Is a College Admissions Coach Necessary?
Thalia Thompson, M.S., I.E.C, College Admissions Specialist - College Admissions Coaching, LLC
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Is a College Admissions Coach Necessary?

College Admissions Help in Darien, CT
You may be asking yourself at this point if a College Admissions Coach is really worth the money? Aren't there guidance counselors available for that? Can't I do it myself?                                                                      
 
Even at the most prestigious and well-endowed private schools, guidance counselors cannot provide personalized, intensive, one-on-one college admissions coaching to all, or even to most, students. There are simply not enough hours in the day, too few counselors, and too many students.
 
It is estimated that today, nearly 10% of all public and 20% of all private high school students have employed a College Admissions Coach to assist them with the college admissions/application process and that figure is growing. 
 
It would be misleading to suggest that College Admissions Coaches can significantly increase any student's chances of entry into top institutions. College acceptance is based on a lifetime of test scores, high school curriculum, grades, extracurricular involvement, service to the community, legacy, the particular needs of an institution, well---you get the idea. 
 
What a College Admissions Coach can do is assist the student expand upon and, in some cases, narrow down, the field of choices. Special emphasis is placed on career goals and how a particular institution can be of service in that regard.
 
When a student's career aspirations are accurately assessed, a fair determination of one's academic record and extracurricular/work activities made, and personal preferences taken into account, college selections can be more accurately made. This means that time, energy, and money is not expended applying to inappropriate institutions and the field of appropriate choices is greatly increased.
 
A College Admissions Coach can save time, money, and undue stress by identifying great college choices, supervising the writing of powerful and persuasive college essays/applications, and coaching a student through the entire applications process.
 
Even the most gifted and accomplished students can benefit from a qualified College Admissions Counselor who provides individualized, sustained attention tailored to keeping busy students on track in today's distracted world.
 
Too often, students are so overwhelmed with the demands of coursework, outside pursuits, and family obligations, that fully exploring colleges and applying to an adequate number of them, gets pushed aside and becomes a last-minute, rushed affair. Structured meeting times with a College Admissions Coach can motivate students to stay on track with regard to timetables/deadlines and motivate them to put their very best foot forward.
 
Specialists abound who assist us with financial planning, home-buying decisions, and even decorating and weight-loss plans. Why not give the college admissions process at least equal importance? Given all of the time and resources spent in preparation for college entry, shouldn't the execution of  college admissions garner equal importance?
 
So how much will this cost? The cost should be contingent upon the duration as well as the quality of the counseling. Given that the standard counseling rate is about $200/hr. and most coaches offer year-round, unlimited in-person meetings, it is reasonable to expect that a student who meets with a counselor for 25 hours in a given year will spend around $5,000. Of course, for that same $5,000, savvy students will take full advantage of unlimited sessions  (if they are made available) and will meet with their coach for many hours beyond that.
 
College admissions counseling is a process, and most students will require numerous hours of sustained thought and effort in not only choosing and applying to colleges, but defining and refining their career goals. This makes sense. After all, there are myriad factors to consider and lots of pieces to just one fully completed application!