An Independent Educational Consultant (IEC) can provide your family peace of mind during the dizzying process of finding and getting your student into the right college. Once hired, they’ll look at your student’s transcripts, ACT and SAT scores, athletic activity, volunteer work, internships, and other leadership opportunities they’ve had during their high school years. With this knowledge and an in-depth conversation with your student about their goals, they’ll get to work guiding them through the entire process of getting to college: choosing, applying, exploring financial aid opportunities, and getting them ready for Day One on campus.
- 26% of high-achieving high school students (those seeking a four-year college) used an IEC
- The typical family who works with an IEC has an income between $75,000 and $100,000.
- According to a survey of IECs, an average of 65% of their clients chose a private college. (Only 20% of high school graduates end up attending a private college.)
- Most IEC charge about the same hourly rate as a family therapist, or bundle their services into packages.
Benefit of Hiring an Independent Educational Consultant
1. Individualized Attention
An Independent Educational Consultant can help your student strengthen their college application. They can help with their college essay, too! And unlike a school’s guidance counselor, an IEC works with just a handful of students at a time, and is hyper-focused on college.
2. Reduced Anxiety
Everyone wants to ensure college is the best experience for their student, which is why these consultants work with your entire family. Knowing your student is in expert hands and has someone to keep them accountable can put a parent’s mind at ease. Also, knowing that an IEC can recommend a college that’s a good fit for the student, ensuring they’ll thrive once they enroll will help you sleep better at night.
3. First-Hand Knowledge
IECs know college culture can shift over time, which is why they visit colleges continually. Keeping a finger on the pulse helps them make better placements. (A good IEC has visited over 50 different campuses.) They know the latest trends and changes in admission policies and financial aid, and will pass all that knowledge on to your family. Their hands-on experience allows them to be a better match-maker for your student.
4. Increased Odds of a Thriving College Experience
An Independent Educational Consultant can’t guarantee your student’s success, but a good one can increase the odds of your student staying happily enrolled in their college of choice. When a match is well made, your student will not only thrive academically, they’ll enjoy the social and emotional opportunities their school offers.
Your student’s college success is a continually evolving equation, but an IEC can point your student in the right direction, help them fill out applications, and get them a seat at the academic table, but ultimately, it’s up to your student send in the applications, show up for class, and study well.
How to Choose an Independent Educational Consultant
Before hiring an IEC, interview a few. You’ll want one who is more interested and curious about you and your goals than bragging about what they can accomplish for you. Your student needs to be comfortable with the IEC, as they will spend the most time with whomever you hire. Make sure there’s equal parts motivator and empathizer in the mix. Here are 3 basic questions to ask in your initial interview:
- What schools do they have professional relationships with?
- What type of students do they normally work with?
- Can they provide a list of references?
A successful match is one in with the student stays motivated and confident of next steps. A successful placement is one in which the student succeeds and thrives once enrolled.