The Pros and Cons of Hiring Ivy League Consulting

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Two hands about to get in contact for a handshake

The Pros and Cons of Hiring Ivy League Consulting

Without a doubt, getting into a dream college or university is something that millions of high school students throughout the world think about during their years leading up to applying to schools. If a student is determined to apply and get into one of the eight Ivy League schools, chances are good that they know that the odds are up against them. In fact, every single Ivy League school has an acceptance rate well below 10 percent. For that reason, many students decide to take advantage of Ivy League Consulting.

With Ivy League schools only demanding more and more of the students that apply to their schools and accepting less and less students each year, Ivy League consulting has become a highly popular option for students and their families all over the world.

College consultants help high school students in the exact same way that business consultants help fortune 500 companies. They help the student achieve their ideal outcome by planning, preparing and generally consulting them on how to best succeed.

A man sitting by the window is lost in thoughts

Whether you are a high school student – or a parent of a high school student – and are thinking about hiring an Ivy League consultant, chances are good you have a fair amount of questions about the pros and cons, the process of finding a consultant and much more.

Luckily, you have come to the right place! Here at AdmissionSIght, we make it our number one priority to help high school students all over the world achieve their college application goals. Whether that means working with us, or some other admissions counselor offering their services, we fully encourage that!

So, with that being said, let’s start breaking down everything we think every high school student should know about the fascinating world of Ivy League consulting.

First off, let’s figure out what the pros and cons of investing in a college admissions consultant are.

The Pros

It might seem a bit biased to start out with the pros, but we only think it’s fair. After all, we know our own results and we know the incredible success that so many of the high school students that we have worked with all over the world have enjoyed.

Students get important information regarding best fits of schools for them

The simple truth about students applying to colleges is that all they can do when it comes to finding the right fit is make an educated guess. Every person is different, and every school is different. That can make it really hard to find the very best option for a specific student even if they are picking from a smaller selection of specific schools, such as the eight schools within the Ivy League.

In the end, going to college is a major investment, and students and their parents alike want to be sure that they are making the right investment. That is what higher education really is in the end, an investment in a young man or woman’s future. But as explained, it can be hard to sometimes know that you are making the right investment.

That’s where an Ivy League consultant can offer major help. Simply by getting to know the student on a personal and professional level, they will be able to offer their deep professional experience within the field to help point students in the right direction when it comes to what schools they should apply to. Of course, the student and their family will always have final say, but a college admissions coach can offer lots of help in this aspect.

Consultants help create a proven plan for success

One of the biggest issues that high school students face when it comes to getting into the colleges and universities that they want is failing to have a successful plan to do so. The college admissions process may feel like something born out of chaos, but it is actually more of an exact science if you know how to see it that way.

College admissions officers only see it that way, and that is why they are able to instill proven strategies for success when it comes to the students that they work with. In fact, that is the reason why a lot of families that are able to do so elect to utilize college admissions officers very early on in a student’s high school career. The road to gaining acceptance to a top school starts well before some might think. In fact, it really begins during a student’s freshman year, or sometimes even before with pre high school consultation.

A woman in the library writing on her notebook

Ivy League admissions consultants will be able to help with anything what extracurricular activities a student should get involved in, how to plant the seeds for great teacher recommendations early on in their high school years, what kinds of classes to take, how to prepare for AP exams, how to prepare for standardized test and so much more.

In fact, some of the most important aspects that admissions consultants help with has to do with the applications themselves. You see, when it comes to the kinds of students that apply to Ivy League schools, there is often very little that really sets them apart.

All of these students are the cream of the crop, they have great grades, test scores and more. For that reason, Ivy League admissions officers will heavily depend on aspects of the application such as the personal essay. Any Ivy League consultant worth their salt will be a master of helping a student unlock the very best personal essay possible.

Help make up for lack of direction from high school counselors

Ideally, high school counselors would be the ones to help all high school students get the valuable guidance that they need in order to best prepare for the college application process. Sadly, that is often not really the case.

In fact, according to the American School Counselor Association, only two states – Wyoming and Vermont – have the recommended ratio of 1 counselor to 250 students in order to give the necessary help in the college admission process.

a female student studying

Because of that, parents are right to believe that they need to invest in making sure that their students not only get the base-level amount of help needed throughout the process, but also exceptional guidance.

That way, students will not have to patiently wait for their one or two meetings with a counselor per semester and will instead be able to ask any and all questions they have to someone who is quite likely even more fit to offer the best answers and information!

The Cons

Now that we have gotten the top pros of hiring a college admission consultant covered, we also know that it is only fair to discuss the cons as well. In the end, we at AdmissionSight want everyone to have the most information possible so that they can make the very best decision for themselves! So, let’s get started on the cons of working with an Ivy League consultant.

It can come with a pretty hefty price tag

This probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, and definitely won’t come as a shock if you have already been looking at some of the prices of working with a premier college admissions counselor. After all, this relationship is built off of hours of a professional consultant working one-on-one with a student.

A graduation cap and diploma on top of paper bills

With that being said, college is a rather expensive venture in any case. That is especially true if a student is determined to attend an Ivy League program. If we are truly looking at a student’s higher education as a major investment, then putting any amount of money should really be worth it. Still, it is something that every student and family thinking about hiring a college admissions coach should be fully aware of.

It can be hard to identify the real from the frauds

This is especially important for every parent to keep in mind. Just like every industry in which people are hoping to gain an advantage in a highly competitive environment, there are some individuals or companies that sadly talk a big game but do not back it up in the end in college consultation. The field of college admission consultants is a wholly unregulated one and there are no certifications or standards that a company or individual technically need to follow.

Anyone can claim to have the relevant experience and charge a large amount of money to “help” a student make their college admissions dreams a reality. This is especially true because admissions consulting does allow people to sort of “sell a dream” of helping a student believe that they are fit to apply for highly competitive schools when that is in fact not exactly the case.

No matter how convincing or confident a college admission counselor appears to be, everyone needs to be sure to be doing their own research into each and every company and individual that they are considering. Do online research by looking for reviews and written experiences from current and past clients.

Beyond that, it is absolutely a good idea to get in touch with the college admissions counselor at your student’s high school and ask them if they have any thoughts on a specific company or individual who is offering college admissions consultant work.

A student may not really need one

Before any student fully commits to working with a college admissions consultant, the student and his or her family should have a real conversation about whether or not one is needed. Ultimately, if a student wants one and feels that it would help them, that could be enough to go that route, but it is also important to make sure that you are not wasting time and money on something that the student does not really need.

Taking advantage of online resources, learning about the competitive level of the schools that a student is interested in, as well as speaking with a high school counselor can be really helpful in terms of helping you get to the right answer to this question.

If a student seems to be well above the requirements and expectations that their dream schools look for, then chances are good that a college admissions counselor will be overkill. However, it is important to mention that if a student is determined to get into an Ivy League school like Harvard, Princeton or Dartmouth, chances are pretty good that they will benefit greatly from all the help and guidance that they would receive through working with a college admission counselor.

How to choose the right college admissions consultant?

Now that you know the major pros and cons of working with a college admissions officer, we thought it would be useful to finish up this in-depth breakdown by going over what types of things every student should be looking for in any college admissions counselor that they are thinking about working with.

This should not be done in replacement of doing specific research about every company or individual you are thinking about working with, but instead should be done in conjunction with that!

Here are some great questions that you should be asking every consultant that you meet with before you make your final decision in terms of who to ultimately go with.

How accessible are they?

One important question that you will definitely want the answer to is how accessible a given consultant or consulting company will be with their time if you choose to work with them. Will meetings be in-person or done over Zoom? How easily can the student or parents contact the consultant outside of their scheduled meetings? How quick will they be to respond? Getting a good idea of the answer to these questions is very important.

Are they dedicated to making sure the student is applying to the right schools?

There is no doubt that college admission consultants want to help students achieve their goals and dreams of getting into the schools they want to get into. However, it is also important that a counselor is prepared and able to point students in the right direction.

Depending on where a given student is in their high school education, some schools are going to be nearly impossible to gain acceptance to. A college admissions counselor needs to practice a healthy combination of determination and realism to give the student the best chance of ending up at the best school for them. College admissions consultants also need to be serious about getting to know every student that they work with on a personal level so that they can offer the very best guidance and advice for college consulation.

What services do they offer specifically?

A good consultant is going to have a lot of different services that they offer when it comes to helping a high school student get into the right schools. For example, here at AdmissionSight, what we offer includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • Pre high school consultation
  • Boarding school admissions
  • Academic and extracurricular profile evaluation
  • Summer program guidance
  • Ivy League transfer admissions
  • MBA admissions
  • SAT/ACT tutoring
  • AP Exam tutoring
  • Olympiad Training
  • Passion project program
  • Ad Hoc Consulting
  • Athletic recruitment
  • And much more!

This should give you a pretty good idea of what kinds of services you should be looking for. Of course, every high school student is different, and their needs and goals are unique. Finding a consultant who is best prepared to help a student with all of their needs is what matters most.

What is their background as college admissions consultant?

This is really crucial, as you have to be sure that they have years upon years of working in this field. Do not sign up to be any college admission consultant’s guinea pig student and make sure that they have credentials as well as real-world experience in college consultation.

Many Ivy League admissions coaches have either worked within the admissions office of a top school or have applied and gotten into top schools themselves. You also will – as we previously mentioned – take your own research process very seriously to make sure that the company has been around for a long time and has solid reviews online.

What is their track record of success?

You also want to have a great idea of what their track record of success within the field is. For example, here at AdmissionSight, we take great pride in the fact that 75 percent of the students we have worked with have gained acceptance to Ivy League schools or similarly competitive and prestigious schools such as U of Chicago, Stanford, and more.

If you are interested in speaking with us to see if we are the right consultant for your student, do not hesitate to contact us! We take great pride in all of our fantastic students and success stories and would consider it a major honor to help your student get into the school that they dream of attending so that they can get the next chapter of their life started at the very best way possible.


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