College Consulting - An Exception Becoming the Norm?

Posted by Mili Kale on Mar 15, 2017 6:36:45 PM
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As admission into elite colleges becomes more and more competitive, we see a new norm: families turning to professional consultants for assistance with the application process.

In Singapore, few public schools have full time counselors to help students conquer their applications to colleges overseas. However, even in the schools that do have counselors, many simply don’t have the time or bandwidth to cater to the needs of each and every student individually - leaving many students to feel clueless and alone.

By comparison, educational consultancies offer significantly more time and personalized 1-1 attention. This can translate to better information dissemination, dialogue, and customization!

• Information Dissemination

While overseas college application processes are not designed to be confusing, digging into details and strategy can often make the endeavor feel very complex - especially when it comes to the US and UK! Perusing university websites and forums, reading sample essay after sample essay, can often overwhelm students and make them feel either that (a) their dream universities are out of reach, or (b) there IS a magic formula for getting accepted. Neither is true. Education consultancies, such as Cialfo, help clarify these misconceptions and provide students with up-to-date, necessary information on everything from how to best strengthen your profile, to when to take the SATs, to how to write the strongest personal statement. At Cialfo, this information is constantly verified against both our own extensive experience working with students and the counsel of our advisors, who are ex-admissions readers and officers.

• Dialogue 

For many students, the problem does not necessarily lie in the information available, but rather in the ability to understand it and contextualize it to their personal situations. In our experience, we have seen many students walk in with an ideal college list and haphazardly chosen major, then walk out with a school list and/or major that's 90% different (yet they're 100% happy with!). We want to ensure that students make this critical life choice (where and how to spend their 3-4 university years) having put in the necessary soul searching, strategizing, and honest conversations with themselves, their mentors, and their families. Education is about building on your passions - you should have fun with the process and be smart about it at the same time!

• Customization 

Each student is different, making 1-1 attention necessary for effective mentorship. Though school counselors are highly dedicated to students' success, it is unrealistic to expect frequent attention from someone handling hundreds of students and potentially also teaching an academic subject. This is why students often seek advice from their parents or external college counselors: the low student-to-advisor ratio allows for intense personalisation - from thoroughly reviewing the student’s profile, to well-researched strategy sessions, frequent revision across multiple essays, and creating a college list that's a perfect fit to the student's capabilities and preferences!

With students consistently scoring close to perfect on each attempt of the SAT or ACT, and A’s more common than B’s, determining how to stand out from the crowd is key! College consultants today do far more than sending in transcripts, creating timelines, and providing test prep. They shine a spotlight on students' strengths, from as young as the 9th grade, to ultimately match those strengths and career aspirations with the right school and program - paving the way for every child to enter that dream university!

Topics: US Applications, UK Applications, Best Practices

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About CIALFO

We offer college admission consulting services to help you successfully gain admission into your best-fit university. Whether it's college essay assistance or admissions interview help, our team of admission consultants will assist you every step of the way. Our experienced mentors have graduated from leading institutions such as Harvard, U.Penn, Stanford,  Cornell, Northwestern, LSE, UCL and NTU, and are eager to help you gain access to these prestigious Ivy League schools and other amazing universities around the world!