Private counselors help college-bound chart career paths
This is the season for college admissions pandemonium. And as any college-bound student knows, it typically isn’t pretty. There are tests to take and applications to complete. Students have about 2,000 four-year undergraduate programs from which to choose, and that’s assuming they aren’t considering schools abroad. It can all be a bit much for even the most prodigious youths. So what’s an average 16-year-old to do? Most students have some sort of college guidance program at school, yet many increasingly seek private college counselors for direction. This year, about 6 percent of entering college freshmen nationwide — and as many as 20 percent of entering freshmen in the Northeast — used independent counselors, according to the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). That’s up from about 1 percent in 1996. These counselors offer everything from the standard essay advice and test-taking tips to specialized career counseling. Sound like too much too soon? Not so, says ICEA’s executive director Mark. H. Sklarow. “Research has shown that kids who are thinking long-term are more successful in their studies at school because they see a direct connection between the two,” says Sklarow.