With all the ins and outs of college prep, it’s becoming more and more common for parents to hire and independent college advisor to help with the process. But how do you shop for someone you can trust? Are all advisors the same? What type of questions should you ask?
This decision can be a costly one–on both of the financial spectrums. Hiring one can be an expense you and your family weren’t counting on when planning for college. Not hiring one can cost you thousands of dollars of financial aid because they help with college choices and financial planning. Before settling on one advisor, it’s important to ask the right questions:
- Do you provide a preliminary assessment when you begin the process?
- How do you choose the colleges you recommend?
- How can I be sure I’m getting the best fit for the best price?
- Will you help with college essays?
- How do you help a student with college prep in a way that is unique from other counselors?
- When advising a student, what do you consider when making recommendations for specific schools?
- Can you help with financial aid and scholarship advice?
These are basic questions and should give you a place to start. For additional explanation about each question, visit the original article I wrote for TeenLife Media: 7 Questions to Ask an Independent College Advisor.
One of my favorite advisors, Paul Hemphill, gives good advice: “Finding the right college advisor with the right perspective and with lots of experience can easily start an engaging relationship – all without fancy plans or complications – all with the benefit of reducing your stress.”
For more information on how to choose the best advisor for your needs, read his article: College Advisor: How to Find a Good One.
As with any financial purchase shop around. Not all advisors are created equal.