What to Look for When Choosing a College Admissions Counselor 

middle school academic coaching

Did you know? There are just under 1,500 accredited, four-year undergraduate degree programs in the U.S. In addition to its required personal essay, Harvard asks students to respond to five short answer questions. Nearly 150,000 people applied to the 2024 freshman class at UCLA. In short, the college application process is very complex.


Finding a university that is a fit for your child, keeping track of all the required application materials, and helping them stand out among the applicants can be, to put it mildly, an undertaking. While a high school counselor might help with parts of an application, they almost certainly won’t be able to walk your student through the entire process—after all, they have dozens, if not hundreds, of high school seniors to speak to at the start of the fall semester. Knowing all of this, it makes sense that some parents pursue private college admissions counseling to guide their high school student through the complex application process. 


If you are thinking about hiring a college admissions counselor, it’s important to do your due diligence to find one that is qualified, offers a tailored approach, and provides the services needed to get your student accepted to their dream school. Here are some important things to consider. 



What colleges and universities are looking for in applications changes constantly—and that’s been especially true following the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, any counselor you’re considering hiring should be up-to-date on the admissions landscape. Their clients’ acceptance rates will prove how well a counselor understands admissions standards from year to year. Better still, you might ask a prospective counselor how often their clients get accepted to one of their top choices. It’s also useful to know a bit about their background or the background of the agency they’re a part of: How long have they been helping students apply for college? What is their professional experience? If they work with a team, what sort of experience do those team members have? 



While we typically–and rightly–think about college admissions as a strategic exercise, it’s also a deeply personal experience. Personal essays are—no surprise—personal and demand that a student reflect deeply on their past experiences. Creating that final college list is also a reflection of an individual student’s personality, interests, and goals. Does the counselor you’re considering working with focus on finding colleges or universities that should be a good fit for students, or do they focus on getting students admitted to highly selective schools? Do they provide resources that will help you and your student thoroughly research colleges and universities? When helping with the personal essay, how does a counselor approach finding a topic that will help a student stand out? Do they offer additional services for essays like getting an outside reader to review the essay or having a copyeditor proof it? That last question is particularly important because the impact of admissions counseling will likely be tied to what services a counselor can offer. 



Finalizing your college list and personal essay are two important parts of applying for college, but they’re just a fraction of the work that needs to be doneCreating a senior-year course schedule that impresses reviewers. Strategizing about SAT/ACT scores. Figuring out which extracurricular activities to include in a resume. Asking teachers for recommendation letters. Prepping for college interviews. Submitting scholarship applications. Touring the campus. Correctly inputting everything into the CommonApp and ApplyTexas. More likely than not, your student will need to do most, if not all, of these things to land a spot at their dream university. Ask yourself and answer honestly: What services do you think you and your student might need support with during the application process? Some counselors only provide guidance on specific aspects. Others will support you through the entire process and might even offer resources for junior-year students. 


At The Enrichery, we have a proven history of getting students into one of their top-choice schools, and our approach is holistic and personalized. All of our admissions packages will help your student finalize their school list, draft an impressive extended essay, and write all required essays, along with providing professional outside editing and a parent scholarship workshop. We also offer ACT/SAT prep, which gives our counselors the chance to get to know your student, their strengths and goals ahead of the admissions process while maximizing their score. In our College Admissions Workshop, your student will also receive college planning meetings, a college major consultation, and assistance with university-specific scholarship applications. Spaces are limited, so we strongly encourage you to sign up soon to secure your student’s spot!