This is an excellent question! We're glad you asked. At University Bound, our quick response is: because students deserve the best possible shot at attending the right school for them.
So let’s break it down.
Your future begins with the college or university you choose. And getting there and getting in is a complex, competitive, and sometimes overwhelming process. The admissions consultant is a personal expert and advocate, whose job it is to guide students and families through the process with knowledge, experience, expertise, and care. You’d hire a debate or tennis coach, or a French or chemistry tutor, right? An admissions consultant gives you the individual support and advice you need.
The Admissions Process
Applying to colleges and universities, especially in the U.S., is a complicated process with lots of moving parts. Unlike systems in the Netherlands or the UK, it’s “holistic” -- not only about numbers -- and, in addition to coursework and grades, requires extra-curricular activities, essays, teacher recommendations, maybe interviews, and maybe standardized test scores. If that’s not a lot to master, the coronavirus pandemic has brought changes to longstanding requirements and procedures, and sent application rates soaring. An admissions consultant is a resource for up-to-date university information and trends, and a guide to the planning and decisionmaking that are keys to the best outcomes.
The University List
One of the most important tasks of an admissions consultant is to help students assess their personal interests and educational goals in order to identify a set of right fit schools. The result is the all-important university list, which is the basis for a successful application strategy. Note the italics: the “right” school and the “best” school for a student may not be the one with the most famous name. Prestige can be a powerful temptation, but it can also be a trap, since a student’s happiness may point elsewhere. Organizations that rank U.S. colleges and universities typically survey anywhere from 500 to 1,500 schools in a given year. In other words, there are numerous schools out there that may be “right” for a student, but it takes time and research to identify them. This can be a sensitive area where an admissions consultant’s expertise can help.
The International Student
The complexity of the application process, particularly in the U.S., is magnified for international students. They often lack current information, or have misconceptions about how the process works. Many students are familiar only with the top 8 - 10 American schools, or only with those in Boston, New York, or L.A. In addition to geography, there are cultural and financial issues to navigate, and considerations related to academic ethos and campus life that are hard to assess from abroad. Application requirements recently have been shifting, as has the competition for admission to many schools. Visa regulations and financial aid rules can add to the confusion. And even for American families eyeing U.S. universities from abroad -- today’s admissions process is not the one most parents remember. Help!
Do you know what admissions committees look for in an applicant? Do you know about the five schools comparable to your top pick that have smaller classes, nicer dorms, more opportunities for internships and experiential learning, and better career counseling? Does the IB diploma or your knowledge of foreign languages give you an edge? How do you feel about Greek life? Should you write extra essays or submit test scores to “test-optional” schools? Does character matter? How should you plan your junior year? Admissions consultants understand these issues and the countless other things about the university admissions process that students and families don’t even know they don’t know. That’s their job.
An admissions consultant will add expertise and experience to support one of the most important decisions a university-bound student can make. Like the right school, it’s a life-time investment.
Talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (420) 602 612 705. The initial consultation is free.