The Best College Admissions Consulting Agencies

The Best College Admissions Consulting Agencies

Here are the top 25 college admissions consultant agencies in America. Learn to understand the difficulty of determining how one agency is actually better than the other — those that have the right balance between the quantity of students and the quality of service that each student gets.

Key Takeaways

  • College admissions can be stressful for most students and families due to rising academic expectations and tuition costs. The application process is quite intricate and challenging to understand. Hence, the hiring of college admissions consultants.
  • High school students best benefit from college admissions consultants. These professionals are trained to guide prospective college students through the admissions process, especially essay writing, test prep, and course selection, and could even provide career guidance.
  • When considering hiring the best college admissions consultant, it’s crucial to ensure that your objectives align with the consulting services and programs. In the end, a top consultant will impart professional skills that will last a lifetime, in addition to helping with college admissions.

While this article presents the top 25 college admissions consultants in America, it is important to understand the difficulty of determining how one agency is actually better than the other. While larger companies can take on more students, do not be fooled by size. There is a balance between the quantity of students a college admissions consultant can take on and the quality of service each student gets. Not all companies offer the same services in the same packages, so a direct comparison between companies is not the most informative way to measure quality.

For a deep understanding of what makes an education consulting company great and how to pick one, see my article on How to Choose a College Admissions Consultant

This article will not present a numerical ranking of companies. Instead, it will cluster and alphabetize companies based on geographical location. Location is pertinent because companies based in region ABC will understand the characteristics that admissions officers look for in students from high schools in that region. This is not to say that good consulting companies lack strategies for finding insights into local biases anywhere in the nation. I, for instance, am based in California but I have helped high school students from all over the US, UK, and Asia. There is, however, an edge that consultants gain from having worked with many students in the same region.

All About Consulting Agencies for College Admissions

Students dream of getting into the perfect school, those often among the most selective colleges. Since many high school students are vying for a small number of spaces in prestigious colleges and universities today, the competition is stiffer than ever before.

Less than one out of every five students are admitted into their top college choice of the institution because of rigorous standards and an exhausting and selective admissions process. As a result, many students never get admitted into their dream schools.

College admissions consultants can help make student’s dreams a reality. They can help with the admissions process, including test prep, college essays, and professional advice.

Importance of College Admissions Consultants

A college admissions consultant can be most helpful during a student’s sophomore or junior year in high school.

Additionally, admission consultants assist students in preparing for admissions interviews, analyzing college applications, improving the student’s writing and college interview skills and techniques.

Some college admissions consultants even assist students in getting access to various other crucial services, such as tutoring services to help them study for the SAT and other admissions exams, as well as important financial aid information.

Is a College Admissions Consultant Worth It?

You might be curious about the skills college admissions consultants bring to the table and whether they can truly help you achieve your academic goals and have a successful college application. There’s no definite answer to this. It depends on what you wish to know from your college admissions consultant, how much money you have to spend on your application, and whom you ask for advice from.

Remember that the most reputable admission consultants are frequently individuals with practical expertise. This indicates that they are likely to be good at working with students and know the elements contributing to academic success. They are skilled at screening applications and selecting which applicants should be admitted and for what reasons.

Questions to ask potential college admissions counselors include:

  • What services do you provide?
  • How frequently do students and consultants interact?
  • Do you provide financial aid assistance?
  • What are your rates?
  • What experience does your staff have with college admissions?
  • How successful are you?

Asking the right questions is a crucial step to ensuring that you find the consulting services that will be worthwhile to you.

Average Cost for College Admissions Consulting Services

Costs for a college admissions consultant will significantly vary depending on several factors, including packages and expertise. Expect to pay at least $1,000 for a few college admissions consulting for less extensive colleges. Meanwhile, if you’re aiming for top-tier admissions counseling and assistance for several years, including undergraduate to graduate schools, you should budget $40,000.

There are also consulting services that charge by the hour. This can range from $100 to $350 or more for specific consulting services. Some consultants also offer an a la carte menu with predetermined fees for certain services.

Back to Top

Find College Admissions Consultants Near You

Find Admissions Counselors in Alabama! Find Admissions Counselors in Alaska! Find Admissions Counselors in Arizona! Find Admissions Counselors in Arkansas! Find Admissions Counselors in California! Find Admissions Counselors in Colorado! Find Admissions Counselors in Connecticut! Find Admissions Counselors in Delaware! Find Admissions Counselors in District Of Columbia! Find Admissions Counselors in Florida! Find Admissions Counselors in Georgia! Find Admissions Counselors in Hawaii! Find Admissions Counselors in Idaho! Find Admissions Counselors in Illinois! Find Admissions Counselors in Indiana! Find Admissions Counselors in Iowa! Find Admissions Counselors in Kansas! Find Admissions Counselors in Kentucky! Find Admissions Counselors in Louisiana! Find Admissions Counselors in Maine! Find Admissions Counselors in Maryland! Find Admissions Counselors in Massachusetts! Find Admissions Counselors in Michigan! Find Admissions Counselors in Minnesota! Find Admissions Counselors in Mississippi! Find Admissions Counselors in Missouri! Find Admissions Counselors in Montana! Find Admissions Counselors in Nebraska! Find Admissions Counselors in Nevada! Find Admissions Counselors in New Hampshire! Find Admissions Counselors in New Jersey! Find Admissions Counselors in New Mexico! Find Admissions Counselors in New York! Find Admissions Counselors in North Carolina! Find Admissions Counselors in North Dakota! Find Admissions Counselors in Ohio! Find Admissions Counselors in Oklahoma! Find Admissions Counselors in Oregon! Find Admissions Counselors in Pennsylvania! Find Admissions Counselors in Puerto Rico! Find Admissions Counselors in Rhode Island! Find Admissions Counselors in South Carolina! Find Admissions Counselors in South Dakota! Find Admissions Counselors in Tennessee! Find Admissions Counselors in Texas! Find Admissions Counselors in Utah! Find Admissions Counselors in Vermont! Find Admissions Counselors in Virginia! Find Admissions Counselors in Washington! Find Admissions Counselors in West Virginia! Find Admissions Counselors in Wisconsin! Find Admissions Counselors in Wyoming!
Back to Top

Trusted National College Admission Consultant Agencies has established sponsored partnerships with a select group of agencies that work beyond state and regional boundaries to serve students across the United States. No matter your location in the U.S., these elite agencies can help you. All offer remote, online access and web-conferencing. Many also provide services to students who live outside the United States and plan to attend an American school.


Admissionado logo

With a staff of more than 65 and expertise in consulting not only for undegrad but also grad and MBA specifically, Admissionado is deep. Its consulting team’s alma maters align with the most desirable colleges and universities nationally and internationally, so students may find an alumnus or alumna of their target school available with essential insights. Admissionado also features a dedicated team of essay specialists, a boon at a time when essays are carrying more weight and testing less.

Admissionado implements a specialist approach, pairing each student with a strategy expert and a writing expert. This core team will work to form and accentuate a student’s strongest selling points to ensure they will “sparkle on the page.” Strategists work to spot application vulnerabilities, while writing experts help students achieve greater depth in their essays, which Admissionado considers its “ultimate secret weapon.” Then, whether undergrad or grad, a student is plugged into a network of top professionals and alumni to maximize effective connections that improve outcomes. Finally, all the logistical needs to ensure a smooth application to a select school are handled by the “HQ” staff. it is a winning team collaboration.

Tiered services are available for students, with packages available for different levels of need. In addition to the services mentioned, Admissionado also assists students with interview preparation, extracurricular planning, coursework strategizing, leadership training, and general mentorship. The agency’s website includes guides to specific schools, strategies for maximizing admissions success, and examples of essays and case studies that achieved desired results.


IvyWise logo

IvyWise is the premier college counseling consultancy offering admissions counseling, tutoring, test prep, and more for every stage of your educational journey. From college admissions counselors for high schoolers, academic advisers and graduate counselors for college students, WiseStart™ services for K-8 students, and test prep and tutoring experts—IvyWise has everything you need for academic success. Each of its counselors boasts at least three years of experience as a former dean or director of undergraduate admissions at top universities such as Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Stanford, MIT, and NYU. IvyWise counselors have read thousands of applications, so they know what schools are looking for.

IvyWise offers 1-on-1 college prep consulting in both short-term and long-term programs, depending on each family’s needs. One of its secret weapons is the IvyWise Roundtable, a process that simulates the real-world admissions committee: during the application process, its entire team of counselors meets weekly to review students’ college lists and applications including personal statements, supplements, and more—giving students the advantage of feedback before submission. This panel-style review is the key to IvyWise’s team-based counseling approach.

The IvyWise team is not limited to counselors, however, as its administrative staff structure gives counselors and tutors the opportunity to focus entirely on core student support functions. In addition to individualized attention from your IvyWise expert counselor, families are also supported through the entire IvyWise experience by a dedicated client relations manager, who helps to ensure students are on track and that families are getting the most out of their IvyWise programs. Clients truly have a full team on their side.

As IvyWise’s student roster grows, so does its admissions team, ensuring that each counselor has no more than 10 students per class year and is able to provide the personalized attention and care each student deserves.

Working with IvyWise starts with connecting with its enrollment advisers to learn more about you and schedule the Initial Consultation, a detailed, paid service where your hand-picked IvyWise admissions counselor will provide a strategic action plan to help you achieve your academic and admissions goals.

Parros College Planning

Parros logo

The Parros College Planning team approaches helping students and families by starting with an essential often forgotten in the admissions process: paying for college. Financial advising is a particular strength of Parros. Founder Timothy Parros is a Certified College Funding Specialist (CCFS®, Association of Certified College Funding Specialists), an advanced designation rare among admissions consultants. Getting into college is one thing, but forming an effective strategy to pay for that dream school through scholarships, smart tax planning, securing grants, and debt restructuring is an area where Parros excels.

As part of a strategic management of college costs, Parros College Planning’s sensible approach works to minimize student chances of being in college for more than four years. Their Academic Diagnostics process guides students to choose the best fit for them in a school and major, avoiding the confusion that can prolong a stay beyond four years. This includes evaluating test scores, career interests, extracurriculars, and leadership strengths.

Attracting a college’s attention, managing admissions tasks and deadlines, reviewing applications, and guiding students and families through the various forms that comprise the admissions process—Parros’s 30-plus years of experience helping students get into the best schools ensures positive outcomes that meet student needs. As needed, other services that Parros provide include SAT & ACT preparation, essay guidance, specialized help for athletes and special-needs students, and unique assistance for addressing family situations that pose challenges for students.

Parros College Planning shows the way into college, how to pay for it, and how to navigate the entire admissions process from start to finish. it is a full-service agency with a difference.


Prepory logo

Prepory’s team leverages over 100 years of collective admissions experience. Their team is made up of multi-degree academics, former university faculty, former admissions officers, Ivy League writing coaches, and graduates from the nation’s most selective schools. Each college coach is trained on the holistic college admissions process and is matched with clients based on availability and their academic interests. Prepory’s program assigns each family to a college admissions coach that will guide them through the entirety of their program. Their online platform, MyPrepory, connects students, parents, and consultants for regular progress checks.

Prepory’s programs are tailored to each student through a personalized program syllabus that outlines every advising session’s milestones and learning objectives. The student and college admissions coach meet for hour-long sessions to address their progress on extracurricular involvement, building their college list, writing their college essays, requesting letters of recommendation, and curating a winning college application.

Crimson Education

Crimson Education logo

Originally founded in New Zealand in 2013, Crimson Education is one of the most exciting and fastest-growing college prep consulting agencies. Crimson boasts a team of 2,400 expert strategists, tutors, and mentors, most of whom are based at top-ranked universities in the US and UK. This diversity of talent allows them to pair each student with the right team based on learning styles, aspirations, similarities, etc. With its in-house tutors, Crimson offers preparation for the following test categories: AP, IB, SAT, SAT Subject, ACT, and international exams.

Mentors work 1-on-1 to help students do capstone projects, including building an app, founding a nonprofit, launching businesses, crafting community service initiatives, and conducting international research. For students looking to conduct research, the Crimson Research Institute (CRI) offers qualified students the opportunity to complete an in-depth, independent research paper or project with hands-on guidance from PhDs and top university faculty. CRI students complete their own small, independent research project in a specific discipline, source potential publishers, and obtain patents or copyrights.

Crimson maintains several impressive libraries of information. The first is the largest education YouTube channel on the web, maintained solely by Crimson! The channel is hosted by two Harvard graduates who have also written for Netflix and appeared on Amazon Prime comedy specials. The channel has over 20 million views, 140,000 subscribers, and 1 million hours of content viewed.

The second information source is a public database of over 1,800 extracurricular opportunities around the world, called The Third is Unfiltered TV—a library of over 2,500 videos accessible only to Crimson students. This database features material from the world’s best entrepreneurs, politicians, generals, thought leaders, and astronauts, which is sure to enlighten and inspire high school students to reach for the stars.

Crimson also has programs that help high school seniors transition into college after getting accepted. Dubbed the Crimson Collegiate Service (CCS), this program provides access to top-notch preparatory curricula taught and designed by professors and graduates from Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Harvard, and Oxford.

Back to Top

The Best College Admission Consultant Agencies
Based on Location

Multi-State Agencies

College Coach

College Coach Logo

College Coach has a team of 30 college prep consultants, each of whom is a former senior admissions officer at a college or university. In addition, College Coach has 14 financial aid consultants, which suggests this college prep agency is particularly serious about financial aid help.

Their website devotes a significant amount of space to financial aid as well as considerations about finding the right fit for each student. The site makes little mention of famous universities. This suggests that College Coach is likely true to its brand, helping students find the right fit rather than just convincing families that their college-bound children will not amount to anything unless they attend “a famous school.” College Coach is the only agency in my research for this article that specifically lists “College Tuition Payment Planning” as one of their financial aid services.

College Coach offers its services as a comprehensive package or as a base package with customizable modules that can be added. They also offer a time-based comprehensive package, which allows flexibility for clients who need help in certain areas more than others.

College Coach offers Financial Aid consultation as a standalone package, which is convenient for families who only seek this particular service. The financial aid department maintains two resources on common questions: their Insider Blog; and their weekly podcast — Getting In: A College Coach Conversation.

C2 Education

C2 Education logo

C2 Education is the largest college prep and tutoring company in the USA. It is a one-stop-shop for college prep, tutoring, and test prep. Its consulting model emphasizes strategic course selection; choosing extracurricular activities that showcase passion and talent; participating in summer programs that promote student growth, and writing great personal statements.

C2 offers online, self-paced, for-credit AP courses that are blended with in-person tutoring — a program it calls AP Complete. These accredited online courses come with 30 hours of live tutoring to supplement the digital content. Their AP course offerings include: Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, English Language & Composition, English Literature & Composition, Environmental Science, Psychology, Statistics, US Government & Politics, US History, and World History.

C2′s tutors must score above the 95th percentile in their subject areas in order to qualify for teaching that subject. Their teaching emphasizes foundations in three core areas: math, reading, and writing. For the SAT and ACT tests, C2 offers intensive summer boot camps that are either 50 or 80 hours. C2 has developed its own curriculum and content, which includes practice tests to gauge a student’s progress. Their programs include 2-hours of 1-on-1 time with an instructor so students can receive personalized advice on college application strategies.

Crimson Education

Crimson is one of our top trusted agencies. Read more about Crimson Education above.

Single-Consultant Companies

It would be misleading to compile the top college admissions agencies in the USA without mentioning the high-quality work of single-member agencies. College admissions consultants who work alone or with only one person should not be underestimated. They have to be good enough to keep getting referrals, so their reputation is heavily dependent on their quality. For a discussion of pros and cons of large firms versus single-member agencies, see my article on How to Choose a College Admissions Consultant.



Admissionado logo

Admissionado is one of our top trusted agencies. Read more about Admissionado above.

Beyond Education Consulting (BEEC)

Beyond Education Consulting logo

Beyond Education Consulting, also known as BEEC, is the only college consulting agency that has special program consultants who focus on life coaching, nutrition, leadership, and career development. These special program consultants do not work on college prep, but bring decades of experience as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies or through their work with professional athletes. BEEC’s stellar lineup of career and performance psychology professionals sets them apart from the pack. These special programs consultants provide support to college prep consultants who work 1-on-1 with students.

BEEC’s philosophy is that trust, care, and personal attention are required to truly connect with a student. This level of trust is critical if a student is to receive and execute on his or her personal mentor’s advice. BEEC believes in college prep through a teamwork model, rather than a team model. This is because, though mentorship is done on a 1-on-1 basis, team leaders also actively communicate with parents on a regular basis. This allows students to develop deep 1-on-1 relationships with their college prep mentors, while also benefiting from a wider network of active help.

BEEC also provides internship placements for its students through its exclusive network of 60 distinguished professionals, ranging from professors to business leaders to medical and legal professionals. BEEC boasts a 100% success rate in placing students in internships that match career interests. Clearly, this is a major plus.

BEEC offers test prep and tutoring from its own team of instructors, all of whom are vetted for their ability and willingness not just to teach but also to nurture. BEEC also offers tutors who teach SAT, ACT, SAT Subject Tests, or AP courses.

BEEC’s website is also multilingual, offering site content in English, Chinese, or Korean. This means that a significant portion of BEEC’s clients are not-native English speakers. This is a bonus for clients, especially parents who may be more proficient in Chinese or Korean than in English.

College Zoom

College Zoom logo

College Zoom is the only independent college consulting agency invited to present seminars alongside the University of Southern California’s (USC) undergraduate admissions office. It has been featured on the Fox and CBS news stations, and also in the Los Angeles Times. In 2012, College Zoom was awarded a development grant from USC, funding its mission to provide ethical support to students with lower grades and SAT/ACT scores who aspire to enroll at highly selective colleges.

College Zoom’s secret to success is its profound understanding of the features that make a student appear both competitive and compatible to admissions officers. To the surprise of many parents, competitive fit is not just about a high GPA or high test scores. This is why College Zoom boasts the ability to get students with GPAs in the 3.4 range into top universities. To the surprise of many parents, competitive fit is not just about a high GPA or high test scores. This is why College Zoom boasts the ability to get students into top universities, even when their grades and test scores are below average for admitted students at each university. This demonstrates that College Zoom knows exactly what it is doing.

Another feature that makes College Zoom effective is its unique approach to hiring consultants. It boasts that no former admissions officer has ever made it past the first round of interviews. College Zoom hires based on mentoring, critical thinking, and writing abilities. College Zoom developed its own training system on effective writing, not for their students, but for their consultants.

FLEX College Prep

FLEX College Prep logo

FLEX has been guiding students since 2001, boasting 14 consultants and 1 essay instructor. FLEX takes a team approach to consulting, teaching students to look beyond themselves to become contributors to society. Consultants include former admissions officers, who handle strategy, and essay specialists, who help students with personal statements. Other team members may assist with interviews and other dimensions of the admissions process. FLEX’s secret sauce is their Info Bank, a repository that has drawn knowledge from admissions experts and industry partnerships since 2001.

FLEX offers two packages for college prep. The first is geared towards 8th-11th graders and emphasizes course selection, extracurricular activities, standardized testing, and leadership skills. This program also emphasizes the development of intellectual vitality. For 12th graders, FLEX has a package called Application and College Essay (ACE), which begins the summer before senior year. This service helps students polish their application package and select the right major. An essay specialist works with the student to guide the writing process. The final product is then reviewed by a panel of admissions experts from the FLEX Info Bank.

FLEX also helps students choose between the SAT or ACT by evaluating their abilities and matching them to the test on which they are most likely to succeed. FLEX test prep programs include 1-on-1 tutoring, small groups, or class settings. These programs can be as short as one week or span an entire year to match the student’s needs. FLEX develops its own test prep curriculum and requires that instructors score in the top 1% in the subject that they teach. Teachers also receive training in classroom management methodologies.

HS2 Academy

HS2 Academy logo

The HS2 Academy website boasts a team of 25 consultants and 26 instructors. Their consultants have degrees from Harvard, UC Berkeley, USC, Duke University, Cornell, Pomona, and Columbia. Their consulting philosophy emphasizes healthy study skills, time management, and stress management. They offer the Highlands Ability Battery Test to help students match students with personalized learning methods and suitable career paths. Based on the languages used in their online course schedules, one can deduce that a significant portion of their clients are Chinese-and Korean-speaking families. This is a bonus for clients, especially parents who may be more proficient in Chinese or Korean than in English.

HS2 has an exclusive partnership with University of California - Riverside that allows HS2 students to take college courses for college credit. HS2 also has a similar partnership with a private high school in the Los Angeles area, which offers online AP courses for credit in Human Geography, Psychology, and Biology. HS2 also offers non-credit online classes to supplement high school curricula, including AP courses in Calculus BC, US History, World History, European History, Physics, and Statistics.

HS2 hosts its own West Coast college tours, which visit 11 popular schools in California. This service is advantageous for families that do not want to plan their own trip and who want the convenience of a personal guide while visiting.

Ilumin Education

Ilumin Education logo

Ilumin emphasizes a combination of college consulting and life coaching. According to their website, Ilumin uses scientifically-proven skills assessments and results-oriented coaching to not only help students figure out their college major, but become more motivated and mature individuals.

Indeed, this is the key to academic success. The types of students who get into the top tier schools are often very disciplined and mature compared to their peers. This student must be more than just book smart. Ilumin understands that a consultant must first build trust with the student in order to help motivate the student towards personal transformation.

The Ilumin team consists of ten consultants, eight essay specialists, and one interview specialist. They offer two service packages for college prep, providing coaching services to students prior to senior year, and offering college application support for high school seniors. For freshman to juniors, they offer strategic course planning, detailed standardized test planning, and extracurricular planning that emphasizes personal growth. Seniors who are soon applying to college will focus on creating compelling personal statements. Ilumin also helps seniors create great resumes, and provides strategic support as they piece together personal application details in a way that maximizes the chances of acceptance. Ilumin also offers a final review of applications with each student before submission.

Ready Edge Go

Ready Edge Go was founded by a former stock trader turned Google Business Development Executive, who left a lucrative career to make a positive difference for future generations. Ready Edge Go brings a long-overdue approach to college prep, teaching students to think independently rather than emphasizing the need to get into a top-ranked university. Ready Edge Go teaches students to ask, What do I want to do during my time here in this world? instead of, How can I get into a top-ranking college?

Ready Edge Go sees itself like an In-N-Out Burger. Like the popular California fast-food chain, they only have three menu items, but they do them very well. They offer mentorship for course selection, leadership development, and extracurricular prep. For seniors, they offer college application help. For testing, they offer hybrid small groups & 1-on-1 sessions, or purely 1-on-1 sessions. Their philosophy is that test prep should be individualized, not delivered to a classroom of students.

Student-facing employees at Ready Edge Go are vetted for competence, compassion, and passion. Every employee brings student-facing experience, a unique perspective, and a strong body of knowledge. Another feature that sets Ready Edge Go apart from other companies is its emphasis on how it treats its own employees. Their people are humans first, then employees last philosophy is meant to foster genuine student-centric service. Ready Edge Go believes that if staff members are stressed out, they are not in a strong position to reduce stress for their mentees.


Parros College Planning

Parros logo

Parros is one of our top trusted agencies. Read more about Parros College Planning above.

Before College Consulting

Before College Consulting logo

One of the special features of Before College Consulting is its focus on helping student-athletes get into college. Athletic scholarships and athletic recruiting are a sub-specialty in the college prep industry because there are different deadlines and specific rules that students need to know. The founder of Before College Consulting is a former collegiate athlete and coach, so he knows the special circumstances faced by student-athletes and understands what different levels of collegiate athletic competition entail. There are specific strategies for applying to college through the various student-athlete tracks, so an experienced consultant is a huge advantage.

Before College Consulting offers a seminar that walks families through the applications process, including where to get scholarships and how to avoid unnecessary debt. They also offer 1-on-1 consulting on the college application process and how to get more financial aid.

College Bound Consulting

College Bound Consulting logo

College Bound Consulting has a team of 10 consultants and has served numerous high schools in the Chicago area. College Bound knows this region and its schools particularly well, which means they also know what preferences each college has for high schoolers in their area. College Bound Consulting focuses on personal connection with their students. This allows them to find the right college fit.

The College Bound website discusses setting realistic goals, especially as students put together the list of colleges where they will be applying. This approach underscores the College Bound goal of removing unnecessary stress from the application process. College Bound Consulting has its own network of tutors, so referrals are made strictly to trusted tutors who have done a good job in the past.

College Bound Consulting is also the only agency considered for this article whose website notes that their consultants travel several times a year to dozens of universities around the country to better understand the landscape, allowing us to make more precise recommendations for our clients.

This kind of dedication means that they have a very real feel for the many great colleges out there.



Prepory logo

Prepory is one of our top trusted agencies. Read more about Prepory above.

College Inroads

College Inroads logo

Unlike other companies that promote the ability to get their students into famous universities, College Inroads promotes the fact that there are 2,400 4-year universities that have a place for everyone. This is the company of choice for families who wish to avoid the rat race of vying for limited spots at the Ivy League schools. There are many factors for a family to consider when deciding where to send their children to college.

College Inroads offers a structured roadmap that begins with an assessment of the student’s personality and testing ability. What follows are meetings to find the right college fit for a student, to plan strategies for improving a student’s academic profile, and to discuss financial aid matters before applications and after acceptances. College Inroads has an online test prep program and is connected to a network of local tutoring companies.

College Transitions

College Transitions logo

College Transitions hires counselors who have worked on both sides of the gate — as high school counselors and administrators, and as college admission representatives. Their consultants are published researchers, having authored articles on the college-related effects of counseling, the predictors of selective college admission, test-optional policies, and education debt. They are the only college prep company in the USA to have published in higher education’s top journals. College Transitions boasts the publication of two well-reviewed books, The Enlightened College Applicant and the newly released Colleges Worth Your Money. Finally, given their quantitative background, they believe that they are more data-driven than most other providers.

College Transitions has 14 consultants on staff, as well as a team of essay coaches and college interview specialists. These consultants previously served as admission officers at some of the most selective colleges throughout the USA, including Duke, Stanford, Dartmouth, Pomona, Swarthmore, and Johns Hopkins.

Their fundamental objective is to guide students into colleges that are a good personal fit, schools where students can thrive and effectively pursue both personal and professional goals. College Transitions believes that the college admissions process should be about more than just admission. They value personal growth and self-discovery as much as selectivity. By doing so, they hope to bring perspective and sanity to college planning.

College Transitions also provides advice on how to secure competitive and non-competitive funding to attend their target colleges. Financial aid guidance includes advice on how to complete and process financial aid forms, how to apply for private scholarships, and what strategies to employ for winning merit-based aid.

Dallas Admissions

Dallas Admissions logo

Dallas Admissions applies corporate marketing strategies to help students develop their personal brand when applying to college. Different companies call it different things, but personal branding is the key to standing out. Dallas Admissions highlights individual strengths while focusing on academic and career goal setting. They offer their consulting service in four different packages, depending on how much personal interaction is desired. This is convenient for those who only want guidance on core principals or those who want a full analysis of the roadmap.

Dallas Admissions offers four different test prep packages for the SAT and ACT that differ based on how many hours of 1-on-1 tutoring are involved. Their larger packages conveniently include college planning.

Shumsky Center

Shumsky Center logo

The Shumsky Center has been featured in The The New York Times, Money Magazine, The Houston Chronicle, and ABC News. In their 25 years of consulting, they have worked with superstar students, great athletes, derailed students, and students with learning disabilities. Their separate service packages are a reflection of their understanding that each teen has different areas of need. They have summer programs focused just on Study Skills and Methods, Life Management Skills, or The Teen Independence Program.

Indeed, these are crucial aspects to being both a great student and a successful college applicant. However, these features are often overlooked for students grappling with low GPAs or test scores. The Shumsky Center boasts a powerful combination: the expertise of college admissions officers coupled with a team of psychologists’ patience and insight.

The Shumsky Center partners with psychologists to assess students for learning disabilities and tailor academic plans that work for them. This streamlined teamwork is invaluable for families whose children have, or think they might have, learning disabilities.

The Shumsky Center also offers test prep for standardized tests, and summer preview courses to help students prepare for difficult courses in the coming year.



IvyWise logo

IvyWise is one of our top trusted agencies. Read more about IvyWise above.

Expert Admissions

Expert Admissions logo

The Founder of Expert Admissions has been featured on NBC, CBS, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, CTGN, and Fox 5 News. Print media mentions include The The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg, USA Today, and The Boston Globe. Needless to say, Expert Admissions is recognized as one of the top college consulting agencies in the nation.

Expert Admissions is a team of three consultants and four writing specialists. Their consultants include former admissions officers from Columbia University and University of Chicago. They have a strong record of helping students get into Columbia and NYU, as well as many other top schools. Expert Admissions has a scholarship program that offers free college prep for deserving students.

Expert Admissions’ staff includes a Director of Spanish Services and a Manager of Spanish Services & Outreach, which is a bonus for families who are more proficient in Spanish than English.

InGenius Prep

InGenius Prep logo

InGenius Prep has 150 college admissions consultants, all of whom were former admissions officers from top universities, such as Harvard, Yale, MIT, Brown, Johns Hopkins, and many more. They employ a tag-team model in which students are matched with a pair of mentors: a former admissions officer and a graduate coach.

InGenius Prep offers two special programs that are gems for school students. One is the Academic Mentorship program with professors, researchers, or scholars at top universities. Each student does an individualized capstone project and gets the chance to nurture a relationship with an established intellectual. This training relationship can result in a valuable letter of recommendation for college apps and beyond.

The second special program is a writing class that pairs students 1-on-1 with an Ivy League Teaching Fellow. Through this program, which is developed for students whose first language is not English, students practice academic writing through 16 online sessions across eight weeks. Programs like this often teach a form of writing that is not emphasized in the traditional high school classroom outside of the U.S.

InGenius Prep separates its college prep service into three packages. The package for 9th-11th graders is called Candidacy Building and involves course selection, test planning, and extracurricular planning. InGenius Prep offers three levels of service under this package that differ based on how much 2-on-1 and 1-on-1 time is included.

For 12th Graders, there is a package called Application Counseling. This package also includes three distinct levels of service differing by how many applications a student receives help on and how much personal attention is desired. Lastly, for 12th graders who only want help near the end of the application process, there is a package called Final Review. A former admissions officer edits your application and makes suggestions for improvement.

Marks Education

Marks Education logo

Marks Education is a team of eight education consultants and 20 tutors. Their team consists of former college admissions officers, college counselors, and academic advisors. Their model works 1-on-1 with students to make choices that minimize stress and maximize student performance. The Marks Education approach involves gathering real-time data by speaking with contacts within universities to understand changing priorities in admissions offices.

Marks Education believes that no two students are alike and that the first question to ask a student is What do you like to do? instead of What college do you want to go to? Their strategic plan for each student centers around the student’s interests, which they believe is the crucial first ingredient for success.

Marks Education has published its own comprehensive guide to the SAT and four original practice tests. Their tutors meet 1-on-1 online with students. They can help with pretty much any test that a junior high schooler and high schooler would encounter in the USA. They place significant emphasis on helping a student decide between the SAT or ACT, which are different tests that students should carefully consider.


Preminente logo

Preminente is a team of 23 college prep consultants who also have specialties in areas such as theater, career guidance, professional editing, and athletic recruitment. The fact that they have a Director of Athletic Recruitment says a lot about their ability to serve a sizable number of student-athletes.

Preminente’s core services are divided into three packages for 11th-12th grades; 10th-12th grades; or all 4 years of high school. These core services include course selection, test planning, and extracurricular planning. They also help families plan their college visits.

Preminente stands apart from other companies for its Additional Services. They have a workshop specifically for students building a fine arts or architecture portfolio. They have an academic writing and editing service to help students with research papers. They provide workshops on how to communicate with professors, manage time, and get internships. They also have workshops specifically for student-athletes.

Top Tier Admissions

Top Tier Admissions logo

The founders of Top Tier Admissions have been featured in The The New York Times, Business Week, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. They are also authors of do not Worry, you will Get In and have spent years in the Dartmouth admissions office. Top Tier Admissions offers a 4-day Application Boot Camp that guides participants through the Common App, personal essays, and application strategy. This camp also provides exclusive resources about summer camps and best practices. For those who want personal attention, a 3-day 1-on-1 version of this camp is also available.

Top Tier Admission’s comprehensive college prep package for 8th-12th graders includes the core elements needed for success. This service includes a vocabulary training program, which is geared toward standardized test prep but also helps a student become a better writer.

Top Tier Admissions offers an essay only service package called College Application Essay Guidance, which is convenient for those who only seek help in this one crucial area. They also have a hilariously named service called “Common App 911.” Having worked in this industry myself, I appreciate the urgency implied by this name. This service includes a live, consultant-guided walk-through of an application portal, such as the Common App. This experience provides the student with expert insight on best practices when filling out the application

Learn more with a look at our Guide to the College Admissions Process.

Or get tips on studying, student life, and much more with a look at our Student Resources.

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