Finding the Right College for You

Choosing the right college can be puzzling.

Studies show that students often limit their college choices to institutions their friends attend or those close to home. What factors should be considered when selecting a college? How do you know if it’s right for you?
School guidance counselors provide much of the help students need. However, school-based counselors are often burdened with other duties and simply do not have the extra time they would like to spend on college placements. Independent educational consultants can be a welcome resource for families who recognize they need more help than school counselors are able to provide. Consultants also have expertise in advising students with special circumstances such as learning or physical disabilities.
College Student Smile
Educational consultants bring to the family the knowledge and skills of an experienced professional, coupled with a commitment to assuring that the child’s best interests are met. Independent consultants spend hours with the child and parents getting to the heart of a student’s personality, interests, and aspirations. They work with the entire family to help identify what’s best for the student and what options are available.
Educational consultants interview each student to find the best college "fit." By learning as much as they can about the student and family, the consultant can help identify the most suitable learning environments. Not tied to any institution, consultants can provide unbiased help in wading through the myriad of letters, brochures, videos and catalogs that students collect in their search.
The consultant provides a complete search of appropriate colleges. Consultants pride themselves on extensive first-hand knowledge of colleges, big and small, around the country. They spend 20% of their time on the road, meeting with admission officers, touring campuses, and exploring the campus environment. This personal insight provides a student with a much deeper understanding of a college than a catalog or web site can convey. Because consultants are familiar with a multitude of colleges, they can present students with a wider selection of possibilities.
An educational consultant brings to the family the knowledge and skills of an experienced professional, coupled with a commitment to assuring that the child’s best interests are met.
An educational consultant can act as a student’s guide, interpreter, and facilitator for the entire college selection and application process.
Consultants assist with the application and admissions process. Having someone who understands the system can help ease this stressful time. Consultants regularly attend conferences and workshops to stay current on developments in their field. They have experience in college admissions and know the intricacies of test preparation, applications, essays and financial aid. Consultants can even help students decide which high school courses to take to best prepare for success in college.
With colleges getting more expensive and competitive, families feel increased pressure to make the right college choice. Consultants serve as a student’s personal resource in identifying colleges that fit his or her individual preferences.
Reprinted with permission from the IECA



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