If you have a high school student living in your home, you’ve probably been thinking about college for some time.
But now that you and your child have to navigate the muddled maze of
applications for real, how do you manage without throwing yourself on a
sharp No. 2 pencil?
Three words: independent college advisor.
Although these advisors have been around for years, they have become
increasingly popular as the college admissions process has gotten more
competitive and complicated, and as budget cuts have left school
counseling departments understaffed.
“Advisors do the work that many parents would like to do,” says Joanne
Levy-Prewitt, an advisor in Moraga. “But the relationship is not as
emotionally charged. It’s a different equation than a parent/child
relationship and can be more effective.”
Levy-Prewitt suggests some factors to consider when choosing a counselor.
1 Compatibility. A successful working experience is based on mutual trust and respect. The advisor/student relationship should foster a sense of responsibility in the student.
2 Availability. A good counselor should be available even the night before an application is due.
3 Organization. This is critical. An unorganized counselor equals an unorganized student.
4 Cost. Counseling should not cost more than orthodontia, but it’s not cheap. Fees range from $95 to $200 per hour. Packages of services spanning a student’s junior and senior years range from $1,200 to $2,500.