When you go to a mechanic you haven’t used before, there’s probably a good chance you’re worried the mechanic’s going to tell you that you need to have parts fixed or replaced that you’re not certain need fixing or replacing. The same is generally true in every business and private college counseling is not an exception. The private college counseling industry is filled with both ethical and unethical folks. We’d like to think that the vast majority are indeed ethical but we know from experience - from our years helping students gain admission to the colleges and universities of their choice – that there are unethical “private college counselors” out there.
Just about every month, we find other purported private college counselors copying our copyrighted material from our website. This very blog that you’re reading now may soon be up on another site in China…or Indiana. We find these plagiarists all the time. It’s not very difficult to scan the Internet for verbatim plagiarized text (just as it isn’t difficult to detect that a college essay is plagiarized – hi, unethical admissions agents in China — this is your shout-out).
Anyway, the point is, the private college counseling industry is very much an online industry and as such people in the industry can help people all over the world. And that can be terrific! But it means for students and parents that they should also be mindful that there are a whole lot of people out there claiming to have experience and expertise in helping students gain admission to highly selective colleges when in fact their only experience is helping their kid get in…or getting in themselves.
So do your research. Peruse a private college counselor’s site. See if they actually know what they’re talking about or if, instead, it seems likely that they took what little content they have up on their site from an established company such as The Ivy Coach.
And check out our newsletter on Private College Counseling.