What Do College Admissions Coaches Do?

What Do College Admissions Coaches Do?

College admissions coaches help students with college admissions. College admissions coaches are sometimes called college admissions consultants or college admissions counselors. College coaches provide college admissions services like help on your college essay, applications, and SAT/ACT prep. College admissions coaches can also help with financial aid, scholarships, and grants.

Learn more about what college admissions coaches can do before and during the college application process.

Many high school students with aspirations of getting into their dream schools—and their parents or guardians, too—ask the question, “What do college admissions coaches do?”

This question is understandable considering the highly selective admissions process in place in many of the top colleges and universities, particularly among Ivy League schools! Harvard, Princeton, CalTech, MIT, and Stanford, for example, all have around a 4% acceptance rate. Moreover, the complex college admissions process and criteria can easily overwhelm high school students.

This is where college admissions coaches shine! College admissions consultants provide college admissions services such as help with college essays, applications, and SAT/ACT prep. College admissions coaches can also help with applying for financial aid, scholarships, and grants.

Many college admissions coaches have worked for colleges and universities as college admission officers. College coaches use their experience to help students get into the right college.

College admissions coaches can work alone or for college coaching companies. Some college coaches only work with students in their state. Other college admissions coaches work for national networks.

The best college admissions coaches will give you a better chance of getting into your top school.

What are the top qualities that you should look for in college admission coaches?

Why should high school students consider hiring a college admission counselor when there are high school guidance counselors? Not only are the latter more accessible—after all, their services are offered by high schools for free—but they are also more likely to know about the student’s academic performance, potential, interests, and aspirations.

High school guidance counselors and college admission counselors play distinct, and complementary, roles in a student’s college application process and success. While both professionals provide useful assistance to students in the achievement of their educational and professional goals, their primary duties are different in terms of focus, responsibilities, and expertise.

In brief, high school guidance counselors provide guidance and support to students during their high school years with services like academic planning, social and emotional support, and career exploration. College admissions counselors provide specific services that enable students to be accepted into their dream school.

For these reasons, their timing of engagement, accessibility to students and caseload, and scope of services are different. In terms of suitability for the college admissions process, college admissions coaches are your best bet because of their specific services and specialized skills.

potential college student receiving a college acceptance letter

Why hire a college admissions counselor?

To put it simply, the best college admissions coaches will give you a better chance of getting into your top school! Here are more specific details on the benefits of hiring a college admissions counselor.

Expert knowledge

College admissions consulting professionals have extensive and expert knowledge about the college application process, and it’s a depth and breadth of knowledge that cannot be secured from Google search results alone. Their knowledge base includes but isn’t limited to:

  • the factors that admissions officers consider in their applicant’s evaluation
  • the impact of standardized test scores on admission
  • the specific requirements of different colleges and universities
  • the type of admission portals used, such as Common App, by the schools are part of their knowledge base.
  • Personalized attention and guidance

    College coaches are able to provide individualized attention and guidance for students in high school because of their lower caseload (i.e., high school counselors usually have the entire school to cater to). Their admissions plans are specifically tailored to a student’s unique personal interests, strengths, and goals, as well as your academic performance, extracurricular activities, and college aspirations.

    Keep in mind that college admissions isn’t just about getting into your dream school! More importantly, it’s also about choosing a college or university that’s aligned with your interests, aspirations, and preferences in a college major and career, location, campus culture, and financial considerations. The best college admissions consultant will make the process easier because of their extensive knowledge of colleges and universities.

    Effective application strategy

    If you’re planning on being admitted into an Ivy League school or any other top college, you must have a strong application strategy! The best college admission consultant will advise students on the best manner of presenting their achievements, experiences, and aspirations in both the application documents and the interviews. Think of it as your road map in the competitive and complex admission and application process.

    You will get effective guidance and assistance on completing your college application essays (e.g., statement of intent, personal statement, and cover letter), current resume, and letters of recommendation. You will also undergo mock interviews to develop your question-and-answer skills.

    Meet deadlines

    Aside from the completeness and accuracy of the application documents, colleges and universities emphasize the importance of meeting deadlines. Your college admissions coach will keep you on track to submit application requirements on or before the deadlines to prevent missed opportunities and last-minute cramming.

    Explore financial aid options

    College is an expensive endeavor, but knowing your financial aid options and the best ways to maximize them can result in significant reductions in your total cost of attendance.

    Bottom line: Hiring the right college admissions consultant can decrease your stress associated with the college admissions process and increase your chances of being accepted into your dream school!

    happy future college student receiving a college acceptance letter

    How early should you start working with a college admissions counselor?

    There’s no one-size-fits-all time, but starting early has its merits including more time for comprehensive planning and preparation. You may want to start working with a college admissions coach during your sophomore or junior year in high school. You can then boost your academic performance, engage in meaningful extracurricular activities, and start work on your college essays.

    If you’re a transfer student, you may also want to consider hiring a college admissions coach to ease the transition between schools.

    How much does a college coach charge?

    College admissions coaches charge different prices for different services. The New York Times says that one session with a college admissions coach can cost a few hundred dollars. But you could also spend tens of thousands of dollars for mentoring over a couple of years. The New York Times says that some college admissions coaches charge less for low-income students.

    For families with limited financial resources, hiring college admission counselors can seem out of reach, particularly with comprehensive packages costing between $850 and $10,000 and above. But there are college admissions consultants who charge low fees without sacrificing on the quality of the service—and it can be enough to get started on your college applications. Look for college coaches who offer discounts for group sessions for groups of students and/or families, too.

    Back to Top

    Are college admissions coaches worth it?

    Yes, college admissions coaches are worth it. College admissions coaches know what admissions officers are looking for. College admissions coaches can also help you find the best school for your grades and goals. Finding a college that fits your needs is important.

    College coaches can help you find and get into the right college. A college admissions coach can teach you how to stand out on your application, write a great essay, and showcase your accomplishments. If you can afford a college admissions coach, it could help you get into your top college.

    But you must also remember that whether the cost of hiring a college admissions counselor is worth it or not will also depend on your personal needs and wants. If the admissions process at your dream school is complicated and competitive, then a college admission counselor may be worth it.

    Moreover, the access to resources and information, the quality of application documents, and the time savings realized may be enough to justify hiring a college admissions coach. If you have a demanding schedule that warrants the assistance of a college admissions coach or you are looking for a boost in your confidence level and abilities, you may benefit from the support that these professionals bring.

    Ultimately, the value of hiring a college counselor rests in your hands! It is important to remember that the responsibility for your high school grades, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities, lie fully in your hands, not the college consultant’s.

    potential student working on a college application
    Back to Top

    What should I ask a college admissions coach?

    You should ask your college admissions coach several important questions about college admissions. College admissions coaches have experience in admissions offices. College coaches know what admissions officers are looking for. Ask the right questions so you also know what admissions officers are looking for. Here are some things you should ask your admissions coach:

    • How can I make my application stand out?
    • Which schools on my list are a good fit for me?
    • Is my list of schools realistic?
    • How much financial aid will I get?
    • What support services are there at my top schools?
    • Are there scholarships or grants that I can apply for?
    • What college major can I take to improve my chances of admission?

    A good college admissions consultant will be transparent with their answers to these questions. It is important to ask the consultant specific questions about the college admissions services and success rates, such as:

    • Can you provide testimonials from students who have become successful in their college applications using your service and professional references?
    • How do you stay updated with the admissions trends and requirements of colleges and universities? Can you provide specific examples of these trends that high school students must be aware of?
    • How do you communicate with your clients and what’s your availability for admissions consulting sessions?
    • What’s the breakdown of your costs and payment options? Are there extra charges that can be expected?

    Keep in mind that the initial consultations or conversations with college admissions coaches are excellent opportunities to determine the suitability of their services for your needs. Come prepared with these questions, as well as any concerns, goals, and aspirations—and be prepared to discuss them openly. Being confident and comfortable in your choice is a must to get the most from your professional relationship with the right college admissions coach.

    Back to Top

    What should I know before picking a college admissions coach?

    You should know to be careful before picking your college admissions consultant. Make sure you are choosing a college admissions coach with a good reputation. The recent Varsity Blues Scandal shows how important it is to choose a college admissions consultant carefully. The Varsity Blues Scandal involved Rick Singer. Rick Singer claimed to be a college admissions consultant but helped students cheat to get into college. This is why it’s important to choose a good college admissions consultant. Make sure you choose a college admissions consultant that is certified by a real education association. These are education associations that certify college admissions consultants:

    While possessing a professional certification is necessary for a trust-based relationship with a college admissions counselor, you must also consider other factors. You should ask about the types of services available, which can be general in nature or more specific guidance, such as recruitment for the arts or for athletic programs.

    You must also determine whether the college admissions counselor’s philosophy and approach are aligned with your needs and wants as an ambitious college student. Trust and transparency are crucial aspects of professional relationships, and these are founded on shared values and goals.

    Back to Top

    How do I find a college admissions coach?

    The best way to find a college admissions coach is to find somebody near you. Many college coaches work with students in their state. This is a great option if you want to go to a school near you. It’s also a great option because it’s easier to have face to face consultation.

    Ask for referrals from your high school guidance counselor, too, or from college students in your circle who can vouch for the success of their college admissions counselors.

    High school students have very little face to face time with school guidance counselors. Finding a college admissions consultant in your state is a great way to get more personal admissions help.

    Get additional tips on finding, applying to, and getting into the best school for you with a look at our College Admissions homepage.

    Or find study tips, learning tools, tips for campus life and much more with a look at our Student Resources Headquarters.

Do you have a question about this topic? Ask it here