Are college advisors a worthwhile investment? Will they actually benefit students in today’s competitive post-secondary arena? Whether you’re a prospective student or a curious parent, you’ve probably asked yourselves these questions, and in this blog, we’re going to provide some answers and insight. . The short answer is yes, college advisors are ‘worth it’ but we know you need more information than that! In this post, we will talk about college admissions consulting, the cost of advisors, their services, and so much more. We’ll also give you some tips on finding the best ones if you decide that one could be beneficial for you.

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Article Contents
11 min read

How Competitive are College Admissions? What is a College Advisor? How Much Does a College Advisor Cost? The Benefits of Working with a College Advisor: Is it Worth the Money? How to Find the Right College Advisors FAQs

How Competitive are College Admissions?

Some parents joke that they wouldn’t be able to get into their alma mater if they were applying today, and that type of statement is not far-fetched! The truth is, having a good GPA and a few extracurriculars can no longer guarantee college admission; especially if you have your eyes set on one of the best undergraduate business schools or if you’re trying to choose the best university as a premed to maximize your chances of acceptance to medical school. The college admissions landscape gets increasingly competitive every year; with that in mind, it goes without saying that you need to present yourself as a competitive applicant, no matter which program you’re applying to. That’s one (of many reasons) why college advisors come in handy:

“I had a brainstorming session with Vincent Athas. He gave me lots of ideas and examples of what experiences I could use and showed genuine interest in helping me to become a competitive applicant.” – TB, Former BeMo Student.

 Recently, the total number of applications submitted went up by 20%, according to the data collected by the Common app, and that number is projected to vary…it may rise even more in years to come On the other hand, acceptance rates stayed the same or decreased. Even some of the easiest Ivy League schools to get into are reporting a lower acceptance rate than previous years. In other words, if you’re getting ready to apply to colleges soon, you need to do everything you can to make your application stand out and maximize your chances of getting into college.

Want to learn more about the easiest Ivy League school? Take a look at this video:

What is a College Advisor?

College advisors - also called college consultants or Independent Education Counsellors (IECs), help prospective students through the college selection, application, and admissions process. This can include everything from high school curriculum planning, college selection, exams, preparing the applications, writing the dreaded supplemental college essays, and financial aid. Their job is essentially to advise and guide you through the entire process, which can be quite overwhelming for many. Advisors want you to feel confident and put your best foot forward, just like our former student, Fnu, was able to do:

“Sofia Wyszynski was my college advisor today, and she thoroughly addressed my concerns and provided an action plan to help me present my best self in the admissions process. My upcoming applications feel much clearer to me now, and I had a wonderful experience with her!” – Fnu Abhishek, Former BeMo Student

When preparing for college, there are a lot of decisions to make, and there's a lot of information out there that many of us are just not trained to decipher. This is especially true for first-generation college students and international students. If you are part of the latter group, consider college admissions counseling for international students for more targeted help.

“BeMo is incredible. As a first generation student [trying to break into the medical field], there were a number of items I simply did not know I needed to do or other things I needed to do better. It is so difficult to find competent guidance and BeMo gives it to you in spades. The counselors at BeMo are friendly, patient, and dedicated to your success. I am so happy that I found them and trusted them to help me through this process.” – Anonymous, Former BeMo Student.

However, even if you have someone in your family who has been through this process before, you can still use the services of a college advisor. 

Professional college advisors have to keep up with the trends in the world of college admissions, so they are more familiar with the most up-to-date processes and tools that could aid you in your application to college. They know which schools use common app, and which ones have a different admissions system. Furthermore, depending on when you contact your college advisor, they can even help you make tough decisions in high school, such as choosing between IB and AP or picking extracurriculars when you are just starting to plan for your future:

"Very good session! Very informative! The person was very helpful and did not hold back any recommendation she thought would be helpful for me! I now have a great plan for my extracurricular involvement for the next few years!” – Anonymous BeMo student

How Much Does a College Advisor Cost?

There is no way around the fact that a qualified professional will cost you money. This is true for any service you get, including college advisors. Some college advisors charge by the hour or by service rendered, and many of them have a package deal that involves different parts of the process. On average, a college advisor will cost between $150 and $200 per hour. Alternatively, application review packages can cost as low as $1,000, with some students spending between $3000-$10,000.

. It may sound pricey, but you should consider the value that you are paying for; college advisors can save future students and their families a lot of time and money in the long run. Not only do they significantly reduce the likelihood of you having to pay application fees again, but they can also help you find and apply for financial aid. Lastly, it is worth noting that many advisors are able to organize private pay plans, such as installments. We recommend inquiring with potential advisors about payment plans, if that is a concern for you!

Most importantly, you need to remember that college is an investment that pays a lucrative dividend. Working with an advisor to get into your dream undergraduate program will help you gauge the return on investment should you choose to consider an advisor for any post-graduate programs you may pursue down the road. One of our former Pre-med students told us,

“I got accepted to Western and waitlisted at 3 other Ontario schools! I highly recommend BeMo's consulting services to any applicants looking to maximize their chances. I know the program is expensive, however, I saw the money I spent as an investment in my future.” - Anonymous Former BeMo Student

Looking for help on your common app essay? This infographic has some helpful tips:

The Benefits of Working with a College Advisor: Is it Worth the Money? 

A good college advisor will cost you money, but the right one will be well worth the investment and benefit students in many ways:

Choosing the Right School

Sometimes, people are drawn to schools for all the wrong reasons. Campus size, popularity, and other general characteristics may seem appealing, but don’t always mean that the school in question is right for every student! When looking for colleges, it’s important to consider the student’s goals and values, and how they align with the schools that they are interested in. College advisors focus on compatibility when it comes to schools; not reputation. They also look beyond the basic admission requirements and help students make decisions confidently. This can be invaluable to students:

“The feedback on my school selection list was great. It made me see my weak and strong points based on each school requirements. Thanks so much.” – Anonymous, Former BeMo Student.

Working with an advisor will help students narrow down their choices, so they can find a college where they are most likely to thrive academically and socially.

Choosing the Right Program or Major

A college advisor can also help students figure out their goals and prospective career paths before selecting a program. They can also confirm that you (or the student you have in mind) are on the right path and provide additional insight on program requirements:

“I had my first session with Malachi Wright. We had a meaningful discussion; he answered all my questions and made me feel confident about choosing this program. He also suggested several ideas for references and extracurriculars that I had never thought of before and was very compassionate about certain issues I brought up.” - Subin Yoon, BeMo Student.

Suppose that you want to become a doctor. Most people assume that you need to be a biological science major to become one. However, while it is the most popular for both applicants and matriculants, the acceptance rate of biology science majors falls somewhere in the middle. So, a college advisor could walk you through the medical school acceptance rates by major and help you decide on a degree that could be more interesting to you but still gives you a good chance of going from high school to medical school.

Strengthening Your Applications

Once you’ve picked your potential majors and you’ve found the right schools, you need to apply to those schools and that can be a complicated process; advisors can help you make the most of your time and clarify the entire process:

“Reem was incredibly helpful and took the time to go over every aspect of my application that I had questions about. She provided resources and details that I would not have been able to find elsewhere. The session was concluded with clear instructions on what I should do next and how best to maximize my remaining time. I benefitted greatly from her patience and clarity.” – Anna, Former BeMo Student.

While most schools use similar tools, some will look thoroughly into things beyond grades, such as summer programs for high school students, extracurriculars, letters of recommendation. An advisor can help you determine what experiences you can really harness to have your application stand out 

 Most applications will require the following documents:

It is essential to nail each component of the admissions application to succeed, and that requires time, organization, and focus.

 Whether you need to focus on one component of your application journey or, you require feedback and insight throughout every step, a good college advisor can help. Take it from our student, Aki, who sought a college advisor’s help and reaped tremendous benefits from their service:

“I was initially enrolled in a customized program to meet my needs. But later, I realized I needed more support. I added a program because I received incredible support and felt confident about my application. The brainstorming session with Emily T. and writing reviews with Malachi were amazing in that they gave you such encouraging and constructive feedback. Writing is hard, but they made the experience enjoyable. Thank you!” – Aki Kurosawa, Former BeMo Student

Working on your supplemental college essays? Make sure you consider the different types:

Preparing You for University

A qualified college advisor will give you skills that you will be able to use for years to come by helping you research and write your essays, giving you strategies to answer college admissions interview questions, and talking through your potential career plans. Going through this process with a professional and getting their personalized feedback will help you build life-long professional skills such as research, critical thinking, writing, and interview skills.. One of our students had this to say about working with an advisor to prepare for interviews:

“I recently had a session with Vicky Cerdeira to help me with my interview preparation and she was a great help! She spent the time to go over my answers with me and gave me useful advices to work on my interview skills and answers. She seems genuinely interested in my success. It was a real pleasure working with her!” – Anonymous, BeMo Student.

Make Applying Less Stressful

Having someone to guide you through this very overwhelming process can make a huge difference. For you, the prospective student, but also for those around you. For parents, college advisors can take a lot off of your plate, too!

“We are so grateful to BeMo for helping our daughter get into a great BSN program! BeMo provided great feedback on her admission essays and helped to prepare her for interviews. BeMo's assistance helped to make a very stressful process seem manageable.” – Colleen Martin, Parent of BeMo Student.

For most traditional applicants, looking at colleges and preparing applications happens during their (already stressful) senior year of high school. During your senior year, you have to think about your finals, your SATs, graduation, a high school resume, possibly moving away from home, and many other things A college advisor allows you to take quite a bit off your plate by giving you the information you need and helping you through some of the most challenging parts of the application process; they’ve done this before, and they can make the process less stressful for you

Is your common app activities section ready yet? If not, check out this infographic:

How to Find the Right College Advisors

Finding a college advisor once you’ve decided you need one can be tough. You’ll need to address various factors, such as budget, your needs, and more. First, and most importantly, you want to ensure that the people you are paying to help you are qualified to do so. Good advisors know the admissions process inside and out.You should take the time to check their websites to learn about the advisor or the firm’s team members and make sure that they have the expertise and knowledge to be a college admissions advisor. 

You should pay special attention to the advisors’ backgrounds and the training that they go through. For example, here at BeMo, less than 5% of advisors who want to work with us actually get hired because we want the best for our students, so we only hire experts in their fields who are willing to go through our very rigorous training. That way, when our students spend their hard-earned money on our services, they don’t have to wonder if BeMo Academic Consulting is worth it

Secondly, you want to make sure that they have experience helping other students through this process and that they have been successful at it. Your interaction with a college advisor should be warm, but professional, like Malvika’s experience:

“Dr. Atytalla is a wonderful consultant. The application process requires a lot of sharing about yourself, and he made me feel very comfortable in the stories I shared. He is kind and intelligent and provides good feedback, and I hope you get the privilege of working with him.” – Malvika Chaundry, Former BeMo Student

We recommend spending time on their website or contacting them to find out what their philosophy is, if they’re focused on the students or working with specific schools, and if they have student success stories. You should also check trusted websites like Trustpilot to see if they have good independent reviews. 

Last but certainly not least, we encourage you to look for resources they provide, as well as any guarantees or incentives. We’ve already established that getting a college advisor can be pretty pricey so if you are going to spend that money, make sure that you will either get results or, at the very least, your money back. 


1. Do I need a college advisor?

Only you can answer this question. Some students are okay going through the overwhelming process of selecting and applying to a university by themselves. Others are content with help from their family and friends. However, the services of a professional can really help guide you and make it easier. We definitely recommend investing in one.

2. What do college advisors do?

Essentially, college advisors help you through the college selection and admissions process. This includes helping you pick the right schools, the right programs or major, and helping you with every aspect of your college application prep.   

3. How much does a college advisor cost?

The cost varies greatly, but on average, a college advisor costs $200 per hour, or they often have application review packages that average $3000. 

4. I’m an international student, how can I find a college advisor for schools in the US or in Canada?

Good news: BeMo works with all students applying to post-secondary institutions and programs. We are also online, so we can actually help you from almost anywhere in the world. 

5. What should I look for in a college advisor?

You should ensure that your college advisor is qualified, experienced, student focused and that they have a good track record. Check their qualifications and reviews.

6. Can I still get into college without a college advisor?

You can! However, college admission is getting more and more competitive, so you should do everything you can to maximize your chances of getting in. 

7. When should I start looking for a college advisor?

As soon as you need guidance about college. College advisors can help students who are still in high school plan their extracurriculars and classes in a way that will help them reach their future goals in college and beyond. 

8. Is paying for a college advisor worth it?

In short, yes! It can significantly increase a student’s chances of getting into college, so we think it’s an investment that is worth making.  

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

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Hello, My son is going to 10th grade in the fall. And I was wondering if I could hire college advisor who will be able to help him choose his classes and extracurricular activities. Thanks Mimi


BeMo Academic Consulting

Hi Mimi! Of course! Please feel free to reach out to us for a free strategy call to see how we can help you son!