The college admissions scandal was a newsworthy event when the details were discovered in the summer of 2019. Parents would hire college admissions consultants to forge documents and bribe sports team coaches to allow their child to go to some of the most prestigious universities in the country such as: Stanford, Yale, UCLA, and Georgetown University. Two of the parents that were charged were actresses Lori Louglin and Felicity Huffman. Since the college admissions scandals, I was wondering what a college admissions consultant should do, and how they work. Because of this, I asked Jo Meier of Hadfield Meier Higher Education Consultants.
According to her, a college admissions consultant’s job is to provide services for middle and high schoolers to help students find the right courses, the right extra curricular activities, the best college for each client that meets their individual needs and talents, and answer questions about the college admissions process that the students and guardians may have. They do this by looking into jobs/careers that match skills and abilities their clients have. They also check over college applications and essays to make sure they are as strong and as well written as possible. Independent consultants do not have formal guidelines, but in order to keep their practices legal and fair, most hold themselves to moral guidelines. The college admission consultants must keep up to date with the requirements and things that colleges look for to allow them to give the best possible advice for clients.
Every university is different, but some things to keep in mind when you are applying to colleges is that most are looking for students that improve academically, are authentic and honest, and students that can explain how their attendance would add to the student body. This is a little different for students who were athletes in high school. For student athletes, students will sometimes be given more advice on schools from their coaches. Depending on the athlete, colleges may go out of their way to try to get that student to come to that university. It is important to know that this rarely happens and most athletes don’t get into college just because of their sport. It is important that student athletes represent their whole lives on their applications, not just sports. It is important that you choose the right college admissions consultant keeping in mind that legitimate college consultants are:
- Have experience with different types of colleges and students
- Both good at guiding and listening
- Available to students at any time
Meier says in her practice they keep the client list small, so each student can be given personalized advice and attention. She also mentioned that she doesn’t want payment to be a barrier that prevents students from getting their services. She also wants to help all students achieve their goals of getting into a college/university.
Since the college admissions scandal rocked the world of higher education, it is important that students know what college admissions consultants are supposed to do, so these students can avoid shady college admissions scams and start the next part of their life off on the right foot.
By Noah Hadfield