By Dr. Paul Lowe Admissions Expert
I know that guidance counselors in local school districts do an excellent job, but I also know that students (and parents) sometimes need more time and individualized attention than counselors can provide. In my firm, I work with families, in the evenings, on weekends, and during holidays and school vacations. It’s a 24-7 commitment. My admissions team and I gain first-hand knowledge of a wide range of colleges by regularly meeting with admissions officers and visiting campuses across the country.
Because of the growing number of options and increasing competition to get into college, many families feel overwhelmed and stressed by the college admissions process. Moreover, the process can seem so complex that families may want the assistance, resources and knowledge of an expert who focuses solely on educational transitions in life.
As an independent educational consultant who specializes in admissions advising, I, in fact, supplement and complement the services of school counselors to help find a college where students will be happy and thrive academically. Additionally, I help students during the admissions process to compete for coveted spots at Ivy League and highly selective colleges.
In a February 2015, in an op-ed piece in USA Today, First Lady Michelle Obama, wrote eloquently: “There’s the world of the schools most of our kids attend where school counselors are too often under-valued and overstretched, and they simply don’t have what they need to do their jobs. While the American School Counselor Association recommends no more than 250 students per counselor, the national average is one counselor for every 471 students. And often, school counselors are burdened with all kinds of unrelated responsibilities such as proctoring exams, substitute teaching, even monitoring the lunchroom. Many school counselors find themselves doing triage, juggling those duties while trying to help kids in crisis and also keep up with the latest college admissions deadlines and requirements.”
The National Association for College Admission Counseling’s 2014 State of College Admissions reported that on average, high school guidance counselors spend only 24 percent of their time on college admissions counseling. High school guidance counselors spend the majority of their time on school activities unrelated to college admissions.
The National Association for College Admission Counseling survey indicated that high school guidance counselors have an average caseload of 125 to as high as 500 students making them unable to provide adequate college guidance.
The Independent Educational Consultants Association stated: “An educational consultant brings to the family the knowledge and skills of an experienced professional coupled with a commitment to assuring the [student’s] best interests are met. Educational consultants counsel students and their families in the selection of educational programs based on the student’s individual needs and talents.”
Through my eighteen years of experience, international as well as domestic students (and parents) discover the degree to which I supplement, complement and add value to high school guidance counselors’ efforts!
Dr. Paul Reginald Lowe is the managing director and lead admissions expert at Greenwich Admissions Advisors. Tel. (203) 542-7288, and founder of Ivy League Admissions Advisors. Dr. Lowe specializes in providing exclusive admissions advisory services for families and students who are interested in applying to and experiencing the unique educational environment and communities of Ivy League and highly selective colleges and elite private day and boarding schools.
Dr. Lowe is an active member of several professional organizations including: the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC), the New York Association for College Admission Counseling (NYACAC), the New Jersey Association for College Admission Counseling (NJACAC), the Overseas Association for College Admission Counseling
(OACAC), and NAFSA: Association of International Educators, American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), and the Admissions Leadership Consortium (ALC).