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12 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Educational Consultant

Whether you work with BTA Education or any other college consultant (also known as an independent educational consultant), you need to be sure you are working with an ethical, professional firm. Please ask these questions of any and all potential consultants to be sure you're spending your money wisely.

And please ask us these questions.

1. Do you guarantee admission to a school, one of my top choices, or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships? (Do NOT trust any offer

of guarantees)

2. How do you keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures. How often do you get out and visit college

campuses and meet with admissions representatives? (The ONLY way to know about the best matches is to be out visiting schools

regularly: a minimum of 20 campuses per year)

3. Do you belong to any professional organizations? (NACAC and IECA are the two associations for independent educational consultants

with established and rigorous standards for membership)

4. Do you attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends?

5. Do you ever accept any form of compensation from a school in exchange for placement or a referral? (They absolutely should not!)

6. Are all fees involved stated in writing, up front, indicating exactly what services I will receive for those fees?

7. Will you complete the application for admission, rewrite my essays, or fill out the financial aid forms on my behalf? (No, they should NOT;

it is essential that the student be in charge of the process and all materials should be a product of the student’s own, best work)

8. How long have you been in business as an independent educational consultant?

9. What was your background prior to going into independent educational consulting? What was your training and education?

10. Will you use personal connections to get me into one of my top choices? (the answer should be NO. A consultant doesn’t get you

admitted—they help you to demonstrate why you deserve to be admitted)

11. What specialized training do you have?

12. Do you adhere to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by the IECA?

Questions taken from the Independent Educational Consultants Association website,, 2014.

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