It is no wonder that independent educational consultants are advising more students than ever before, given that the national average in US public schools of students to college guidance counselors is 478 t0 1, reported NACAC (National Association of College Admission Counselors) recently.
In a recent New York Times article (“Little College Guidance: 500 High School Students Per Counselor,” by Elizabeth A Harris, 12/25/14), it was additionally cited that 1 in 5 US public high schools has no college guidance at all.
In an era when applying to colleges, though streamlined with online application forms like the CommonApp, has never been more competitive nor has required more expert, nuanced advising, students are too often left with little or no professional help. It is no wonder that students often “settle” for locally known, less competitive options when they might, in fact, qualify for a spot at a more highly selective and nationally ranked universities. This is particularly true for students who might be first generation to college in their families or who are otherwise unfamiliar with the real range of possible choices for them.
Independent educational consultants work intensively and directly with individual students and families to oversee every aspect of the college admission process and are expert about colleges, trends, admissibility. Students are encouraged to aspire, to express themselves creatively in their essays, and to submit additional, pertinent information to support their candidacies. Increasingly, consultants use inventories like the Myers-Briggs to help students understand themselves better and therefore find colleges which are “best fits.” Many consultants will accept an occasional pro bono case or reduce their fee on a as-needed basis; families should not be afraid to approach such a consultant with this request.
American public schools are not likely to reverse this trend in the foreseeable future, and concerned parents with talented college-bound offspring should explore every possible opportunity to get the counseling their son or daughter needs, and deserves.
Sarah C. Reese Informed Educational Solutions