From diapers to training wheels to (ack!) college. You’re constantly wondering how your child grew up so fast.
From tutors to coaches to…Independent Educational Consultants?
If you’ve been hearing more and more about this term lately or just hearing about it for the first time, you may be wondering what is an independent educational consultant. And more importantly, how can he or she help your child?
As an independent educational consultant with over 20 years of experience in education, I’ll walk you through what I do and how I support you and your child through the college planning and application process.
So, What Exactly Is An Independent Educational Consultant?
An independent educational consultant (IEC for short) is a trained professional who can guide families through the college search and application process.
Don’t glaze over those words just yet!
Think of an IEC as a freelance college guidance counselor or a freelance college advisor.
An IEC is here to help your high school student through the college application journey.
For both parents and students, college applications can be full of stress, anxiety, and the unknown.
Working with an IEC on a one-to-one basis helps alleviate this stress. You’ll be provided with knowledge, accurate details, and guidance at every step of the way.
Why Hire An Independent Educational Consultant?
There are many reasons to hire an independent education consultant (sometimes also referred to as an independent college advisor).
Here are some top reasons:
7 Reasons to Hire an Independent Educational Consultant (IEC)
1) To get more individual attention than many school-based counselors can provide.
In some high schools, guidance counselors have a large number of students to advise and numerous roles that they fill in addition to college advising.
This can lead to students not having the individual attention they may need.
The college preparation process can often start as early as 9th grade – way before many students would even think about college – but many schools do not have the capability to begin advising until later in the high school years.
An independent educational consultant can fill in the gaps in the high school counseling program. An IEC can respond to your needs promptly and personally.
2) To expertly guide your child through the college research process and help develop a college list.
An independent educational consultant helps develop a game plan for your child to help them become as successful as possible in college planning and application.
IECs visit different college campuses every year so can offer insight and first-hand knowledge of schools that students may not be aware of.
As an IEC, I work with your child to find the best schools that are the right fit for your child. Instead of trying to fit the student to the college.
3) To help organize and plan your child’s application strategy.
After working with your child to create a game plan for navigating the college admissions process, an independent educational consultant can help keep your student on track with the application steps.
Additionally, IECs can support college essay planning and writing when help is needed.
For example, Stodghill College Consulting offers one-to-one support with a college essay expert to guide your child in planning, brainstorming, and writing the college essay.
4) To demystify the financial aid process.
College tuition and expenses continue to rise year after year. When it comes to financial aid, knowing what forms to complete and where to find additional funding and merit scholarships can be confusing.
An independent educational consultant can walk you through the financial aid process and explain the differences between need-based and merit-based aid.
An IEC can also help guide you in finding additional financial aid options.
5) To get clarity on standardized test requirements.
To many parents and students, standardized testing solely means the SAT.
But there are other options as well, like the ACT.
An IEC will be knowledgeable about the differences between the tests and will also be able to help determine which test best suits your child.
Also, with testing options and formats constantly changing (more so since the pandemic), an IEC can keep you updated on all these changes.
6) To get expert advice on the latest trends and changes to admissions processes.
Not only do testing requirements change, but so do admission policies, financial aid, and more.
An IEC can help you and your child navigate through the, oftentimes, tricky process and maze of information.
7) To feel less overwhelmed and know what to expect.
With test prep, college options, application tracking, essay writing, and financial aid, there can be a lot of information to absorb and manage.
It can get overwhelming.
Plus, there is a lot of misinformation out there.
IECs make the college application process less daunting so that you and your child can feel calm and prepared for what lies ahead.
So, What Can You Expect When Working With An Independent Educational Consultant?
First, there will be a discovery call where you speak with an independent educational consultant in-person, over the phone, or via video conference. The goal is to ensure that your family and the IEC are a good fit to work together.
Second, there is a family and student onboarding session. This includes interviews, surveys, and other activities designed to understand your child better, and how to best support their educational journey.
Next, depending on the student’s age, either a college list is created or, for younger students, extracurricular activities are discussed. A personalized roadmap is created for your child no matter the grade level. Everyone’s process will look slightly different depending on their needs.
Can Independent Educational Consultants guarantee admission?
No, an independent educational consultant cannot and should never guarantee admission.
IECs can, and do, work with admissions staff (when appropriate), to find the best-fit schools for your child.
How much does an Independent Education Consultant Cost?
Some IECs offer package pricing, while others may charge by the hour or a mix of both.
As a ballpark figure, rates can start at $100 per hour and range much higher based on experience, geographic location, and demand in your area.
For comprehensive plans, you may find prices starting from $1000 to several thousand, again depending on experience, what is covered in the plan, and location.
Working With Stodghill College Consulting
At Stodghill Consulting, we take a holistic approach to the student’s college admission journey. While grades are important, we also take the time to understand your child’s interests, talents, hopes, and dreams.
By helping your child develop a personalized college plan based on their unique talents and strengths, they will have a well-balanced roadmap to lead them to success.
When you work with us, you’ll benefit from the following:
- Over 20 years of experience and expertise in college admissions – we know the application process back to front and can help ensure it is straightforward and successful for your student.
- A Custom Game Plan – There is no formula for college admission success, so your student will get a personalized, tailored approach.
- A Low-Stress Process – As a parent, you can be as involved as you want throughout the process. We aim to decrease the stress of prepping for and applying to college.
- A Wealth of Information – You will receive newsletters, seminar invitations, and access to various information and materials to aid in your child’s college application process.