What is an Independent Educational Consultant?

There are two things an independent educational consultant is not: a guarantee or an applicant. That’s to say, an independent educational consultant is not someone who does seniors’ applications for them and then guarantees they will get into their dream college. However, an independent educational consultant is someone who can assist applicants throughout the college application process and give them professional insight on college planning. Translated, an educational consultant is someone who can find “good fit” schools and help assist in the mission of getting into said schools. This includes help with admission essays, admission supplements, and filling out the technical details of the application, along with the benefit of a personalized list of colleges that make the college search far less daunting. An educational consultant can also provide a clear view of financial aid, need vs merit-based and what the true cost of a college is for the individual student. The college search and application process is like climbing Mount Everest. An educational consultant can act as your guide to the top of the mountain, not climbing the mountain for you, but there to provide assistance and guidance every step of the way.

Early Applications: Making an Application Timeline

As we discussed before, there are four main types of college deadlines, and it is best for a student to apply to the earliest possible deadline that fits his or her application ambitions. A good first step is to determine if a student is going to go the route of early decision at any school. A student can only apply early decision to one school and if accepted into the given school must attend and withdraw all other applications. This type of application is a good route for people who are really set on attending one school but are not concerned with comparing financial aid offers, since a student has to accept the financial aid offered by the binding acceptance. The second step in making an application timeline is to go to the admissions webpage of all the applicant’s schools and find out what early deadlines there are and when. Make sure to read the fine print, like if regular decision is in January but all scholarship applications are due in November, or if honors colleges have separate deadlines. The third step is to make a word document or excel spreadsheet of all the schools on a student’s list and each school’s deadline that best fits a student’s needs. Try to organize them by date and by type of deadline, just in case a student has to mark the type of deadline on their application. By organizing deadlines by date, a student can easily see what they need to be working on and also easily mark off schools in a to-do list fashion as applications are finalized. An application timeline is essential to insuring that all deadlines are met for an applicant’s schools. An application, even a day late, is not considered for admission, and a timeline helps avoid making that grievous error.

Early Applications: The Earlier the Better

We know the stereotype: most high school students wait until the last minute to do things. This common assumption generally stands true for college applications. Most students think they can skip the early application rounds, applying at the last minute instead of before the priority deadline. Students argue that applying in the final round means they “have more time to work on it,” but many still begin the application only a week before the deadline. This procrastination not only can cost a competitive applicant acceptance but also can cost thousands of dollars in scholarships. Applications should be started early, usually during the summer after a student’s junior year. When an application is completed over the summer, a student won’t be forced to juggle academics, extracurriculars, and their college applications at the beginning of their senior year. Furthermore, if a student finalizes their application before the fall, they can apply before priority deadlines, which can be as early as October the 15th. Deadlines can be classified as early decision, early action, priority, or regular, and each student has to plan for these deadlines and decide when to submit their application based on how they wish to apply to a school. In the next post, we’ll discuss what these deadline types mean and how to make an application timeline.

Blueprint Workshop

Blueprint for College Planning Workshop 

Lane Music in Franklin Square, 9648 Kingston Pike

Tuesday, April 15th from 7-8:30 pm

A message from Laurie Brandow:

Does your son or daughter have a dream college? Or are they even thinking about college? What’s the plan? Where do you start?

Let’s start with our workshop!

Along with my colleague Jesse Hedrick from Testing Solutions, we are holding the second annual “Blueprint for College Planning and Admission” workshop. We’ll give you the resources that you are looking for…

From Your-Personal-Statement-is-NOT-an-English-Essay, to Crafting the College List,  our topics and information will get you ready for it all. Learn about Demonstrated Interest and resources for Unraveling the Mysteries of Merit and Financial Aid.  Find out whether the ACT or the SAT might be a better fit for your student.

This year each of my 20 students received multiple acceptances from what we call ’right-fit’ colleges. My mantra: Organization and timeliness minimizes stress and maximizes smart decision making. In other words: Procrastinate Later!

Come by Lane Music at 9648 Kingston Pike in Franklin Square Tuesday April 15th from 7-8:30 pm to get the inside scoop.

SPACE IS LIMITED! So RSVP now by emailing either Jesse at jesse@helpmytestscore.com or Laurie at Lbrandow@collegiateblueprint.com.

The cost is $25 per family. We will be giving away door prizes of a Regal Cinema gift basket courtesy of Collegiate Blueprint Consulting as well as a tutoring package courtesy of Testing Solutions.