What does a typical college admissions consultant cost?

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Two people talking in a room.

What does a typical college admissions consultant cost?

For students that are determined to get into the best schools in the United States, sometimes the best tool at his or her disposal is a college admissions consultant. In recent years, admissions consultants for students who want to get into schools in the Ivy League or other top 10 institutions have become quite popular. For those reasons, you might be wondering what a great college admissions consultant costs. Well, the answer is a bit more complex than a simple number.

Luckily, here at AdmissionSight, we make it our top priority to help high schoolers all over the world in any way we can. Whether you are a student, or a parent of a student, and are wondering what it costs to have an admissions consultant working in your corner, then you have come to the right place! But before we go over the price, let’s quickly break down what students should expect from any college admissions consultant that they end up working with.

What you’re paying for

In the United States, the college application landscape has become very different over the last several decades. In fact, back in the day, it wasn’t really seen as a required part of life to go to college or university at all. People could get perfectly good jobs with good pay without any degree beyond a high school degree. Now, the circumstances are very different. Students commit more time and energy now than they ever have before to being attractive applicants in the eyes of college admissions officers because getting into a great school can have a major impact on an individual’s life.

a professor mentoring her students

That fact is the same reason why families are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars per year to attend a school. Earning a four-year degree is seen as a crucial investment in life. And that’s exactly how people who end up working with admissions consultants see that partnership: It’s an investment.

So, what are you investing in? Quite a few things, it turns out.


Truly, one of the most important benefits that students get out of working with top college admissions consultants is the experience that comes along with them. The truth is that for many students, the application process – and all that goes into it – is something of a mystery. Sure, you can read breakdowns (not so different from this one) that will start to scratch the surface of what students should be aiming to do to increase their chances of getting into a great school, but there will always be a bit of doubt regarding whether or not that student is on the right track.

boarding school students talking to a teacher

When students start working with college admissions consultants from an early age, they are able to go through their high school years knowing that they are putting themselves in the best position to gain acceptance to schools like Harvard, University of Chicago, Stanford and so much more. Experience leads to confidence and confidence leads to success. While nothing is ever a guarantee when it comes to applying to some of the most competitive schools in the world, this experience can end up playing a major role in a student’s success.

Their time and insight

For high school students, it’s often quite hard to know what the best way is to guarantee success. Should a student be focusing more on earning top grades or taking more challenging courses? Should a student be focusing on a lot of different activities out of the classroom or just a few?

What kinds of schools should a student target base on their interests? These are really important questions that high school students should be asking. While the high school counselor is traditionally thought of when it comes to helping guide high schoolers to make the right decisions regarding these questions and more, counselors are famously overworked and quite unavailable.

a female psychologist on a session with a patient

In fact, the vast majority of states in the United States do not follow the recommended ratio of 250 students per school counselor.

That’s where consultants come in. When parents of a high school student decide to team up with a trained and experienced consultant, they are going to be getting someone who their student will constantly be able to bounce ideas off of. Whether it’s about taking one kind of AP course or another, investing time in a sports team or academic competition, or anything in between, a great college admissions consultant will be there every step of the way.

The same can be said when it comes to an admissions consultant’s role during the actual application process. During this time, admissions consultants will be able to offer incredible insight when it comes to how many schools a student should apply to, how to craft the most memorable and impactful personal statements and essays and so much more.

While consultants can come with a hefty price tag (as you will soon find out), the insight and attention that they can offer often prove invaluable.

Their connections

Finally, college admissions consultants offer a certain number of connections that are otherwise quite hard to find. After all, a large number of consultants attended Ivy League or top-10 schools that the most intelligent and determined students dream of attending. For those reasons, consultants can often put the students that they work within touch with people who attended – or currently attend such schools.

Surely, these connections are not going to help a student who doesn’t have the grades or test scores to get into a top-10 school, but it can absolutely give students the inspiration and encouragement that they need to push for those lofty goals.

In the end, working with a college admissions consultant gives students just another tool in their arsenal to help them achieve their college application goals. Whether that’s going to an Ivy League school like Harvard or Yale, a top public school like Michigan or UCLA, or a top liberal arts school like Bard or Oberlin, a student who works with an admissions consultant is going to know how to achieve the goals that they have set better than the vast majority of students that they are competing with.

How much does a college counselor cost?

The cost of a college consultant is going to entirely depend on the fee structure of the company that you end up going with as well as how much work they put into helping a specific student with the college admissions process.

The truth is that there are a lot of variances in terms of how long an admissions officer is going to work with. a specific student. Some consultants will be paid for just a few hours to review a student’s college list, other counselors will be working with the same student for years as they approach the time that they will actually be applying to schools!

a person pulling out money from their wallet

The vast majority of providers within the industry in terms of pricing. Others will offer their different rates and packages after consultation. Overall, prices tend to range from around $950 per hour for a la carte sessions to thousands of dollars for packages that include college application assistance for students, ranging from anywhere between $25,000 to well over $100,000!

Without a doubt, the price tag can be a hefty one and it can be a hard decision to invest in something like this for some families. However, there is no doubt that working with a counselor can offer incredible benefits for students who go down that path.

For example, consider the fact that 75 percent of the high school students that have worked with AdmissionSight have been accepted to either an Ivy League school or an otherwise top-10 school in the United States. While the student will still have to keep up their end of the deal and take their curriculum seriously, working with an admissions consultant will offer them a plethora of tools that can and will help them do their best. The lifetime value of a degree from an Ivy League, Stanford, MIT, or UChicago cannot be understated.

One thing that we always stress with the students that are interested in working with an admissions consultant is that there has to be a great fit. The student should also know that there is quite a lot that they will have to do to make sure that they are getting the most out of the experience as well.

Here is what every high school student should be prepared for when they want to work with an admissions counselor to make sure that they get the very most out of the entire experience.

Consider going with a consultant package

While you may think that the best way to get value out of working with a college admissions consultant is to work with one who has a track record of success and has the acceptance letters to show for it. A college admissions consultant who has both the prerequisite background and provide tangible, actionable milestones  instead of merely high level advice will help tremendously.

Be sure to ask questions during the initial consultation to get a gauge of the consultant understands the ins and outs of college admissions. Many college admissions consultants also offer a packaged service which may be suitable for your child’s specific needs.A female student is being counseled by a female psychologist

These package services offer a lot of consistency and – honestly – more commitment from the admissions consultant as well. The reason why is primarily because these admission consultant packages mean that a student and the consultant are going to be working with one another for quite some time.

On top of that, a package is going to give the consultant the time that they need to get to know the student that they are working with. This means that they are going to be able to best apply their expertise and experience to help the student in the way that he or she needs the most help!

Whether it’s just a couple of months or several years, these packages are going to give the student the very best chance that they can get to apply to the right schools and get into those schools to continue their education at the best place for them.

Take their advice to heart

No matter how great a consultant is, their work is only going to be truly worth it if the student is ready and willing to take their guidance and advice to heart. No student is able to get into schools like Yale, Princeton, and Caltech by accident. It takes a whole lot of dedication and even more work. That fact is true whether a high school student is going to be working with a college admissions consultant or not.

In fact, working with a college admissions consultant is a lot like working with a school tutor. The admissions consultant is going to make their number one priority to give every student that they work with the tools that they need to succeed. But it is always going to be in the hands of the student to put those tools to use and apply them to the way that they approach their responsibilities in the classroom, outside of the classroom, and beyond.

Arrive for in-person or remote meetings on time and prepared

For any student who is looking to get the most out of working with a college admissions consultant, one really important way to make sure that the student is getting the most out of the experience is to – of course – show up on time to all of the scheduled meetings.

Beyond that, students should not simply be waiting to receive information from the admissions counselor. Instead, one great way for a student to make sure that they are getting the most out of the experience is to have questions of their own! This will give the students time to think about the task at hand and really internalize the answers that they get.

Remember, when it comes to working with an admissions consultant, every student is going to get out as much as they put in. Admissions consultants love helping students gain confidence and reach their goals, but not even the best consultant can force a student to do that. A determined student who is passionate about their education and their future is always going to work better alongside a consultant than a student who feels as though their education is a chore.

What to look for in a college admissions consultant

The perfect consultant is going to be somewhat different for every high school student. For that reason, it is really important that any parent who is interested in finding a consultant for their child do their due diligence to find the right fit. Here are a few important things to look out for when you are in the process of vetting different consultants.

Find one that matches your child’s learning style

The relationship between an admissions consultant and a student that they work with has to be built off of mutual respect and understanding. As you vet different options, make sure to take stock of how each option interacts and communicates with your child.

Find one that has a proven background in the field

Not every admissions consultant has to have a professional history working as an admissions officer per se, but you should make sure that you know about their expertise and their track record of success. There are going to be a lot of options out there for you to look at, and doing the work necessary to make sure that you have made the right choice, in the end, is crucial to the success of the partnership overall.

For that reason, look into their history and find some information about them – or the service – online so you can feel wholly confident about your choice.

Beware of options that make promises or guarantees

This is something to look out for in a more negative way, perhaps, but that does not mean it is any less important. Be wary of groups that “guarantee” that your child will be able to get into the school of his or her choice. That is especially true if the school is a highly selective one. No doubt, working with an admissions consultant improves any student’s chances of success, but it’s also crucial that everyone involved enters the partnership with realistic goals and standards. That approach is what will most likely render ultimate success!

Consider AdmissionSight for your college admissions consulting needs

Here at AdmissionSIght, we love helping the next generation continue their education where they dream of going. Thanks to our experience, our expertise, and our knowledge within the industry, we know that we can help make a difference for students everywhere. If you are interested in seeing what our trained consultants bring to the table, contact us today for a free consultation.




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