In my work as an independent educational consultant I frequently make use of multiple resource guides, databases, education blogs and publications. This past weekend I added an entry to my list of favorite non-traditional books about college planning: Crazy U: One Dad’s Crash Course in Getting His Kid Into College, by Andrew Ferguson.
Ferguson applies humor and plenty of ironic commentary to his tale of helping his son with the college planning process. One of my favorite chapters recounts the author’s attendance at a presentation led by the most expensive east coast college consultant, whose fees are in the neighborhood of $40K for comprehensive services, typically targeting the Ivy League and other elite east coast colleges. Ferguson skewers her readily, along with the parents who are gullible enough to fork over the funds for her tactics of intimidation and snobbery.
Ferguson also takes colleges to task for their arcane and obscure norms in vetting applications, as well as the obscene extent of inflation in costs of attendance.
His points are well taken; in fact, I am considering emailing him to share something I’m sure he already knows: that there are highly qualified, ethical college consultants who work hard (at reasonable rates) on behalf of students and families to demystify the process and expand options.
This is a fun and illuminating read, and will be savored by professionals and digested by parents. I recommend it highly.
Lisa Ransdell is an independent educational consultant in Denver, Colorado with an extensive background in college teaching and administration. She helps students and families nationwide with all aspects of college planning.
I was delighted to hear that a recent research study on high achieving seniors in the U.S. showed that fully 26% report having used an IEC (independent educational consultant) in their college search and application process. With high school counselors frequently managing impossibly high caseloads and the increasingly positive publicity that credentialed IECs are receiving nationwide, that number will likely climb even higher in the near future. Check out the IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association) website for the full story and extensive information on locating and evaluating consultants: www.educationalconsulting.org
I was so fortunate discover that my extensive background in college teaching and administration was highly relevant to this field four years ago when I decided to launch Pinnacle Education Consulting. I truly love what I do and greatly enjoy partnering with Colorado students and families on college planning.
I’m also quite proud of my clients and their achievements. Here are some of the institutions where recent clients have been accepted:
- Colorado State University
- Cornell University
- Gonzaga University
- Louisiana State University
- Montana State University
- Northwestern University
- University of Notre Dame
- Santa Clara University
- Swarthmore College
- University of British Columbia
- University of Chicago
- University of Colorado
- University of Denver
- University of Montana
- University of Oregon
- University of Texas
- University of Virginia
- Villanova University
- Washington University St. Louis
Looking forward to getting my “26% Ask Me” Button at the IECA conference this May in Philadelphia!
Lisa Ransdell, PhD
Pinnacle Education Consulting, LLC