The cost of any undergraduate college degree program is significant today. Also, the choice of school is important for people who aspire to have prestigious positions in the future. Acceptance rates to the top colleges in the nation are in the single digits. When applying to colleges, it is important to maximize acceptance potential, and that is where admissions consultants can help. There are also other ways a consultant can help. Parents or soon-to-be college students often wonder how much the services of an admissions consultant cost in order to decide if it’s worth it. The answer can vary based on what the consultant does and other factors.
What Does an Admissions Consultant Do?
An admissions consultant knows all the intricate details of college application processes. The consultant can help a student collect information, write letters, improve essays and do other tasks that are required for admission. Also, a consultant considers a student’s grades, finances, goals and other factors to help the student who wants to go to college choose the right schools. A consultant knows how to determine which schools are more likely to accept a person based on a variety of factors. Even when aspiring college students do not yet know what they want to do, an admissions consultant can help them explore their talents and possible options. Some consultants may offer more extensive services than others.
Cost of Hiring an Admissions Consultant
The cost of a consultant depends on how much the consultant does, expertise, the level of degree a student seeks and more. Overall cost also depends on the pricing structure. For instance, some consultants offer flat-rate packages for services, and some consultants simply charge by the hour. In 2017, the average admissions consultant cost was $200 per hour. However, only 25% of consultants charged about that rate, and at least 15% charged less. For higher degree programs, such as MBA programs, consultants may charge more than $400 per hour. Comprehensive service packages can range between under $1,000 and over $10,000. A comprehensive package may include analysis, advising, application assistance to a specific number of schools and other services.
Who Needs an Admissions Consultant?
Not all people need to pay for the services of an admissions consultant. Colleges typically have admissions advisors or counselors. Their services are usually free, and they can help students with their applications and can answer any questions they may have during the application process. However, they work within colleges, which means that they cannot help students explore their talents to look for schools to apply to. Admissions counselors are for people who have already decided to apply to the school where the counselor works, and consultants are better for people who are still considering multiple schools or need a sense of direction in terms of choosing a degree program or a school. These are some examples of when it may be helpful to hire an admissions consultant:
- Applying to elite colleges, such as Harvard or Yale.
- Unsure about which schools meet individual needs.
- Need assistance choosing a solid major and applying to the right schools.
- Aiming for lofty career goals in the future.
If a prospective student’s list of desired schools or programs include options with low acceptance rates, an admissions consultant may be worth the investment. The good news is that most consultants offer a free initial consultation, and they can tell students if they think there is a reasonable chance of approval for certain schools or if they can meet the student’s other unique needs.