During the course of conversation at a holiday party or backyard barbeque, I am often asked, “What do you do?” When I say that I am an independent college counselor, I frequently get a puzzled look. It is then followed by, “What is an independent college counselor?” I give my eight-second answer, “An independent educational consultant guides students and their families through the college search and applications process.” If I only had a little more time, this is what I would say.
An Independent College Counselor is…
- A Teacher I educate students and their families about today’s college search and application process. It is very different from 30, 20 or even 10 years ago.
- A Manager of Deadlines The college process can be overwhelming with many tasks and deadlines. A customized timeline helps students stay on task.
- A Student of Colleges I spend 20-percent of my time visiting colleges and universities throughout the US. I visit approximately 30 campuses a year. I talk to faculty, administrators and students on each campus to learn about what’s happening academically and socially.
- Current on Admissions Trends I meet regularly with college admissions deans and representatives to gain up-to-date knowledge on what colleges are looking for in an applicant.
- A Confidant During the process I build strong relationships with my students and their parents. We develop a mutual trust and respect for one another. It is because of this trust that my students and their parents are able to share their concerns collectively and independently. All information and conversations are always confidential.
- Does Not Replace the School Guidance Counselor Guidance counselors are overloaded today. They often work with several hundred students and their time is limited. I spend upwards of 24 hours working with each student and providing customized information and support during the college process.
- Available to work with Students Evenings, Weekends, and Summers An independent college counselor’s job is not nine to five. I work around students’ and their families’ schedules.
- Helps Students Share Their Unique Stories and Find Their Voices I instill confidence and encourage students to share the best version of themselves, whether it be in college essays or interviews.
- Attends Professional Workshops and Conferences I am a member of several professional organizations. I regularly attend workshops, conferences and network with colleagues.
- A Professional Who Adheres to a Code of Conduct and Ethics. As a member of IECA and HECA, I pledge to be an ethical advisor to students and their families.
Contact Admissions on Track to find out how I can help you with the college search and admissions process.
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