College admissions consulting usually involves services that help students plan for and gain admission to the colleges of their choice. Usually, college admissions consultants meet with students and their parents on a one-on-one basis and help them choose the colleges and universities that best suit their unique needs. Then, these consultants help students complete the application processes for the schools that interest them most. While students can gain admission without college admission consulting, some students and their families may feel more comfortable with the help and guidance of a college admissions consultant.
Matching students to colleges and universities is an important part of college admissions consulting. Consultants may help prospective students narrow the list of choices based on the majors available at each college, degree programs, reputation, and activities and associations that are available on each campus. They may also match students with institutions based on the students’ unique profiles, including such factors as grade point average, standardized test scores, and participation in extracurricular activities. Cost and distance from a student's home may also influence the matching process.
College admissions consulting may also include help with negotiating the college application process. For example, a consultant may help students learn each institution’s application requirements and create schedules for meeting them. He may also advise students about standardized test scores and help them understand what they mean and how they may influence college acceptance. Additionally, a college admissions consultant may help a student prepare for personal interviews at the colleges of his choice and provide advice for preparing essays.
In many cases, college admission consulting also includes advocacy for the aspiring college student. This may involve communicating with college admissions officers on behalf of the student when this type of help is necessary. Often, these consultants have contacts in college admissions offices that make it easier for students to ask questions and voice concerns.
It is worth noting that college admissions consulting services vary in terms of the services they offer and their pricing. In many cases, college admissions consulting services may prove expensive. Some charge fees in excess of $100 US Dollars per hour while others may provide packages that cost a few thousand dollars or more. In most cases, the pricing of these services is influenced by the amount of work the consultant does on behalf of the student. Highly customized college admissions consulting services usually cost more.