FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Premier College Prep Consulting, LLC wants our clients to make an informed choice when selecting the right path for their college preparation. We have compiled a list of FAQs from our consultations to help clarify some questions that potential clients may have. If you have other questions, please contact us so we can help.
What is an Independent Educational Consultant (IEC)?
An Independent Educational Consultant, or IEC, is someone who specializes in the college admissions process. They have specialized training and expertise in college selection, admissions trends, financial aid, and college admissions and application resources. Their sole focus is helping students find the best college in regards to academics and personal characteristics. They help families by setting timelines and goals to ease the stress and pressure of the college application process. They also help students and families understand the financial aid process and help them research scholarship and grant opportunities.
What is the difference between an IEC and a high school counselor?
These two careers are completely different. High school counselors are licensed in the area of school counseling, normally for all school aged children (ranging from kindergarten through the senior year). The specific training for college admissions is limited in most training programs; therefore, the training is acquired more frequently through seminars and workshops. High school counselors provide many services for their students, including mental health and general counseling, so their time for individualized college admissions counseling for every student is very limited (if even possible).
An IEC specializes only in the college admissions process and areas that impact college selection. When IECs are not actively working with clients, they are participating in college tours, admissions webinars, college research, and other activities to give their clients the most update information and trends in college admissions. Students that are the most successful in their college admissions process have the opportunity to work closely with both their high school counselor and an IEC.
How can an IEC help?
We can help in a variety of ways, with the final goal of finding the best college for your child. Many of the areas where we assist our clients are:
We are able to assist with high school course planning with the future in mind
Building a strong student resume
Selecting useful and purposeful extracurricular activities and high school experiences
Selecting individuals for letters of recommendation
Identifying important college factors for each child
The college application components
Maneuvering the financial aid process
Understanding college loan options
Finding and applying for scholarships
Making college visits effective
Making the final college selection
Selecting the best college with current pandemic restrictions
Testing timelines and resources for the ACT/SAT/AP tests
Discussing GAP year options
We are also open to discuss any other support that our students need. Just schedule a FREE consultation to discuss your options.
Is hiring an IEC worth the money?
Hiring an IEC is an investment in your child's future, so we believe that it is definitely worth the money. Currently, approximately 1/3 of college students will transfer schools while in college, and an even higher percentage change their career plan/goals. With these changes, most students take longer to graduate, which causes an increase in college expenses. With the support of an IEC, your child will explore college preferences and potential career fields of interest through personality assessments and thorough research. With this approach, your child will have the opportunity to make a more educated decision when selecting their college.
How many sessions will I need to sign up for?
The amount of support needed for each student varies. For students that are just starting the process and are in their sophomore or junior year, we highly recommend the comprehensive plan (15 sessions). Through the 15 sessions, the students will receive complete support through the process and will truly have the opportunity to find the best college. For students that are entering later in the process, they may opt to just focus on certain aspects of the process. The best way to get this question answered is to sign up for a free consultation. We offer the free consultation so that we can discuss the best options for each student individually based on where they are in the process and what areas of support that they feel that they need.
How can you help with scholarships or financial aid?
One of the biggest hurdles of college is the cost, and part of our mission is to help families find the best financial fit for college as well. We can help your student look for scholarship opportunities and help them with the scholarship application process (the application, essays, interview preparation, etc.). We also educate our families on the financial aid process, possible grant opportunities, student loan options, and the process for requesting financial aid.
How do I know if a school is the "right" school for me?
Finding the right school for each student is our favorite part of the process. Students need to find a school that challenges them, but doesn't overwhelm them. They also need to find a school that offers the preferred programs, social scene, surrounding environment, climate, and activities and opportunities. Many times, the cost of the school also is a deciding factor. We work with our clients to identify their most important factors in their college preferences, and we identify college options for them to research and explore. During the entire consulting plan, this process continues until the student has identified the schools where they want to apply based on the characteristics that the schools provide.
Do you guarantee admission at certain schools?
No, we cannot guarantee admission at any particular school. Our role is to prepare our clients to present their "best self" in application materials. College admissions are unpredictable in some cases, and we are not in the business of making promises that we cannot keep. We can inform each client of their likelihood of being accepted based on data that is published by each school; however, there are always circumstances that are not in our control.
Do you provide tutoring or test preparation programs?
We currently do not offer tutoring or test preparation programs in our practice. However, we do have a strong network where we can help our students find the best tutor or test preparation service that meets their needs.
What is your cancellation policy for sessions?
We require 12-hour notice to reschedule sessions. If this notice is not provided, we will offer the session virtually, or materials will be emailed to the client to complete the task(s) that were scheduled for that session.
What type of incentive do you receive from the colleges to encourage my child to attend their school?
We do not accept compensation from any institution for promoting their institution or a client's attendance at their institution. Our focus is on the best fit of our clients, so that is the basis for any recommendations that we make.
What does "working with an IEC" look like?
Working with an IEC looks similar to having a private coach for your child's future. We work with our students and their parent(s) to create an individualized plan that supports them in the areas that they need. Private sessions are scheduled to gain information, provide feedback, and discuss options and plans. Between sessions, students have "assignments" to complete that will keep them on their timeline. Our IEC will use time between sessions to gather more resources, research college options, review items submitted by the student/family, and follow up with the student with feedback or support.
Although we prefer face-to-face sessions, we offer both in-person and virtual sessions. Clients can choose the best meeting format for them, and can utilize both during their contract.
How can you help improve my student's essays?
Essay writing has become one of the biggest challenges in the college admissions process. We prefer to start earlier with our clients and have them focus on general essay topics. We like to brainstorm ideas on topics, how to portray a student's personal characteristics through a story, and what topics to avoid. The goal is to create an essay that stands out in the admissions officer's mind so our clients are remembered. We also provide services proofreading and sending feedback prior to essay deadlines to strengthen each student's essays.
Do you provide small group services if we wanted to get a group together and share the costs?
Since our services are individualized, we do not offer group packages. Our approach of finding the best fit college for a student is based on building a relationship, learning about their preferences, and making recommendations based on that individual. Therefore, working as a group does not allow that dynamic to occur. However, we do offer group workshops on standard topics, such as interview strategies, general college essay advice, etc. Keep an eye on our Facebook page so you can see when these workshops are being offered.
Do you offer payment plans?
We know people like to have options regarding making payments for services, so we do offer our clients the option of paying in full or through multiple payments. The number of payments varies based on the plan selected. These options are discussed in your free consultation session.
What types of payments do you take?
We accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.