Author Topic: college adviser consultant-ever had one?  (Read 5708 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2012, 03:44:53 PM »
Just a question (not really about OP's kid specifically, just in general when talking about college admissions) but does valedictorian of a tiny school really carry the same weight as valedictorian of a larger school?  My HS graduating class was 1,000 students (we were just over 4,000 total students in the school, and i thought that was small).  I would think its a lot easier to be better then 24 other students then 999 other students... I mean heck I can think of 24 people I'm smarter then right now, and 24 people who I'm a harder worker then (although admittedly not necessarily the same 24 people ;D )


tiff019

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 163
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2012, 03:47:48 PM »
I work in college admissions - some consultants or independent college counselors (same difference mostly) are fantastic. Some are scammers that will only give you info you could have found out yourself with a little legwork. Some can get VERY expensive too (good and bad alike). If your children's high school has a good counseling department (and with 2 counselors for 100 students, they likely know the kids pretty well which is a key point in the whole process) you likely won't get too much more out of an independent counselor than his (free) high school counselor. Personally, I'd suggest only going that route if you don't feel like the school is supporting your kids through the college application process appropriately. (They should start talking to the counselor early!! You don't have to wait until sr year to do that!)

=) tif

Kiara

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2593
    • My dragons!
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2012, 03:49:34 PM »
I think it depends, WillyNilly.  (How's that for a concrete answer?)  A lot depends on weighted classes, what the other kids were taking....it could be that it was harder to beat those 24 because they all took advanced everything, than beat 999 others because they all took basketweaving 101.  (I'm exaggerating, but hopefully I'm getting my point across.)

I personally think ranking has a little bit less impact overall than what the heck you took.  Of course, I may think that because several of our valedictorians took easier classes than I did, and therefore had a higher GPA.  I'll admit therefore to being biased.   ;)

tiff019

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 163
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2012, 03:53:16 PM »
Just a question (not really about OP's kid specifically, just in general when talking about college admissions) but does valedictorian of a tiny school really carry the same weight as valedictorian of a larger school?  My HS graduating class was 1,000 students (we were just over 4,000 total students in the school, and i thought that was small).  I would think its a lot easier to be better then 24 other students then 999 other students... I mean heck I can think of 24 people I'm smarter then right now, and 24 people who I'm a harder worker then (although admittedly not necessarily the same 24 people ;D )

It depends on so many things... but mostly the college reviewing the applicants. At the school I work for (a small selective private liberal arts college) we look at the context of the school in relation to the grades/rank of a student. The rigor of the courseload and school play into it for us as well. (Straight A's in all basic classes wouldn't be as strong in an application as straight B+'s in all honors/AP courses for instance) - we also get to know which schools tend to inflate grades. Of course then you get the complications of schools that don't offer honors and AP's, kids that take classes at community colleges during HS, etc etc etc. For most selective institutions it's MUCH more complicated than get an x.xx gpa and xxxx sat's and you're in. For public/state schools, with the numbers of students they have applying, it can be much more formulaic for admissions (but not always).

RegionMom

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6240
  • ♪♫ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪♫ ♪ ♪♪♫ ♪♫ ♪♫
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2012, 04:06:01 PM »
As far as I know, you get a higher weighting for AP courses.  AP courses are worth five points, while regular level courses are four points.

If you choose to take the AP exam, you can sometimes get college credit if you score a 4 or 5.  You do not have to take the AP exam even if you are taking the course.  You have to pay to take the exam, at a set time and location for each subject.

I never thought that valedictorian = free ride.   It just shows how much my son has been working.  He scored high enough last year as a sophomore on the PSAT that if had been a senior, he would be a National Merit Finalist. 

At a college fair for the school he wants, the speaker said, "you have to decide to take the AP courses and get a B, or the regular levels and get A's?"  For this college, let me say, Why not make A's in everything?"

This was DS's response, before he heard the answer. 

This child has zero study halls.  Many of his classmates take less electives so they can take a study hall instead to give them more time for sports practice.  His elective of band even meets outside of school!

His senior year in math will have to be an independent study class of one because has has gone as high as he can go here.  (AP calculus)  Odds are good he will not get his first B until college.

But, other students do the same, while working full time or while battling an illness or suffering other hardships. 

The consultant may actually be a good idea.  Our world has been this little rigorously academic private school.  Yes, DS is a top leader in other fields outside of school, but that is only in this town. 

His dream college is rather international.  Very nerdy.  And it really does seem to fit for him.

DS will meet with the campus adviser after the PSATs in October.  They are too busy with seniors now to meet with juniors yet.  Hopefully they can guide him well. 

I have told DS that wherever he goes, he should not have to worry about the finances.  That is for DH and me to take on.  But scholarships and grants would be nice! 

Thus this thread--is it worth it to get a consultant on top of the provided adviser??

time will tell...
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6712
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2012, 04:32:55 PM »
It is clear that you expect your son to excel, that you feel your son is virtually guaranteed top rank, and that you've been pushing the get him the perfect "get into the perfect college" resume. That seems like an awful lot of pressure to surround a child with; even a brilliant one.

Hypothetical question, here: What's going to happen if he doesn't end up valedictorian, or doesn't get into his dream college? Are you prepared to accept that as a potential reality?

I think this is unfair to the OP.  Yes, it is obvious that she is proud of her son's accomplishments, supports him being dedicated to his scholastic activities, and wants him to have a bright future.  But no where did I read that she was pushing him.  She said he came out like this.  I have been exposed to many kids who put this type of pressure on themselves.  DD has a friend who is like the OP's son.  She can not stand getting anything lower than a 95.  I have heard her mother tell her many times to quit pushing and stressing so hard and that she is going to give herself an ulcer by age 22.  But the friend has a self drive like I have never seen.

Slartibartfast

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 11843
    • Nerdy Necklaces - my Etsy shop!
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2012, 08:19:01 PM »
*snip*
My junior son is most likely going to be valedictorian, and will apply early acceptance to a private college.
*snip*

Wow! That's pretty exciting. How did you find out so soon? Most schools don't choose their valedictorians until a little before graduation.

I was one of 13 valedictorians at my school (class of ~450).  My sister the next year was one of 18.  We didn't have weighted averages, so anyone with a 4.0 got to be valedictorian.  (Also, gym class didn't count toward your GPA, and A- counted the same as an A or an A+.)


I never thought that valedictorian = free ride.   It just shows how much my son has been working.  He scored high enough last year as a sophomore on the PSAT that if had been a senior, he would be a National Merit Finalist. 

My school does the lots-of-valedictorians thing because at one time it was a free ride - the valedictorian of each public school in my state got free tuition to any state school.  The valedictorian didn't always want to go in-state, though, so my school (and some others) gravitated toward having multiple valedictorians so at least one would get to take advantage of the scholarship.  Then the free ride became a few thousand, which became $1K, but the school rules stayed.


Ditto.  And in all honesty...is there a lot of solely merit-based stuff out there?  I hate to be a downer, and admittedly this was 15 years ago, but I was salutatorian, and I got zero for my chosen private college.  I got scholarships for two public schools, one from the school, and one from the state.  Most scholarships I saw were needs based in some form, and I didn't qualify.

There are definitely merit-based scholarships available, but a lot of them depend on you being a particular demographic or going into a particular field (woman majoring in engineering, minority majoring in art history, or whatever).  I got just over $10K in scholarships, but none of them were from my college  :-\  1/5 of my freshman class at college were also valedictorians at their schools, and 2/3 were in the top five.

I didn't know these advisers existed, but I think it could be a valuable service for the right student - someone who is doing something unusual compared to their peers (i.e. the school counselors don't necessarily know about out-of-state colleges or varsity fencing programs or whatnot), students who know they want to go to college but don't know the specifics, or students who are bright but just not motivated enough to do the work of tracking down information on schools and scholarships themselves.  College is way too expensive to blindly guess what would be a good fit - and I think we would have a lot fewer college dropouts if high school students had a better idea of what life at each potential college would entail.

kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12333
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2012, 10:13:13 PM »
I guess I would tell just to be honest?  It might come up in conversation at the conference with the adviser, and I want all bases covered as we set son on the path to college.  If two adults do the same professional thing for one college, the college might see it as double-dipping? 
I really do not know how this works.

WillyNilly, I agree, it does seem off and odd to hire someone to get scholarships.  I always thought it was on merit, and we just needed to be diligent in finding the extra money.  I have heard of scholarships for family heritage, being left-handed, an Eagle Scout, let alone musicianship and grades and athletics and standardized test scores. 

Since DH and I attended large public high schools and never met with our counselor, this is new territory for us.

And no, I am not mad about not knowing about the service, and I am still not sure I would take advantage or it, since money is tight, as usual.  Pay money to get money when DS might get money on his own anyway? 
I am actually surprised such a service exists, but since this is a private high school, I know there is money for parents to pay for special advantages. 

As driven as DS is to succeed, and all the merits he has earned on his own, I do not want another child to obtain the same benefits just because their parents paid for it over their child's lesser work ethic.

But, that may be how the world works.  sigh...


Your last sentence really, really rubs me the wrong way.

We paid for private tutoring to raise DS #2's grades in math. He really tried, but once kids are past the elementary-school level, there's only so much that parents can do re tutoring the child themselves. It was a stretch, but it was important to us.  And it raised his grade substantially.  If he'd gotten a scholarship based partially on his math grade - and another parent implied that he did not deserve it because of his "lesser work ethic"... :o

kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12333
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2012, 10:44:39 PM »
I'm sure your children are lovely and talented, but there are lots of children who are lovely and talented. And children can transfer schools. The basic message is "don't count your chickens before they're hatched."

I'm unclear on some of your posts; do you think these consultants apply for scholarships for kids? Only the seediest, shadiest ones would do something like that. They just help find the scholarships; the kids still do all of the work involved in applying.


Exactly.  A lot can happen in 18 months.  Some "star" kids can crash-and-burn - they just can't keep up with the expectations that parents, or they themselves, have etched.  Or, another "star" kid can transfer from another school in the area.

Of course no one has to hire a consultant to find scholarships, although I'm sure that they can be helpful in some situations.  People can certainly do a search on their own.  The parents could look back on their own history - do they belong to a union/fraternal organization/service organization?  Is either parent a veteran?  Sometimes just googling "scholarship search" can turn up a lot.  Not all scholarships are $ 10,000+ - but even $500 here and there can help a lot.

kareng57

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 12333
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2012, 10:52:25 PM »
I work in college admissions - some consultants or independent college counselors (same difference mostly) are fantastic. Some are scammers that will only give you info you could have found out yourself with a little legwork. Some can get VERY expensive too (good and bad alike). If your children's high school has a good counseling department (and with 2 counselors for 100 students, they likely know the kids pretty well which is a key point in the whole process) you likely won't get too much more out of an independent counselor than his (free) high school counselor. Personally, I'd suggest only going that route if you don't feel like the school is supporting your kids through the college application process appropriately. (They should start talking to the counselor early!! You don't have to wait until sr year to do that!)

=) tif


I agree (although I'm not in the US) that two dedicated college-advisors for a graduating class of 100 seniors sounds pretty awesome.  My kids' high school had about 450 graduating seniors, and the whole school had four counsellors.  They had to provide support for the whole student body, along with college/career advice for the Grade 12 students.

I honestly never heard any other parents complaining about this, though.  I think most of us pretty much figured it was our job to guide our kids through the process, with the support of the counsellors.

jmarvellous

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3591
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2012, 11:20:25 PM »
1. You think a consultant sounds like something you don't want? Don't hire one. I'm sure, in the long run, that it won't be a big deal.

2. Your kid is a straight-A, genius, handsome, Eagle Scout, musician wunderkind. Stop worrying so much!

3. Let said wunderkind take on the responsibility of finding some of his own scholarships.

4. I was a high-strung, overachieving, hard-working perfectionist with almost all A's (and the B's were circumstantial) in a school where my peers were mostly the same; I knew that my choice to take some non-AP math and science courses, to take a study hall to lead a student organization and to lead the student paper doomed me to be no higher ranked than 40th of 600; I was tied for "42" but only separated from No. 1 by .2 points -- and lots of us were separated by thousandths of a point. This in no way ruined my life, nor did it set me up for failure. I prioritized rather than trying to be everything, all the time because I saw what it did to my higher-ranked peers. This isn't a bad thing. If a lowly #42 can graduate early with lots of scholarships to cover tuition and a job lined up at graduation, a superstar #1 can do ... well, whatever he wants.

5. Our "presumed" valedictorian at the reveal of the first class ranking in fall of our junior year was the type whose parents bought her every advantage; she was very self-assured because she had this support and lots of smarts and could blow anyone else out of the water if money was at issue. ... 1.5 years later, the final No. 1 was a boy who was very quiet and never did the very best of anyone on a particular test or course; he just got all A's and plugged along to stun everyone! (FWIW, he got into Rice U., where he earned a master's; the former #1 dropped to about #15, went to Northwestern and is still in school today -- at a top med school.) Just a story to show that bright people WILL find their way.


I'm sorry if I went on a bit much here, it's just that I've seen you post thread after thread about the tiniest things in your children's academic lives, and I keep asking myself, "Why is she so worried?" Your kids seem 100 percent on the right track, and trying to make something that's on the right track even 'righter' is just going to derail it.

learningtofly

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 966
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #41 on: October 01, 2012, 10:02:04 AM »
I had a college advisor and it was something my parents didn't plan on.  Our school was very good, but for some reason we had a high turnover of college counselors starting my sophmore year.  When I went to look at colleges we were in transition again.  So my parents hired someone for one meeting.  She asked what I was looking for and made a few suggestions.  She also told me to keep a notebook and write in it after each tour.  It helped with my decision making process. 

The new college counselor failed to show for our first meeting before school and had no idea who I was at our second meeting.  It was a small school and he had my file.  I filled out my application, obtained my teacher recommendations, and showed up at his office and handed him a complete package to submit.  I had to do it on my own, but I had the confidence from the outside counselor.

audrey1962

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4322
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #42 on: October 11, 2012, 02:09:17 PM »
Just came across this article and thought it was relevant: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/49373698/ns/us_news-education_nation/#__utma=14933801.2068579502.1344614654.1349894440.1349978488.80&__utmb=14933801.1.10.1349978488&__utmc=14933801&__utmx=-&__utmz=14933801.1348767427.58.4.utmcsr=google|utmccn=(organic)|utmcmd=organic|utmctr=facebook%20personal%20messages&__utmv=14933801.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Ccover=1^12=Landing%20Content=Mixed=1^13=Landing%20Hostname=www.nbcnews.com=1^30=Visit%20Type%20to%20Content=Earned%20to%20Mixed=1&__utmk=72399891

RegionMom

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6240
  • ♪♫ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪♫ ♪ ♪♪♫ ♪♫ ♪♫
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #43 on: October 11, 2012, 06:15:10 PM »
I saw that article!

Yeah, I do not have that kind of money.

 :o :o :o
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

jpcher

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8737
Re: college adviser consultant-ever had one?
« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2012, 07:31:12 PM »
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.


Two points:

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. ;D
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 07:39:41 PM by jpcher »