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Many families opt for college admissions consultants to make their way through the maze

Re “Study. Study. Study. Then call a consultant” (Page A1, Aug. 14): Many families who hire a college admissions consultant do so because they are confused about today’s admissions process, and with good reason.

In an era of “enrollment management,” colleges use predictive technology to determine who is likely to accept an offer of admission without the schools’ having to offer one dollar more in aid than they have to. Families must figure out which colleges will factor demonstrated interest into the admissions decision.

Cost is another factor, since most colleges are not need blind, nor do they meet 100 percent of financial need. This is not clear on their websites.


Many colleges also admit more than half their entering freshman class through a binding early-decision program, which leaves out those who must apply to multiple colleges to compare aid offers.

Very few students are eligible to apply to Ivy League schools. Most families just want a little help, since the parents went to college a long time ago, or they were educated in a different country and can’t make sense of the process in the United States.

A helpful consultant-client relationship spans a year or more and can address complex learning and mental health issues. Most consultants offer a holistic approach at far less cost than the exorbitantly priced weekend boot camp highlighted in the article.

Joan Casey


The writer is an educational consultant.