Navigating Your College Search - Should You Go It Alone?

There is no doubt that a college education is a significant investment for both students and families, and just like most investments, robust research, expertise and effort can enhance the outcome. The question many families face is can my child successfully navigate their college search and application process alone or will they need more support and what kind of support. An IEC or "college counselor" provides tools, resources, and assistance to help students build a personalized list of schools that are a strong personal match, and fosters academic and social growth. The personalized attention, firsthand knowledge of hundreds of educational opportunities, and extensive experience with the college search and application process that a college counselor provides enable students to explore options tailored to their needs, creating a positive and transformative decision-making experience.

"Good college counseling, in my mind, aims not just at college admission, something I am always confident my students will secure. A more meaningful part of the job involves helping students examine and describe themselves." Nicholas Soodik, My Role

An IEC's understanding of the big picture and context in college admissions translates to a well-developed, intentional and strategic process that supports student success. College admissions have changed dramatically in the last 25 years, and where it was once a more straightforward process, there are now multiple applications, essays, test dates not to mention incorporating the right timing to get started and how to apply that students face. Even the most successful students who are considering applying to multiple, highly selective schools will require special attention to help navigate all the tasks and additional workload involved.

“…hiring a consultant can increase the odds of a good match...” Mark Sklarow, CEO of IECA

Are you trying to decide what you need for a successful process? Tulane's Admission Director, Jeff Schiffman in his article, "So You're Using a College Counselor..." will help. The flood of information about the college search process often increases unnecessary stress and competitive pressure. As a college counselor, I know it just doesn't have to be that way. While the unknown can be daunting to students and families, an IEC can help students engage in the college search with clear and strategic goals, and realistic expectations. An IECs' experience and knowledge of both schools and the process broadens and helps refine a student's choices. By helping a student develop their critical criteria for what they want in their college experience and aligning those essential factors with their strengths and goals an IEC can maximize student opportunities as they embark on the next steps in their education.

What will you need to stay on track writing multiple essays, and developing a plan and timeline that will work for you? The articles below help weigh out the pros and cons in determining what support you may need, whether that is working with a high school college counselor, an independent college counselor or managing your college search on your own.

Should You Hire a College Consultant for Your Student?

How to Find Trustworthy College Admissions Advice

Independent Educational Consultants who are ethical, qualified and a credit to the profession

Six Ways to Work With Your College Counselor

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