on-one counseling,' says Kpakpundu Ezeze, who now works as a
private educational consultant for Future Quest Inc. in Washington, D.C.
'Sometimes I even had lunch duty in the cafeteria.'"
"Now Ezeze, who also has worked as an assistant dean of student life,
helps students gain admission to a college that will serve their needs. Faced
with the arduous process of applying to college, more college bound youths and
their families are hiring consultants to help them choose schools, prepare
applications, and study for admissions tests. In 1998, about 6 percent–a
slight increase over 1997–of the entering college freshman class used a
consultant, according to the Independent Educational Consultants Association.
That number should increase as test-prep giants such as the Princeton Review and
Kaplan start offering counseling services this year."
Consultants can be an expensive accessory to the college process but they can
also take some of the stress out of college admissions. They will help you
prepare for standardized tests, choose which college you want to go to, apply to
that college, and much more. They can be very valuable resources to parents as
well as students. Many consultants have worked as admissions officers or
guidance counselors and know how the game works.
Tips/Hints for hiring a consultant:
- Ask potential consultants in-depth questions about their background. Just
because someone was a high school counselor doesn't mean they ever assisted with
higher education planning.
- Agree on pricing upfront. Expect to pay an hourly rate of about $75 to $200,
or $1,200 to $2,500 total for a long-range plan from grade 10 on.
- You can find a list of consultants compiled by IECA (800-808-4322 or www.educationalconsulting.org),
or the NACAC (703-836-2222 or www.nacac.com).
Excerpts from: "Help for Hire" By: Kenneth