3 questions to help you choose a private college counselor

September 28, 2021 at 4:00 AM
Students in caps and gowns for graduation.

Retaining the services of a private college counselor can quickly become expensive, with many families spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on counselors with solid track records of admissions to top colleges. The costs involved, though, necessitate that students or parents considering getting the help of a private counselor keep certain points in mind when choosing who they’re going to be working with.

Educational Attainment Services is a private counselor service founded by a former admissions staff member at the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard University. Our experience and success in helping students reach their top colleges have given us a deep understanding of what truly matters in applications and admissions preparation.

In this post, we’ll go over some of the most important things we believe you should keep in mind when choosing a private college counselor, including the amount of time you or your student gets with their assigned counselor at school, how the counselor actually engages with students, and what the counselor’s educational background looks like.

How much time does your student get with their assigned counselor at school?

One of the biggest reasons for the growing popularity of private college counselors and advisors is the lack of effective help students typically get from the counselors they’re assigned at school. This isn’t due to any lack of ability on the part of those counselors. Rather, the volume of students they typically work with is too high to give a significant amount of attention to any one student long enough to guide them in a substantial way.

When you work with a private counselor, this won’t likely be the case. Given the previously mentioned expense often associated with private counselors, they’ll typically have a much smaller number of students they’ll be working with at any given time. This allows them to spend more time getting to know you and becoming more involved with your application process, which helps them better understand what it’s going to take to successfully guide you toward admission to your top choice school.

How do students engage with the counselor?

All the time in the world won’t necessarily make much difference if you don’t have good rapport with your counselor. You and/or the student need to be able to communicate with them effectively to get the most out of their help. It’s essential that you feel you’re able to trust them and share your thoughts, concerns, and struggles related to the application process with them. Without this, it’s much harder for your counselor to identify where you’re facing challenges and which areas of your application are most important to focus on.

Having the solid understanding of the student that comes with ease of communication will also help the counselor adjust the student’s expectations of which schools they’re likely to gain admission to and which ones are likely to benefit them most based on their likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses. If it doesn’t reaffirm your existing college and career plans, this may open up paths forward toward success that you hadn’t previously considered.

What is the counselor’s educational/career background?

An essential part of a private college counselor’s expertise should come from their own educational background. This can mean that they’ve either been admitted to the schools that you’re trying to gain entry to, worked in the admissions office at those schools, or both. Wherever their prior experience comes from, it’s particularly helpful if they already have some form of connection with the school you’re targeting as part of their educational or career background.

For more information about what to look for in a private college counselor, check out this article from U.S. News and World Report.

Work with a private college counselor with a track record of excellent results

Give yourself the best shot possible at some of the top colleges in the nation by working with Educational Attainment Services. Our incredible track record proves that we have what it takes to help you reach the educational heights you’re shooting for, and we’re ready for you to be our next great success story. Contact us now for an initial consultation.