As a parent, we weigh every choice and every decision heavily when considering what might help our child's future. We pay for tutoring, private lessons, private coaching, travel ball, dance lessons, and so much more just to let our child have positive experiences and help them become "well rounded" in the challenging, competitive, and dynamic world in which they are being raised. We want our children to be prepared for anything that may be ahead. An independent educational consultant, IEC, is just that - someone that can help prepare you and your child for the college application and admissions process. So, why hesitate?
Please realize that I have helped thousands of high school students move toward the next level, whether that be college, the workforce, or the military. I taught high school for 4 years, worked as a high school assistant principal for 1.5 years, and served as a high school principal for 2 years. I also spent 6 years as the Coordinator for a long-term workforce development program, where our focus was working with high school students who were interested in health careers and give them EVERY opportunity possible to be college and career ready. I knew every step to tell them to take, and was able to help so many families prepare for that next step. However, as I write this first blog, please know that I am now the parent of a high school senior trying to take what I know from my professional life and implement it in my home. It does not always work! I know exactly what the timeline is for sports recruiting, ACT and SAT testing, college applications, scholarship deadlines, and financial aid paperwork, but that does not mean that our senior is hitting all of these deadlines. Why am I admitting this to you??? Because we all know that you can be an expert in your field; however, when you are Mom (or Dad, Grandmother, Grandfather, Aunt, Uncle, Guardian, etc.) at home, your professional expertise does not carry the same weight. No teenager really wants to listen to "mom" like she actually knows what she is talking about, right? Now, our son has done a great job of humoring me, so we have survived the college application and recruiting process with no issues. However, I think you get my point. Parents are parents. We can tell our kids the same thing that a teacher, coach, or in this case, consultant, tells them, and they will swear that we did not say it. This is just a fact that we learn to accept as parents, because we know that our kids will realize that we know what we were talking about down the road.
Hiring an IEC gives you that expert voice that will work with the student and the parents to help find the best college for each individual. It is like having your own private coach for the college admissions process. Think of all of the benefits:
Savings - Yes, that is right, hiring an IEC can lead to HUGE savings! A good IEC can help coach your child on the best strategies to gain college credit while still in high school (with little or no cost). Also, IECs help students find the "best fit" college for each individual. Approximately 1/3 of current college students transfer, which can result in a loss of credits, or do not perform well at a school where they do not fit in. By helping you find the best fit, your student is more likely to finish their college degree without transferring and ultimately, save money! Also, IECs are a huge help in maneuvering the financial aid process and scholarship applications, so that adds up to additional savings as well!
Objectivity - An IEC is an outsider looking in that gives valuable insight on how to improve your application materials and gives honest, reliable feedback on college admission statistics and data.
Efficiency - Parents and students can spend hundreds of hours trying to research colleges, majors, financial aid/scholarships, college costs, and ways to strengthen your college application materials. However, an IEC takes that research time to a minimum by helping walk through the process and provides tools for you to use to manage your college choices efficiently.
Decreased Stress - Have you ever talked to a parent or senior who did not have an IEC? The stress of the college application and selection process can be VERY draining! Especially if a senior has waited until the last minute to complete the application process. Having an IEC allows the family to follow the timelines and processes that are already laid out, which allows the family to spend more time together with other family obligations.
Expertise - IECs spend hours every week researching the latest trends in college admissions, characteristics of different schools, college financial aid, etc. This time develops their expertise in the area of college admissions. They know how to help each student find the colleges where they would fit best, and they can then help that student with the application and admissions process with ease.
Committing to hiring an IEC should be a decision that is made with both the student and the parent(s)/guardian(s). Everyone must be on the same page to make the relationship work. However, the benefits far exceed the costs. College admissions is a dynamic and complicated process (much more than it was in the 1980's, 1990's, or even the early 2000's). Even families with 2 college educated parents benefit from "handing over the reigns" to a trained professional that has their child's best interest at heart. Hiring an IEC is definitely a worthwhile investment in your child's future success!
If you have any questions about what an IEC can do for you, please comment below. I will be happy to respond to comments and/or questions.