Planning & Paying for College: How Educational Consultants Can Help

May 17, 2011 | posted by Jeff Sheely.

college-graduationColleges have been around for centuries, yet year after year, getting into college and paying for college are two of the most challenging processes for students and families. How do you choose the right college? How do you get into it? How do you pay for the one you choose? These types of questions are not easy, and each family situation is so different that one answer rarely applies to everyone.

Educational consultants help students and families with various parts of the college planning process, from test preparation to financial aid advice. Whether they call themselves consultants, independent counselors, college planners, or advisors, they are there to personally make your college planning experience successful. Students who are serious about the college experience and want to make the most of this great investment can benefit from finding and working with the right consultant or advisor.

Here are three primary areas where educational consultants work with you in the college planning process:

1. Admissions Process

Experienced consultants can help you adequately research and apply for admission to the best schools for you. Many educational consultants have first-hand knowledge of a variety of schools that they have personally visited and analyzed. Because of that, consultants and advisors may present college options that you or your family might not have ever considered.

Consultants can also help you make the most of a college visit or a meeting with the admissions office, as well as provide assistance with your essay preparation and determining how to present yourself and your best qualities in the most advantageous way on applications.

Finally, some educational consultants specialize in SAT or ACT preparation, or will assist with finding the right test preparation service for you based on your needs.

2. Choosing the Right College

College choice goes way beyond admissions! As a student, you could find yourself accepted to 5 or 10 different schools. How do you choose the best fit for you academically, financially, and emotionally? Where will you be happiest and most successful? A good consultant or advisor will help you ask the right questions – of yourself and of the schools – so that you end up at the one that is best for you.

“It’s not only about being accepted—more importantly, it’s about thriving at the institution that is the right fit for you.” (Independent Educational Consultants Association website)

3. Paying for College

A big part of choosing the right college is being able to pay for it. Educational consultants take the time to get to know you and your family personally, so the advice they can offer you is much more specific and helpful to your unique situation. If you are able to work with a consultant before you get accepted into a certain school, you’ll likely be much better off, because a great consultant will consider college costs when helping you choose the right school.

As you start looking around for educational consultants, you’ll probably find that many of them go into much greater detail about their services and ways they can help you and your family. The above is just a very brief summary of three areas where you can benefit from consulting.

Educational Consultants We Follow on Twitter

We follow some very knowledgeable and interesting educational consultants from all over the country on Twitter, so we thought it might be good to let you know about them. Check out their websites and tweets; you might find a great match for you and your family! If you’re reading this and you’re an educational consultant, follow us on Twitter and leave a comment here so that we can connect!

This is just a handful of great consultants on Twitter. To see our entire list, click here to view and follow it. We’re adding to it daily!

askjohnabout on twitter

@AskJohnAbout, John Carpenter, St. Louis, MO | http://www.askjohnaboutcollege.com.

Twitter bio: Guiding high school kids and their parents through college admissions. And liking it!

Nancy Ziering

@NancyRZiering, Nancy R. Ziering, Chatham, NJ | http://www.college-retirement.com.

Twitter bio: Nancy Ziering is a NJ Certified College Planning Specialist She helps families and students with college planning, admissions, FAFSA financial aid & funding.

Dr. Rachelle Wolosoff@RWolosoff, Dr. Rachelle Wolosoff, New York | http://www.CollegeSearchExpert.com.

Twitter bio: College Search Expert specializes in helping students with the college application, essay, and selection process. Independent Educational Consultant

Julie Manhan@CollegeNavigate, Julie Manhan, Kent, WA | http://www.collegenavigation.net.

Twitter bio: Educational consultant, educator, writer. Helping students find their way to college.

Julie Robinovitz@CollegeCounsel, Julie Robinovitz, Florida | http://www.ScoreAtTheTop.com.

Twitter bio: Certified Educational Planner: college, boarding school, therapeutic schools and wilderness programs. Nationally acclaimed SAT prep expert.

Prepped Polished@PreppedPolished, Alexis Avila, Wayland, MA | http://www.preppedandpolished.com

Twitter bio: Founder/President Prepped & Polished Tutoring, College Counseling, Test Prep

Beasley College Consulting@BeasleyCollege, Leah Beasley, Franklin, MI | http://beasleycollegeconsulting.com

Twitter bio: President Beasley College Consulting. Helping students and parents navigate the college search and application process and have fun while doing it!

Lauren Consulting@LaurenConsult, Clark Lauren, Sarasota, FL | http://www.laurenconsult.com

Twitter bio: We are independent educational consultants assisting students and families with school and college admissions.

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