Educational Consumer Tips
Author: Better Business Bureau
If your son or daughter is about to start the difficult college search and application process, you may be considering hiring an educational consultant for extra guidance. Use the following tips as a guide to choose the right educational consultant for your student’s needs.
Tips for Choosing an Educational Consultant:
Do Your Research. When searching for an educational consultant for your child, it’s important to keep in mind their specific academic history, college goals, and their individual educational needs. It’s crucial to match your child with an educational consultant that is in sync with their personality and has prior experience working with students that have similar goals and characteristics as your child. Ask family members, other parents, and your child’s teachers or guidance counselor to recommend a reputable educational consultant. Check out the consultants at bbb.org to read reviews or complaints.
Inquire About the Candidate’s Experience. Look for an educational consultant that has a wide scope of experience and knowledge about public and private colleges and universities. The consultant should be well versed in aiding students in the college search and application process, as well as be up-to-date on recent admission trends. Search for a consultant that participates in professional and educational training as well as belongs to organizations such as the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), and the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (AICEP). Consultants certified by the AICEP must have received a minimum of a master’s degree in a related field, passed an exam, been recommended by at least five peers, and pledge to follow the Principles of Good Practice.
Request References. A trustworthy educational consultant will be happy to provide a list of previous clients you may contact. Contact a few of the references and talk to the families to find out if they were satisfied with their experience with the consultant and if they found them resourceful during the college search and application process.
Discuss Fees. Depending on the consultant, they may charge for an inclusive package, by the hour, or by session. Be sure to establish payment upfront. The consultant should lay out exactly what is included in the price you are paying them.
Beware of Red Flags. It’s a major red flag if the educational consultant guarantees admission to any school. Consultants cannot promise acceptance into colleges, universities, or guarantee financial scholarships. Consultants should only be assisting with application material; they should never offer to write or complete applications for students. Be wary of consultants that do not detail exactly what is included in their fees.
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