In reality, strategic use of a consultant can actually save families money.
- Educational consultants who really know the ropes regarding financial aid and merit scholarships can often steer students toward colleges and universities with more generous aid budgets and/or availability of merit-based money. Generally, the better-endowed institutions have more aid available.
- Consultants with experience in the details of filling out the financial aid forms and answering the often-confusing questions on these forms greatly reduce the stress parents feel about this complex procedure.
- Consultants who match students skillfully with a realistic list of “reach”, “50-50” and “back-up” colleges save wasted application fees at colleges that simply are not appropriate fits. Planning trips to visit campuses that are more appropriate reduces travel expenses.
- Families working with consultants should be encouraged to use email to ask questions that can be easily answered. Consultants have time to research (if necessary) and answer an email efficiently, while impromptu phone calls and too many in-person sessions can send up the cost of a consultant.
Increasingly, families are finding that the right educational consultant is a critical part of finding the best possible fit for their children and in making the best possible investment in a very costly educational product.
SARAH C. REESE
Executive Director, Informed Educational Solutions