Educational consultants can provide several helpful services for families throughout the admissions process. By working with the student and their family, consultants can:
Develop an admission plan and schedule
Evaluate the student’s abilities / interests and help arrange for any necessary testing
Provide a recommended list of schools where the student would likely thrive and also have a reasonable chance of acceptance
Offer guidance in avoiding common mistakes in the application / interview process
Advocate for the student throughout the admission process
A consultant can help families navigate confidently through the details of the admissions process, and save them a significant amount of time. More importantly, a consultant can help increase the likelihood of a successful school search. A consultant’s knowledge of boarding schools and the type of students they seek can help families identify several schools that are both appropriate and potentially reachable for the student. Consultants also typically write an additional letter of recommendation on behalf of the student which helps admissions officers further evaluate the student’s application.
Consultants are professionals who charge families for their services. They do not receive any compensation from schools or programs. Fees for educational consultants vary, depending on the level of services requested and the consultant in question. Please contact consultants in our directory for more specific details.
Choosing and Using Educational Consultants
Naturally, it is most important that you trust and feel comfortable with an educational consultant. When choosing a consultant, consider their credentials and the associations they have joined. Consultants who are members of the Independent Educational Consultant Association (IECA) and/or are Certified Educational Planners (CEPs) are consultants who have met education and experience standards outlined by their professional associations. Additional ethics and practice standards help ensure that these consultants put students’ interests first – certified consultants are pledged not to take fees from schools for placing students.
Ask consultants about their experience placing boarding school students – some consultants may have most of their experience placing students in special needs boarding schools, while other consultants may have more experience in placing students in college-preparatory boarding schools (some consultants may also have extensive experience in both areas). Learn about how the consultant gathers information – how many school visits they personally make per year and what sources of information they rely on in order to keep up to date on boarding school developments. Families should also learn the details of the relationship the consultant has with any schools that are being considered – in terms of financial arrangements, the number of students they have referred to those schools, and how those students have done while at boarding school.
It is important to note that while consultants can be very helpful, they do not and cannot guarantee admission to a particular school. Families who approach consultants with a pre-set list of schools where their child “must get accepted“ (and expect the consultant to simply “get them in“) are unnecessarily doing themselves a disservice. Consultants can often offer a much broader perspective of what schools are appropriate for a student. Both family and student can only be better off by being open to the consultant’s advice.