Hiring a College Consultant: A Freshman at Harvard Shares his Experience

April 10, 2014

According to the Independent Education Consultants Association, 26% of freshman worked with a college consultant last year. Here, Daniel talks about why he decided to work with one, and how it helped him get into Harvard, Dartmouth, Duke, and Northwestern!

Private college counselors certainly have the ability to aid college-bound high school students in the admissions process. I worked with a private counselor named Vicky DeFelice, one of the best private admissions consultants in the business. 

But with that high reputation came a high price: $4,000.

I felt it was necessary to use a private counselor, seeing that I went to a public school with just one college counselor for a graduating class of 376 students, and she served as a guidance counselor for about 200 other students. With all of the responsibilities she had, I felt like it was necessary to go to a private consultant to truly receive the attention I needed as I advanced through the application process.

Mrs. DeFelice and I met weekly in the summer. Since the drive was long, we corresponded over e-mail whenever I produced work once the school year commenced. Those summer meetings were extremely helpful. With Ms. DeFelice’s advice, I chose the colleges to which I would apply, created a résumé to send along with my application, and filled out the Common Application.The most beneficial aspect of the conferences, however, was the actual forming of the essays themselves. Once I got my Activity Supplement and my General Essay out of the way, we would brainstorm ideas for two or three different essay topics from different universities every week. As “homework,” I would produce drafts for those topics we discussed that week. 

Once I produced those drafts, she would edit them and make comments. I would revise, sometimes once, sometimes many times, until at last, I had the final draft. If I ever hit a roadblock, she had example essays from other students (just like AdmitSee) that I could use for inspiration.

Now, looking back upon the whole college admissions process, I do believe with certainty that the $4,000 price tag for private consultation was absolutely worth it. With the help of Ms. DeFelice, I crafted the best application I could. The strength of my application showed—I received acceptances from 14 of the 16 colleges I applied to, including the university I now attend, Harvard University.

It certainly helps having someone review your essay, especially when that person has a track record of getting students accepted. Private college counselors know what admissions officers are looking for in an essay, and in an application. I think the private counselor is one of the best available resources an applicant can have, even if it comes at a steep price.   

See how Daniel got in by reading his application materials HERE!



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