What is an Independent Educational Consultant?

Selecting and getting accepted to the right college is one of the most important decisions your family can make. You want to find an institution of higher learning where your student will be both supported and challenged to grow not only academically, but also professionally, socially, spiritually and physically. And, with over 3,000 4-year colleges and universities in the US, the process can be rather daunting. This is why so many families seek help from independent educational consultants (IECs). Much like a math tutor supplements the instruction a student gets in his school’s math class, an IEC supplements the guidance and assistance provided by the student’s high school college counselor. Here is a quick list of what an IEC can and cannot do:

An IEC Cannot:

  • Replace the job of the high school counselor
  • Send school transcripts to colleges
  • Write teacher or counselor recommendation letters
  • Write the student’s essays
  • Guarantee admission to specific schools

An IEC Can:

  • Assist in high school course selection
  • Assist in extra-curricular activities and summer planning
  • Provide expertise on colleges that meet the student’s learning style and priorities, including desired:
    • Area of academic interest
    • Learning opportunities
    • Campus culture
    • Facilities and resources
    • Extra-curricular activities
    • Geographic location
    • Financial match
    • Career certifications and/or advising
  • Assist with development of college admissions strategy
  • Assist with creation of activity list and resume
  • Brainstorm and assist in polishing essays
  • Assist in managing recommendations
  • Assist in explaining any educational interruptions or inconsistencies
  • Conduct interview preparation
  • Educate families about the implications of different college deadlines (rolling, EA, ED, RD, etc.)
  • Ensure timely submission of application requirements and deadlines

Depending on the area of specialty, an IEC can also:

  • Provide expert advice for students with learning differences or special needs
  • Tutor students for standardized tests
  • Support students in athletic recruiting
  • Assist in development of artistic portfolios
  • Assist performing artists with auditions
  • Assist with financial aid forms and scholarships
  • Provide career assessments and navigation
  • Provide advice on boarding schools or therapeutic schools
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