Do you really need college admissions consulting to get accepted? In this increasingly complex and fiercely competitive arena, students need to do something totally extraordinary to get accepted to the top schools in the US and Canada. Whether you are looking for help with college essays or want some support in choosing which experiences to include in your Common App Activities section, college admissions consultants can aid you in making your application the best it can be. In this article, we will discuss how college admissions consulting can help you get into the undergrad program of your dreams and how you can choose a service that is perfect for you.

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7 min read

Is It Hard to Get into College or University? How Does College Admissions Consulting Help Students? How to Find the Right College Admissions Consultant So, Do You Really Need a College Admissions Consultant? FAQs

Is It Hard to Get into College or University?

The simple answer is yes. College admissions can be incredibly competitive. Just take a look at the acceptance rates to the top colleges in the US or acceptance rates to the top universities in Canada - clearly, getting a quality undergraduate education has become a competition in itself. Having a high GPA and stellar scores is no longer enough to guarantee admission to top schools. Students need to really wow admissions committees. They need to stand out.

In the U.S., college admissions are notoriously competitive. This is especially true for world-renowned institutions like UC schools and Ivy League colleges. Even the easiest Ivy League schools have acceptance rates of below 11%. While UC rankings show that California schools tend to admit a higher percentage of applicants, most UC schools are still highly competitive.

Canadian universities generally have higher acceptance rates than top-tier schools in the U.S., but the best programs in the country are very competitive. On average, only 1 in 10 applicants get into the top universities and some of the most competitive programs, such as commerce and IT, according to University Affairs Canada.

With such daunting competition, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. And many students don’t know how to take their application from impressive to knockout on their own. As we’ve seen, good grades and a nice high school resume aren’t enough.

Admissions committees today need to see more than top grades and test scores. Top-tier colleges and universities want to see that a student succeeds outside of academia. They want to see that they have an impact on their community via extracurriculars for college and support from their mentors via strong college recommendation letters. Creating a strong college application can be extremely overwhelming and many students do not know how to start. They wonder whether their activities are good enough to be a competitive candidate, whom to ask for a reference, how to start their college essay, how to prepare for their college interview, and so on. If you're finding the entire college application process overwhelming and challenging, college admissions consulting can be the perfect source of support for you.

Check out some of the college interview prep strategies with share with our students:

How Does College Admissions Consulting Help Students?

Most students do need the help of college admissions consulting. Why? Because the current admissions landscape is extremely competitive and overly complicated. You can literally get lost in figuring out which schools use Common App and which do not, or which schools need supplemental college essays and which ones do not, or whether you should take the SAT or apply to colleges that do not require the SAT. College and university admissions consulting will help you make these and other decisions. They will ensure that you completely understand the admissions process and make the right decision for your educational and career aspirations.

Just one important clarification: college admissions consultants will not sit the SAT or the ACT for you! They will not fill out your application! They will not write your essays! But they will guide you through this process and teach you how to self-reflect and articulate your strengths. Here're some of the most crucial ways that college admissions consultants can help you:

School Selection:

College advisors help you compose a list of schools that meet your professional and academic goals. Furthermore, they help you assess whether applying to these programs is realistic. They will help you save time and money by advising you to apply to programs where you would be an ideal or competitive candidate. Do you have the right extracurriculars? Do you have a high enough GPA? Do you have a high enough SAT? If not, they may even help you get the right experiences and increase your stats if you start working with them in advance!

They will also take into consideration your career plans. For example, they will help you find the best undergrad business schools if you're an aspiring CEO; they will find the best prelaw program for an aspiring lawyer; and they will make sure that if you want to become a doctor, you will attend a program where you get a high GPA and complete all the medical school prerequisites.

Provide Personalized Feedback:

The truth is, personalized feedback is the only way you can stand out as an applicant and improve as a student and a professional. When you prepare a college application, you get to hone a lot of really valuable skills, such as critical thinking, writing, organization and time management skills, sound judgment, and so on. A college consultant will help you develop these by working with you one-on-one.

Most importantly, consultants take a personalized approach to your learning and preparation for college admissions and interviews - they will take into consideration your learning strengths and weaknesses and adapt their training to your needs. Consultants will walk you through every aspect of your academic, personal and professional lives, pinpointing the key elements that work best in a college application. Admissions consulting is a very personalized process, designed to fit each students’ personal needs and preferences. Admissions consulting doesn’t provide a “one size fits all” service, as each student’s journey is different. In fact, if they see that you do not need help with something, they will not force any additional training on you. For example, let's say that your college or program requires you to complete a situational judgement test. If the consultant can see that you do very well in your first couple of mock tests, they will not force you to do 10 mock tests before you take the real thing! They value your time and money, so they will make your other application components, those that need special attention, their priority.

They can help you discover and choose the significant experiences and talents you have that will stand out best in your application, and teach you how to showcase them in every application component. Many students feel they are not unique enough or that they don’t possess the talents, skills and excellent grades college admissions committees are looking for. Consultants can help by working with you to dig a little deeper and mine the aspects that make you special and individual. They will make sure that you and your application stand out!

Long-Term Support:

College admissions consultants do more than just review your application or help you practice with common college interview questions. They often start working with students long before their application deadlines to help them pick the best extracurriculars, advise them on whether they should take IB vs. AP courses, support them in their applications to summer programs for high school students, and more. Essentially, college advisors ensure that you get into your top-choice school by helping you plan your future as an undergrad student. This can be especially beneficial to students who already know that they want to become a doctor or that they want to study law - a college admissions consultant will not only get you into your desired premed or prelaw program, but also help you plan your activities throughout your undergrad so you can get into your top-choice medical school or law school with ease after your graduate college.

In this way, a college consultant is not just someone who helps you with the college application materials and interview prep, though of course they do that, but they also help you succeed as a student on a deeper level. Not only will they help you with every aspect of the college admissions process, but they will also help with scholarship applications, grant applications, your post-college career plans, and more.

How to Find the Right College Admissions Consultant

Firstly, we want to say that not every student needs college admissions consulting. Some students do not, but every student can benefit from this experience. Admissions consulting comes in many forms, so it's important to find the one that fits your needs. Here're our suggested steps for finding the right consultant for you:

Need to complete a Common App essay? Take a look at our writing advice:

So, Do You Really Need a College Admissions Consultant?

Ultimately, it's up to you to decide whether you need professional help. In some cases it may be pretty obvious: for example, if you are trying to get into MIT, or a similarly selective college, with a very low GPA, then you should probably reach out to an admissions consulting service to figure out how to get into your chosen college with a low GPA - they will know exactly how to play to your strengths.

However, there may be less clear circumstances when it comes to figuring out whether you need help. For example, you have a really great GPA and SAT scores and you know exactly where you want to apply - you have already figured out how to get into UCLA. But you may be unsure which activities would be best to emphasize in your UC personal statement or you may be uncertain what to emphasize in your UC activities sections. You might wonder whether focusing on UCLA only in your unified UC application is wise, or whether you should leave your application components more general so that you have a good chance of getting accepted to other UC schools. Really, the examples of the hurdles you will face can be endless. But one thing's clear: you have a lot of tough decisions to make and you might want to have someone with experience and expertise to help you navigate this process.

If you work with a consultant, not only will you get into your chosen college, but you will also learn a lot and be prepared for other stages of your educational and professional life. Your college applications are far from being the last time you apply to something - trust us! There will be countless scholarship applications while you're in college, then job applications, post-grad applications, and so much more! There is a huge benefit to learning from the best experts how to navigate these processes now.

Are you working on your Common App activities section and need some guidance?


1. Do I need a college admissions consultant?

Not every student needs a college admissions consultancy service, but there is no doubt that you can benefit from working with college admissions consulting. They can strengthen your application and prepare you for the next stages of your educational and professional journey.

2. What is college admissions consulting?

If it's a very good company or service, a college admissions consultant can help you with more than getting accepted to your top-choice school. They will help you with every step of the application and interview process, help you with scholarship applications, and provide you with life-long skills you can use after you get in.

3. Why should I use college admissions consulting?

In today’s college admissions environment, students are dealing with more competition than ever before. To secure a coveted spot in the program of their choice, student applications NEED to stand out from the crowd, and college admissions consulting can help. Plus, you get to hone skills such as critical thinking, sound judgment, writing, interview skills, and so much more!

4. Is college admissions consulting worth it?

Absolutely. College admissions consulting can greatly increase students’ chances of getting into college. But don’t ask us: ask our students!

5. How do I find a college admissions consultant?

It’s best to use a professional, certified and proven service. Tip: take advantage of a free initial consultation to find out if they are the right fit.

6. What do college admissions consultants do?

In short, college admissions consultants help students choose which programs to apply to, provide advice on crafting stellar applications, and generally prepare students for every part of the application process and post-application hurdles like scholarship applications.

7. Can international students use college admissions consulting?

Absolutely! Many consulting services are also able to provide college admissions counseling for international students.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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