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Subject Selection

Subject Selection: Admission Consulting

High school students who need to select a school subject from a pool of options may benefit from the services of an admission consultant. This type of professional is responsible for evaluating a student’s potential for success in that particular academic field and, as such, presents a valuable service. But it’s important to note that many advisors, such as those from schools, colleges and universities, offer similar services. Therefore, when selecting an advisor, a potential student should consider several elements.

Why does an admission consultant offer such a valuable service? Because they have expertise in the types of subjects most likely to be chosen by students. Their evaluation and recommendations are based on their years of experience in helping students make successful choices. Also, an admission consultant has access to many resources that a school may not provide.

What do I need to do to hire an admission consultant? The first step you should take when seeking a school consultant is to determine what types of experiences they have had. Some school counselors have backgrounds in specific areas, while others have extensive professional experience in counseling. Your counselor should be able to provide you with a list of those who posses the skills you seek.

What types of experiences should I consider? Before you start contacting college and university counselors, it’s important to understand how they assess a potential student’s academic potential. Generally, an admission consultant will discuss some common characteristics-such as a strong family history and/or exceptional academic performance, among others-with you so that you know what you’re getting. In addition, the admissions advisor will discuss your unique background and circumstances-such as your minority status, disability, low SES and/or other factors-with you as well. Together, these discussions will allow you to determine which attributes and experiences will lead to your admission to a particular school.

Does the admission consultant belong to any association or group? While not all colleges and universities to disclose the names of their faculty members or those whom they consider “key members,” almost all have some sort of steering group. You should be aware of any such organization and if the admission counselor is a current or past executive of such an organization (or is otherwise known to hold such a position), inquire about his or her connection to the institution. Many counselors are aware that they are indirectly associated with specific schools, but may not have knowledge of their connection unless you ask.

How many applicants are you going to receive in your screening? If there will be multiple applicants for a given school subject, the school may choose randomly or may conduct a quality assurance review in order to select only the best applicants. In either event, you as the prospective student should be aware of the number of applications that you will receive, the process for selecting the best candidates and what will happen afterward.

What types of documents do you need to send in along with your application? The types of documents that will be needed by the admission consultant will vary by school, but typically include admissions essays, transcripts, letters of recommendations, names or addresses, and unofficial copies of high school and SAT/ACT grades. All application materials should be sent in hard copy, and the admissions counselor will request a secondary set of materials for review upon receipt of your application. This second set of materials should include a list of your top choices for admission and essay examples covering the major topics from which you responded to the original application.

Will your school accept low scores on standardized tests? Even though a low score may negatively affect your admission chances, some schools still accept these scores. A good admission counselor will discuss your options with you. It’s important to know and understand the rules regarding admissions to college and universities before beginning your search for a school subject that will interest you. Once you know what type of learning institutions accept your application, you will be able to better choose which college to apply to.

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