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Best College Admissions Consultants

Unlock success in the college admissions process with expert consultants' tailored strategies, financial aid guidance, and interview prep for top colleges.
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We totally get it: applying for college feels like putting your dreams on paper and waiting for someone to say yes. It’s nerve-wracking, but know that regardless of the outcome, you’re on the path to discovering the best version of yourself.

Well, you’re not alone. 

The college admissions process is one of the most important parts of a young adult’s life. And if you’re looking for admissions help for yourself or your child, that process can be just as stressful.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be.

In the last few years, a helping hand has emerged–college admissions consulting services. According to a 2022 report by IBISWorld, the projected market size for the college admission consultants industry in 2023 is a whopping $2.875 billion. And this isn’t just a sudden spike; the industry has seen an average growth of 0.7% annually from 2018 to 2023. 

Why the increase? And who are the best college admissions consultants you should consider?

Dive into the details here and discover why so many are turning to college admissions consultants.

Why College Admissions Consultants Matter

Just as parents secure soccer coaches to fine-tune a game-winning goal or math tutors to demystify complex equations, they seek out private college counselors to chart a confident course through the intricate maze of elite college admissions.

With the college acceptance competition fiercer than ever, an admissions consultant provides the insider knowledge and strategy that many successful applicants credit as their secret weapon. College admissions consultants play a pivotal role in this journey, offering a blend of expertise, experience, and personalized guidance. 

They don’t just help students fill out forms; they strategize, ensuring every aspect of the application—from essays to interviews—stands out in the admissions committee’s eyes. 

With their deep understanding of the admissions process and what elite institutions are looking for, these consultants bridge the gap between a student’s aspirations and the realities of college admissions, increasing the chances of acceptance into dream institutions.

But with so many college admissions counselors hitting the scene, it can be hard to determine who has what it takes to help aspiring college students secure a spot.

Here are our top picks.

Best College Admissions Consultants

1. Admissionado

Admissionado has carved a niche for itself with its highly personalized approach to college admissions consulting. Recognized for its emphasis on crafting strategies tailored to individual strengths and aspirations, they’ve successfully placed students in Ivy League schools like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton.

Their team of top college admission consultants, predominantly alumni from top-tier institutions, brings a wealth of firsthand knowledge, ensuring applications resonate with authenticity. They boast about the fact that it’s easier to gain admission to Harvard than it is to be hired as a college admissions coach at Admissionado.

  • Starting Price: $1,650

  • Services: College counseling, application consulting, graduate school admissions

  • Team or Individual Consulting: Team

  • Free Consultation: Yes

  • Admissions Results: Harvard, Yale, Princeton

Learn more about Admissionado

2. Admit Advantage

Admit Advantage stands out with its affordable approach to college admissions counseling programs. They’ve been lauded for their comprehensive packages and pride themselves in being a boutique brand.

Their focus is on graduate school admissions, emphasizing academic achievements, personal growth, leadership, and extracurricular involvement. Their success stories include Stanford, MIT, and Caltech placements, showcasing their expertise in presenting well-rounded profiles.

Best of all, Admit Advantage’s pricing starts well under 1k, which is a rare find in the world of college consultants.

  • Starting Price: $750

  • Services: Comprehensive consulting, leadership training, application review

  • Team or Individual Consulting: Team

  • Free Consultation: Yes

  • Admissions Results: Wharton, Dardon, Stern

Learn more about AdmitAdvantage 

3. Beyond the States

Are you interested in finding a dream school overseas? Beyond the States is the go-to consultant for students looking to explore educational opportunities outside the U.S. They have a stellar track record of placing students in top European institutions like the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, and Imperial College London.

Their consultants are well-versed in international application processes, ensuring students are prepared for global academic challenges. Signing with Beyond the States will give you access to our robust database of 11,600 English-taught programs. You’ll also discover the international colleges and programs that align perfectly with your personality, budget, chosen major, and preferred locations.

Not sold yet? Lots of free resources can be found on their interactive website.

  • Starting Price: $497

  • Services: International college consulting, application assistance, visa guidance

  • Team or Individual Consulting: Team

  • Free Consultation: No

  • Admissions Results: University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London

Learn more about Beyond The States

4. Ivy Coach

Ivy Coach’s reputation in the world of college admissions consulting firms is unparalleled. Their meticulous attention to detail and deep understanding of Ivy League preferences have led to an impressive track record. They boast a 90% success rate, with students gaining admissions to institutions like Columbia, Brown, and Dartmouth.

Highlighted in prestigious publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, Ivy Coach’s admissions influence is unparalleled. Beyond their esteemed reputation, they also extend pro bono services to veterans.

  • Starting Price: $1,750 per hour

  • Services: Application review, interview coaching, essay writing

  • Team or Individual Consulting: Individual

  • Free Consultation: Yes

  • Admissions Results: Columbia, Brown, Dartmouth

Learn more about IvyCoach

5. Expert Admissions

Expert Admissions is renowned for its narrative-driven approach. They excel in helping students craft compelling stories that resonate deeply with admissions officers. Their success stories span across top institutions like Duke, Northwestern, and the University of Chicago, with 99% of students being accepted into one of their top three choices.

While their unique approach ensures every application tells a captivating, authentic tale, Expert Admissions might be best known for their customer service. Their band of former college admissions officers are readily available, sometimes within minutes, for students who need guidance.

  • Starting Price: $2,700

  • Services: Personalized consulting, narrative crafting, application review

  • Team or Individual Consulting: Individual

  • Free Consultation: Yes

  • Admissions Results: Duke, Northwestern, University of Chicago

Learn more about Expert Admissions

6. IvyWise

IvyWise is celebrated for its all-encompassing approach to college admissions. From initial consultations to post-admission guidance and academic tutoring services, they support students throughout their college application journey. Their consultants, with diverse backgrounds, have secured student placements in institutions like UPenn, Cornell, and Johns Hopkins.

“We had the best experience with IvyWise so and mainly because of our adviser Christine! Very thorough and patient! We had a great short term and long term plan and were guided every step! And of course the essays Essays that went back and forth over and over until the final ones got my son into 18 schools he applied to! He chose Stanford! Thank you IvyWise! Thank you Christine !! ”

Date of experience: May 14, 2022

Students with IvyWise are four times more likely to secure a spot at highly selective colleges, boasting acceptances at all eight Ivy League institutions, as well as Stanford and MIT. They have packages that start as early as kindergarten and move all the way up through the graduate school admissions process.

  • Starting Price: $1,450 per hour

  • Services: Comprehensive consulting, test prep, post-admission guidance

  • Team or Individual Consulting: Team

  • Free Consultation: No

  • Admissions Results: UPenn, Cornell, Johns Hopkins

Learn more about Ivywise

7. Bright Horizons

Bright Horizons college coach program is more than just an admissions consultant. Their vast array of educational services, from early education to college prep, sets them apart from most college admissions consultants. Their holistic guidance ensures students are academically and personally prepared for future challenges. They’ve successfully placed students in institutions like UCLA, NYU, and Georgetown.

The amazing thing about this college admissions counseling services provider is that employers can add to their benefits package. This includes help with college lists, essay reviews, financing strategies, and more.

  • Starting Price: Packages vary by organization

  • Services: Early education, college prep, application assistance

  • Team or Individual Consulting: Team

  • Free Consultation: Yes

  • Admissions Results: UCLA, NYU, Georgetown

Learn more about Bright Horizons

8. TopTier

TopTier’s strength lies in its strategic approach to admissions. Their consultants help students chart a clear roadmap, focusing on strengths and addressing weaknesses. Their success stories include placements in prestigious institutions like Caltech, Brown, and Dartmouth.

High school seniors can receive a specialized offer from this college admissions consulting firm when they take part in Top Tier’s Personal Boot Camp®. Here, students get to engage directly with a Senior Counselor through Zoom and email to complete the entire Common Application.

Already passed senior year? Top Tier has an entire college admissions process no matter where you are in the journey.

  • Starting Price: Varies by program

  • Services: Strategic planning, application review, essay guidance

  • Team or Individual Consulting: Individual

  • Free Consultation: No

  • Admissions Results: Caltech, Brown, Dartmouth

Learn more about TopTier Admissions

9. InGenius Prep

InGenius Prep stands out with its team of former admissions officers from top-tier colleges. Their insider knowledge as college admissions coaches provides students with a unique edge, ensuring applications meet the exacting standards of elite institutions. They’ve secured student admissions to colleges like Stanford, MIT, and Yale.

Because they have the largest team of admissions officers (150 on staff), InGenius Prep can focus on college, medical, business and law admissions. From high school students to graduate school hopefuls, InGenium Prep helped over 3,600 applicants get into a top 50 school.

  • Starting Price: NA

  • Services: Application review, interview prep, insider insights

  • Team or Individual Consulting: Team

  • Free Consultation: Yes

  • Admissions Results: Stanford, MIT, Yale

Learn more about Ingenius Prep 

10. Veritas Prep

Veritas Prep, with its longstanding reputation, is a trusted name in college admissions services and consulting. Their wide range of services, from test prep to college admissions guidance, has been instrumental in realizing countless academic dreams. Their success stories span across institutions like Harvard, Princeton, and Columbia.

  • Starting Price: $3,300

  • Services: GMAT prep, application review, interview coaching

  • Team or Individual Consulting: Individual

  • Free Consultation: No

  • Membership: AIGAC, NACAC, HECA

  • Admissions Results: Harvard, Princeton, Columbia

Benefits of Hiring a College Admissions Consultant

In the competitive realm of both college counseling and admissions, having an edge can make all the difference. This is where experienced college counselors and admissions consultants come into play. These experts offer a plethora of advantages:

  1. Expertise: College admissions consultants have a deep understanding of the college admissions process. They’re well-versed in what top college admissions committees are looking for and can guide students accordingly.

  2. Personalized Strategy: Every student is unique. The best college admissions consultants tailor their approach to fit each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and aspirations.

  3. Time Management: The college admissions process can be overwhelming. With the guidance of college admissions consultants, students can efficiently manage their time, ensuring all application components are completed to perfection.

  4. Stress Reduction: With a college admissions consultant by their side, students often feel more at ease, knowing they have expert support throughout the process.

  5. Increased Acceptance Rates: Many top college admissions consultants boast impressive track records, with their clients gaining entry into elite institutions at higher rates than the average applicant.

What to Look for in a College Admissions Consultant

Choosing the right college admissions consultant is a crucial decision that can significantly impact your college application journey. Here are some key factors to consider:

  • Experience and Track Record: Look for consultants who have a proven track record of successfully guiding students to their desired colleges. Their experience can provide invaluable insights into the admissions process.

  • Personalized Approach: Every student is unique. Ensure the consultant offers tailored strategies and doesn’t adopt a one-size-fits-all approach.

  • Testimonials and Reviews: Word of mouth and past student testimonials can provide a genuine perspective on the consultant’s effectiveness and approach.

  • Knowledge of Current Admissions Trends: The college admissions landscape is ever-evolving. Ensure your consultant is up-to-date with the latest trends and changes.

  • Transparency: A reputable consultant will be transparent about their services, fees, and what you can realistically expect.

  • Availability: The college application process can be stressful. It’s essential to have a consultant who is accessible and responsive to your queries.

  • Ethical Standards: Ensure the consultant adheres to the highest ethical standards, providing guidance without making false promises or encouraging dishonesty.

  • Cultural and Background Sensitivity: For international students or those from diverse backgrounds, it’s beneficial to have a consultant who understands and respects cultural nuances.

  • Affiliations: Check if the consultant is affiliated with professional organizations like AIGAC, AICEP, NACAC, or HECA. These affiliations often indicate a commitment to professional development and ethics.

Understanding the Role of Admissions Consultants

Admissions consultants wear many hats. At the core, they are strategists, guiding students in presenting their best selves to admissions committees. They provide invaluable insights into the intricacies of the admissions process, ensuring students avoid common pitfalls. Their services often include:

Personalized Application Strategy

Your college admissions coach will help you with crafting a unique narrative for each student, highlighting strengths and addressing any potential weaknesses.

Essay Guidance and Interview Prep

Assisting in brainstorming, drafting, and refining college essays, college consultants will help ensure they resonate with the intended message and stand out from the crowd. You’ll also take part in mock interviews, providing feedback, and sharing techniques to handle challenging questions with confidence.

Test Preparation and Strategy Guidance

Ivy League admissions counselors offer insights on standardized tests, suggesting when to take them and providing resources or referrals for preparation. They’ll also advise on who to approach for recommendations and how to ensure these letters bolster the application.

Financial Aid and Scholarship Assistance

Guiding families through the financial aspects of college, from understanding tuition costs to identifying scholarship opportunities.

By demystifying the admissions process and offering tailored guidance, admissions consultants play a crucial role in helping students navigate the complex journey to their dream college or university.


1. What exactly does a college admissions consultant do?

A college admissions consultant provides personalized guidance to students throughout the college application process. This includes college counseling services helping with college selection, application strategy, essay writing, interview preparation, and often extends to advice on standardized testing and financial aid.

2. How much do college admissions consultants typically charge?

The fees for college admissions consultants can vary widely based on their experience, services offered, and the duration of the consultancy. Some college admission consultants only charge hourly rates, while others offer package deals. It’s common to see rates ranging from $100 to $500 per hour, with comprehensive packages costing several thousand dollars.

3. Is hiring a college admissions consultant worth the investment?

For many students, hiring a consultant can provide valuable insights, reduce the stress of the application process, and increase the chances of getting into a top-choice college. However, the value can be subjective and depends on individual needs and the quality of the consultancy.

4. How do I ensure that the consultant is reputable and trustworthy?

It’s essential to do thorough research. Look for consultants with a proven track record, check for affiliations with professional organizations like AIGAC or NACAC, read testimonials, and consider getting referrals from past clients or acquaintances.

5. Will a consultant write my college essays for me?

A reputable college admissions consultant will not write essays for students. Instead, they will provide guidance, feedback, and strategies to help students craft authentic and compelling essays on their own.

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