How to Find an Educational Consultant

Do you know where to go to find a great independent educational consultant? Hint: you won’t find any in this Howard University card catalog.

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I f Barry the Study Dog ever started barking about applying to private school or college, you can bet your bottom dollar that my wife and I would hire an independent educational consultant (IEC, for short) to shepherd him through the process.

Keep in mind that my wife was a college admissions officer, and I’ve visited 65 colleges and taught students in 150 different academic contexts. We each have extensive experience navigating the educational landscape both in the US and internationally, but we’d still rather pay an IEC to suggest a diverse list of schools where little Barry would thrive and help him hold himself accountable for meeting application deadlines comfortably.

The best IECs not only know the schools inside and out, but are also good at convincing students to help themselves by thinking big and thinking long-term. I know lots of great ones, and even feature my favorite educational consultants on this blog each month. But what if you don’t want to take my word for it? (And you shouldn’t.) Where should you look?

If you just want to get an idea of who’s out there and what their various specialties are, look no further than this list of 230 IECs on Twitter.

If you already know you need help, start by searching the member directories of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) for consultants in your area who specialize in your chief concerns, but don’t limit yourself to locals. IECs are well traveled, and one on the other side of the country might just be the very expert you’re looking for. Virtual meetings can be almost as good as in-person ones if all parties are informed and motivated.

Whatever they charge, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to the cost of four years of college, let alone 15 years of private school prior to that. Make the most of your educational investment by making it an informed investment!

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