College Consultants

Updated on October 03, 2011
N.H. asks from Flower Mound, TX
8 answers

Hi! Our first born has started his junior year of HS and we are starting to feel the college pressure. He happens to attend a very large school and the counselors don't spend as much time with each student as we all would like. To be honest, we are probably in need of a little more hand holding than they can provide anyway. So I was considering hiring the services of a college admission/educational consultant. My son is a good student and I'd like for him to have to best chance of getting in to the school of his choice. Wondering of any of you have used such a service and have any recommendations for us.
Thanks so much!
****Follow up- To be clear, my son has been very active in his college research. Infact, last year at school he had a course dedicated nearly exclusively to researching schools and preparing for this journey. As a result he is very seriously considering 2 schools specifically. As a family, we have attended the college fairs and he has already scheduled college classroom visits for this fall. Many of you have asked what kind of hand holding I am looking for. Our HS has over 3500 students-jI guess I am ust looking for a little more personalized attention. Thanks to all who have offered input so far. :)

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answers from Boston on

A friend's wife does this for a living, and she is very familiar with lots of colleges and can match students to schools that match them best, both academically as well as student body size, location for travel, interest in starting at one (cheaper) college and then transferring over, etc. She can also do some aptitude testing if the student has no idea what they really want to do. I think when my 14 year old is 16 we will be talking to her to see what would be best for our child, not so much just trying to get into a specific college. While it costs some money up front, it saves a lot in travel time and cost to colleges that will not match your child.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Our daughter is a Junior at Plano West. We are actively visiting colleges and have been for a year now. Plano West regularly has colleges visiting the campus during the week and during lunches. Last week Standford and Kansas were 2 of the many at the school for more hands on discussion.

What type of hand holding do you need?

We just attended college night last week and while it is intimidating to see 250+ colleges there recruiting, we found the most important thing for us was to have our plan of action before getting there. A select few colleges had presentations and even though we'd been to the Duke campus, we still went to the presentation. The presentation held at Duke was far better and far more motivating but both were worthwhile. We also sat through Georgetown and USC with another focus on Penn State and the Arizona colleges.

Most all of the presentations include plans... plans for grades (this is THE year to get the great grades), most want you to have a few AP classes under your belt, good community service, our daughter is also a cheerleader and is looking at college try outs, early decision which is in the fall of the Sr year.

I do have a friend who reads for USC and will read through my daughter's work before it is submitted.

It is a long process, sometimes intimidating and a learning process. Hang in there and try not to let it overwhelm you and your son. Extra curriculars are very important!!

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

From a friend who has served on the college admission board at Stanford for years and goes over each new crop of applications, the best advice she has is to have done extra-curricular activities to include on the applications. With all the above 4.0 GPA students applying she says it's the only way for them to "weed out" some of the students applying to the university, and she recommends it to all parents and students regardless of where they'll be applying.

I don't know what type of hand-holding you require, but I doubt that a consultant could up your son's chances of getting into the college of his choice, other than helping him in how he presents himself on the application. They could possibly help match him to the colleges most beneficial for him and his planned career, which you could do by researching colleges online.

Best wishes for successful planning : )

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Wow, I have a very good friend that does this here in Austin. I will pm her name and info. FYI, Her students are very successful getting into the colleges they want or are best for them.

Ah, in case people do not know.. A consultant does not have magic powers to get your children into a college. They are guides that your children will listen to, because many teens drag their feet with their parents. The students do not always realize how important this really is, or they can shut down because they feel so overwhelmed.

The Consultant is a "no mess with person" that keeps your child on track. Hopefully if you have a good consultant, they assist the student by making the student fill out the forms on their own. Getting them prepared neatly and on time.

They will help with the resume and will be able to dig out the information you as a parent or the student have forgotten about or did not think was important.

They will guide the College paper introducing the student to the college and help edit what the student comes up with. They can make it look organized and neat and give hints as to what different schools need to know about who this person really is and if the college is a good match.

Also if a student has areas that need improvement the consultant can make suggestions to get this student in gear. They also help research the colleges, when parents and students are so busy just trying to get through the very busy Junior and Senior years of High School.
They are also the support person when anyone starts to have a meltdown, including the parents.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Why isn't your son finding the support he needs? When my kids were looking at colleges they found everything they needed on their own. Only your child knows what they need or are looking for in a college. If they are not to the point where they can figure that out they don't seem ready for college.

A couple of my son's friends parents hired consultants and every one of them changed colleges as much as normal kids changed majors.

I guess what I am saying is you need to first sit down with your son and have him explain his needs, what direction he wants to go, what he sees himself doing as a career. If he can do that I can assure you with a little googling you can find the right school for him without a consultant.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Yes, we used someone. She was referred by a family friend and she gave my son EXACTLY what he needed, basically a LOT of information, tips, feedback and follow through that just isn't possible through an overworked public school counselor.
My son was like many his age, smart, good student, great SAT scores, good kid but not really sure about what he was looking for in terms of a campus or major. And honestly, how many kids really know what to look for at that age?! That's how she helped the most, she got to know him, his style, personality, etc. and was able to show him some schools that we never would have thought of.
He is now attending a great school that he loves. We spent $180 for her services, two hours in our home and a lot of follow up through phone calls and email. I don't think a consultant can really "help a kid get in" anywhere but I think they can help come up with a reasonable and desirable list of schools worth considering. IMO, it was worth every penny :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I highly recommend Shelly Galant. She is fabulous and great with all types of students. She is located near the Dallas Tollway and NW Highway so she is not too far from flower mound. Her e-mail is [email protected]



answers from Dallas on

N., Please let me know what you find out. I am in the same situation. My 16yr old Junior step daughter just came to live with us and attends Marcus. Her mom hadnt done anything. So we are now left to jump in. She has only taken the ACT. I agree the school is just so big, the counselors can only do so much.

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