What It Means To Be A Private College Counselor
I recently joined a BNI here in Cheshire and I have to say that I’m pretty excited to be a part of such an awesome organization. Essentially, BNI is a group of local professionals who help each other network and market their services. At the start of each meeting you get to do a 30 second commercial – a chance to tell the group what you do so that they can understand your business and refer people to you who may be in need of your services.
It’s a great organization built on some outstanding people who just really want to help. I don’t say all of this because I want you to go out and join BNI (though you really should if you own your own business and want to be a better networker). But, I do say it because I’ve realized very quickly that what I do as a college consultant is not very commonplace.
I mean, let’s be honest here, I don’t fit into a category that’s easily recognized or understood like an attorney, an accountant or a financial planner. And for the people who do understand what I do, the assumption is often that my services are for rich folks only.
So, I figured it was time to talk a little more about what I do, why it matters and just how affordable I am.
Who am I? I’m a private college counselor
I work for families in need of good, sound college planning and advice. Some families hire me because their son or daughter is not getting enough guidance from their high school counselor. Others hire me for a second opinion or just to fill in the gaps. For twelve years, I traveled around New England and read thousands of applications making admit and deny decisions for both the University of New Haven and Central Connecticut State University. Whether I’m providing insight into how the admissions process works, helping a student to prepare for an interview or providing feedback on an essay, I draw on these experiences every day.
What do I do? I counsel students and their families on college planning
I offer college planning services that families can choose from and everything I do can be customized to fit each student’s individual needs. Some students will only need my help for one or two meetings while others may hire me to help them for upwards of a year and a half. Regardless of their need, I put together an affordable plan to meet their needs.
When do I do it? I make myself available during non-traditional hours
I work evenings, Saturdays and Sundays. Why? Because that’s when it’s convenient for students and their families. I also do a lot of work by email, phone and Skype for students who live out of state or even outside the country.
Where do I do it? I come to you
I always like to meet potential clients in person first. It gives them a chance to feel me out and ask questions before choosing to hire me. A local coffee shop like Starbucks is always a great choice! After that, it’s up to the client. We can work at their house, the local library or the coffee shop we first met at.
Why do I do it? Because families need the help
Due to large caseloads and other issues that require their attention, public high school counselors can rarely spend more than an hour of time per student each year on college planning. I hardly think that’s fair to any student who is trying to make one of the biggest and most complicated decisions of his or her life.
What does it cost? Not nearly as much as you would think
My most comprehensive package, called “The Senior,” typically begins in the junior year and costs $2200, or about half of the national average. The timeline can span up to 18 months and includes nearly a dozen 60-90 minute meetings in addition to unlimited phone and email contact. I also offer small budget packages (anywhere from $700 to $1500) or a menu of services families can choose from at a rate of $125/hour.
Considering that the average four-year cost for college including tuition, room, and board can be anywhere from $80,000 to $160,000. Doesn’t it make sense to invest a small fraction of that amount to ensure that your son or daughter’s college experience is a successful one?
If you would like to know more about what I can do to help you, please use the comment box below – I would love to hear from you! You can also email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.