Monday, January 28, 2013

What is an Independent Educational Counselor? (Part 3 of 4)

An Independent Educational Counselor (IEC) is an individual who is hired by families to provide expert college counseling assistance. IECs are qualified professionals who are independent of high schools and colleges and work on behalf of families in order find the best academic, social and financial 'fit' for students. An IEC is similar to a school counselor in that they assist students in the college process; yet in many ways they differ.

3.  Networking
Experiencing a campus, feeling the atmosphere and seeing the surrounding community is something that is invaluable when it comes to the college selection process. As an IEC, I have professional connections to many colleges and universities. These contacts are not to assist someone into backdoor at Harvard or Stanford (and an ethical IEC NEVER guarantees admission to any school), but to learn about the philosophy of each of the college’s Admissions Office. These relationships allow an IEC to understand the type of student a college is recruiting, a particular skill set that a student should possess in order to be successful on that campus or particular requirements needed in order to be considered for a scholarship. This is information that cannot be gained by looking at a school's website, or flipping through their promotional materials after chatting for a minute with a representative at a college fair. Each time I am on a campus visit, I invest the time by sitting and talking with the college representative that recruits the Chicagoland area. This is invaluable because these are the specific admissions officers that read each application and essay that is submitted by a student I guide. I take the time to learn from each representative what is behind the median ACT score or the number of applications that were accepted by the school. This information allows me to identify the best academic, social and financial fit for each student I work with in order to help them determine where they will spend the next four years of their life.

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