when should You hire a college consultant?
The college admissions process in the United States is not as cut-and-dry as many other admissions processes around the world.
Getting perfect scores on your ACT or SAT exam and acing all your classes does not guarantee a spot in the top schools in America.
In fact, there are dozens upon dozens of considerations that go into an admissions officer’s evaluation of an applicant and whether they’re the right fit for that institution.
These considerations vary by institution, but generally, admissions officers are asking the following questions:
Does this applicant take their learning and apply it outside of the classroom context?
Does this applicant show strong impact in their community? Region? State?
Does this applicant demonstrate a capacity for rigorous academic material?
Is this applicant taking the most rigorous course-load available?
Is this applicant a good fit for our campus?
Will this applicant use the resources afforded to them on campus to maximize their potential over the next four years?
As you can see, these questions are not specifically about getting an “A” in your AP classes or a perfect SAT/ACT score; rather, they’re deeper questions of impact, strength, aptitude, capacity, and involvement. They include layers of nuance that admissions officers are professionally trained to seek out to yield the strongest class possible.
While your school’s guidance counseling team will offer great support in your application process, they often look at your application through a quantitative lens – meaning they are evaluating your chances through data points like GPA, standardized test scores, and aptitude tests. This limits the capacity for nuance.
Therefore, hiring a college admissions consultant can provide you those key insights into the holistic approach that college admissions teams take in yielding an incoming freshman class.
When Should We Hire A College Admissions Consultant?
There is not one specific “right” answer to this question; rather, the best answer is “sooner than later.” For many students, that means starting at the beginning of high school. For others, it means starting before senior year of high school, so your consultant can guide you on how to maximize your applications and provide best approaches to supplemental essays.
Regardless of when you sign up, the key is that asking for help in navigating the college process is a good thing – an admissions consultant is a professional who has worked in this industry for many years and will be an excellent guide to you in how to present the most competitive application possible to your most desired schools.
Some of the benefits of starting at the beginning of high school:
Your admissions consultant can help you plan a robust list of extracurricular activities and deep learning experiences that will bolster your competitiveness
Your admissions consultant can provide a smart testing strategy of when to take certain standardized tests to increase your academic profile
Your admissions consultant can help you choose the right courseload to maximize rigor and balance your academic interests with what will be most competitive for top schools
Your admissions consultant can provide you with long-term, highly tailored solutions for how to navigate through the next four years of high school and clarify many of the areas of ambiguity in college admissions
Your admissions consultant will be keeping a finger on the pulse of higher education and the shifts in admissions philosophies, so you’re fully prepared on how to handle shifts in school policies, etc.
When you start working with a college consultant is your decision to make; however, know that sooner is always better, because it provides you the chance to build a strong relationship with your consultant and acquire key insights into how college admissions committees evaluate your application.
It’s always best to arm yourself with as much knowledge as possible when having to go through experiences like applying to top colleges, and admissions consultants provide you professional advice on how to maximize your chances of getting into your top school. Don’t wait!