One way to ensure that an independent educational consultant is ethical is to hire a vetted educational consultant who has been approved through the Independent Educational Consultants Association’s intense application process.
Here are some great questions to ask when looking for the best independent educational consultant for you and your family:
1. Do you ever guarantee admission to a college, or promise a specific amount of scholarship money? Professionals can’t make those guarantees.
2. How often do you get out and visit college and program campuses and meet with admissions representatives? (The ONLY way to know about the best matches for you is to be out visiting schools regularly—we visit between 20-30 colleges and programs a year)
3. Do you belong to any professional organizations? (National Association of College Admission Counseling and Independent Educational Consultants Association are the only two associations for independent educational consultants with established and rigorous standards for membership.)
4. Do you attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in higher education policy?
5. Do you ever accept any form of payment from a school, program, or company in exchange for placement or a referral? (They should absolutely not!)
6. Do you have a contract clearly delineating all fees and services associated with them?
7. Will you complete the application for admission, write my essays, or fill out the financial aid forms on my behalf? (No, they should NOT; students must take the driver seat. This is their process and we are there to guide them.)
8. How long have you been an independent educational consultant?
9. What was your background prior to going into independent educational consulting? What kind of training did you have to become an independent educational consultant (IEC)?
10. Will you use personal connections to get me into college? (The answer should be NO. An IEC doesn’t get you admitted—they help you to demonstrate why you deserve to be admitted.)
11. Do you specialize in students with learning differences (LD, ASD, ADHD, mild mental health issues, chronic health problems, etc.?)