How to Choose an Independent College Counselor
Why work with a private college counselor?
A private college counselor can help stressed-out parents find ideal academic fits for their students. One can also help families save money by matching students with scholarships and schools that fit a family’s budget AND student’s goals. Putting an independent college expert at the helm of the application process is not a bad idea for family relations either. As parents of teenagers most likely already know, it’s better to have someone else helping your student stick to a plan of action and look over their shoulder or hold their hand through the process. Choosing the right expert college adviser in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach or elsewhere is the important first step.
Something to consider about private college counselors.
There is no shortage of individuals and firms willing to help you get your student into college. However, just because someone calls themselves a Palm Beach or Miami college expert doesn’t always mean they are. Many people consider themselves a single source for all things college admissions oriented: college, scholarships, admissions, testing and more. The best independent college advisers know enough about each of these to be helpful, the worst ones can be harmful.
What to look for when you’re choosing a private college counselor:
1. Make sure you have a good, comfortable rapport with the college counselor. Feel you can trust them because, essentially, what you’re doing is entrusting them with your child’s future. Also it’s important that the student and the expert college adviser have workable chemistry.
2. Ask about the students with whom the college expert works. Are they all valedictorians, or does she have some underachievers too? Some expert college advisers have a high rate of success getting students into Ivy League schools because they’ll only work with students who would be getting into a top university anyway.
3. The best kind of private college counselor will spend time learning about your teenager and finding out their likes and dislikes: academically, socially, and geographically. The aim is to get your child into the best school for him or her, which may or may not be the most prestigious school possible.
4. The best college experts work with your student’s individual strength and weaknesses to prepare them to get into the college of their dreams. And they should encourage them in a positive and constructive way. A student should not be forced to participate in extra-curricular activities and classes that provoke anxiety or increase the risk of burnout. In other words, if your student is not gravitating towards rowing, there are always bassoon lessons.
5. Look for an independent college counselor who understands scholarship and financial aid.
6. Ask the college advisor what qualifies her to offer college admissions advice. Look for a planner who has proven experience with college admissions and who has the right relationships. Don’t underestimate relationships whether they’re with college admissions offices or top SAT tutors. Determine what steps the advisor takes to stay current with changes and developments in college admissions. Also check what schools the college advisor has attended and what relevant professional organizations she belongs to, including those like NACAC and the IECA that will keep her in the local and national educational loops.
International College Counselors has college counseling offices in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami Dade counties. International College Counselors handle undergraduate and graduate college admissions, financial aid, tuition, essays, and college applications. The expert college coaches at International College Counselors tailor their wide range of college counseling and college coaching services to address the goals, needs, and dreams of each individual student, whether Florida college or Ivy League university. Let us help you make the best decisions choosing, getting into, and paying for college.