What is an independent educational consultant (IEC)?

An independent educational consultant is a professional who assists students and parents with college and financial aid planning. Educational consultants are skilled in helping students find colleges where they can be successful, academically, socially and financially.

What do independent educational consultants do?

We assist students and their parents with the college planning and application process by providing a realistic assessment of a student's individual strengths and weaknesses as a prospective college applicant. We identify colleges and universities that match the student's needs and interests, and we provide guidance on all aspects of the college application and financial aid process.

What are the benefits of working with an independent educational consultant?

Many high schools have high guidance counselor-to-student ratios, which can make it difficult for some students to get personalized and on-going advice about college planning and college admissions. We partner with your high school's college process to provide you with focused attention, identification of good fit colleges and review of all applications and essays.

How do we know if we need an independent educational consultant?

Working with an IEC can be particularly helpful if your student is unclear about their college options, has limited opportunity to meet with a school guidance counselor, is interested in a less common major or career, has an unusual academic background or admissions profile, if a high achiever striving for highly competitive colleges or would benefit from one-on-one assistance with college planning and applications. IEC's can also be helpful when a student has learning disabilities or other special needs, when families are having difficulty agreeing on college choices, or for students who are particularly anxious about the college admissions process.

Is an independent educational consultant a replacement for the school guidance counselor?

No. While an IEC can provide more personalized service than your high school guidance counselor may be able to provide, your school counselor will still play a vital role in your or your child's college application process. We do college planning full-time

Can an educational consultant guarantee that my child will be admitted to a particular college?

No one can guarantee a student admission to a particular college or university. If an IEC or anyone else suggests that they can do so, it is best to find another consultant. Professional educational consultants understand that many variables factor into admissions decisions and therefore they do not make false promises. They can, however, help students improve their chances of admission by identifying colleges that match their admissions profile and interests, and by guiding them through the college application process.

Adapted from HECA website information. Dr. Thomas is a member of HECA



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