Mark Sklarow, Executive Director, Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) explores the value of a consultant in the admission process. In our conversation, Mark highlights the value of working with an educational consultant especially in tight times. Mark begins with an introduction to educational consulting- who consultants are; what they do; and, an educational consultant's role in the admission process.

Conversation highlights include:

  • The relevance of consultants in tight economic times. Using an educational consultant might seem expensive at first, but, the value of the best school or college choice possible provides a strong argument for a consultant's services.

  • Consultant services- limited inexpensive consultations to multi-year, full service options.

  • Ways consultants can help families with the financial aid process. More than completing forms, a good consultant knows that merit aid is relative to the individual schools and colleges. What kind of student is valuable to each individual school or college? Knowing this can broaden a student's choices and options.

  • How can a family find a consultant and what kinds of questions should they ask of a prospective consultant? "A consultant has to match the family as much as the school or college has to match the family," says Mark. Consultants should be up-front regarding costs and their special expertise.

  • Questions families should ask prospective consultants. Annual campus visits? How does the consultant stay current? Professional organization memberships? Experience and background- what perspectives does the consultant bring to his/her work?

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