There is a familiar bumper sticker that reads: THINK EDUCATION IS EXPENSIVE? TRY IGNORANCE. We all realize that the cost of educating our children seems to be growing every year. Yet many of us are reluctant to apply the same reasoning to academic decisions that we would invoke before making any other expensive life decision: to utilize the services of an expert. We wouldn’t build a house without guidance from an architect or skilled contractor. We wouldn’t purchase a do-it-yourself orthodontic kit for our kids’ teeth, just to save on the investment.
The investment families make in the education of their children is among the most costly and arguably the most important they will ever make. The complexities of the topic are considerable; the answers elusive; and the dynamic between parent and child often so complicated with emotion that it may prove to be unworkable without outside help. In most cases, the cost of an educational consultant will not exceed one per cent of the amount to be spent on tuition and other related education expenses. That one per cent may help lead to a stronger range of choices; a better placement; more harmony at home; and, potentially, even better financing and financial aid options.
The role of the educational consultant should begin well before decision-making time. After all, preparation is the greatest determinant of success in any endeavor. Is the student’s testing record sufficient? Are there concerns that need further investigation? What weaknesses should be addressed right now? How important is status in the family’s decision? What if there are problems after enrollment? Are you, as a parent, the best person to develop and execute the educational game plan for your own son or daughter? If you are, you are the exception, rather than the rule. But it is likely that you know better. Now, do you think an educational consultant is expensive?