Thus this thread--is it worth it to get a consultant on top of the provided adviser??
time will tell...
In your OP you asked about e-mailing the student adviser saying that you never heard of outside consultants before.
I think that I would wait for a face-to-face (you have a meeting scheduled, right?) then tell them that this is new information to you. You didn't know such a thing existed! (I didn't either, until I read this thread.) Thank them for cautioning you about scammers then ask them what a reputable consultant actually does and do they have any recommendations.
I see absolutely nothing wrong with asking your DS's adviser if outside/extra help would be beneficial.
I don't think this would be double-dipping because your school adviser isn't getting any commission or extra pay for advising your child.
1. I almost wish that I knew about outside consultants.
DD#1 had a graduating class of close to 1,000 and we had a total of 1 meeting with her adviser. It was quick and pretty abrupt. "Here is a list of scholarships she can apply for, here is a guideline as to how to prepare the scholarship papers." Along with very brief statements as to how to fill out the actual applications to the colleges that she was looking at.
There really wasn't any personal coaching, as in "This might be a better school for your field of choice than that one is."
In other words, HS school adviser really wasn't much help. We were on our own. I think that maybe I could have learned a few things from a reputable college adviser. But it seems that everything is working out without one. (Except I wish she would have gotten scholarships!
(eta: Just wanted to add that the school DD#1 was accepted into had over 10,000 applicants. They only accept 2,000 freshman/year. So your DS's grades, etc. should go over pretty well wherever he applies.)
2. Your DS's class is a whole lot smaller. Maybe his school advisers will be enough. Again, I think that you could ask them about referrals to outside advisers, just to give you something to look into. Don't be afraid to make many appts. with the school adviser or call him/her whenever you have questions.
I really like tiff019's advice. Hopefully your (free) school adviser will satisfy your needs.
I think that you're a great mom for wondering about such a thing. You really want to do right for your kids. Good luck and I hope everything works out well. I'm sure it will.