conduct a smarter college search

Counselors' Corner

Give yourself a time-out. 


Why Are Some of My Students Working with a Private Admissions Counselor?

It's not you. It's them.

Families seek out private admissions counselors for a variety of reasons, and none of them are about you or the job you’re doing. In fact, I’ve heard families express a thoughtful understanding of the job their school’s counselors are doing. They know you have full case loads. They know you’re coordinating programing for the masses, and that those masses include students exploring a wide array of post-graduate options. They know you’ll be there for them when they need you. They understand you’re a crucial partner in the application process. 

Why do they seek out a private counselor?

The families I’ve worked with over the years have self-identified as needing extra help because: 

  • maybe the parents never went to college;

  • perhaps the family plans an extensive search and wants to start early;

  • sometimes there’s an additional factor complicating their search, like the desire to major in something highly competitive, and they want an extra boost;

  • college coaches may be recruiting them already;

  • they may want to prep for auditions at a conservatory;

  • and then there are the late bloomers, usually young men who feel completely overwhelmed by the process so they act like they don’t care and can’t be bothered to look for a college. Their anxious mothers are the largest constituency with whom I’ve worked.

So again, it’s not you, it’s them.

What is a private college counselor?

Referred to in the educational field as independent educational consultants, a private admissions counselor can fill a variety of roles and functions for families including: 

  • working 1:1 to build a college list;

  • test prep;

  • essay tutoring;

  • career counseling;

  • assisting with financial aid and scholarship applications;

  • and they may even contact colleges on a family’s behalf.

The vast majority of private counselors want to work 1:1 with a small group of families, and sometimes they’ll hold free information sessions to draw prospective clients to sample what they have to offer. This makes a private counselor’s services costly and available to the select few who can afford it. 

Inside Admissions Consulting’s unique approach

We offer workshops (and webinars, coming soon!) to give families all the information they need to take control of the process and conduct their own successful college search. Inside Admissions Consulting makes private college counseling accessible and affordable

At IAC we understand the search for a college has become increasingly complicated and competitive, while at the same time the demands on school counselors’ time and energy has grown too. We are here to supplement the work of school counselors, providing as many families as possible the advantage they need to find a college experience that works best for their student.

Is what yinz do legit?

There is no government regulation of private college counselors, but NACAC does provide ethical guidelines in their Statement of Principals and Good Practice

The quality of a counselor’s services are determined by their background, and experiences vary. IAC uses a curriculum designed by me, Jen Partica. I draw upon my graduate work in education and a decade working for colleges in both admissions and recruitment communications. My instruction isn’t just walking you through tasks like taking a test or writing an essay; I offer a holistic understanding of the process and how families can make it work for them.

Connect With Us

If you or your students ever have questions about the college search or want to know more about employing a private college counselor, reach out and let me know via


-Jen Partica






Jen Partica of Inside admissions consulting presenting to families from the West hills on March 4, 2018

Jen Partica of Inside admissions consulting presenting to families from the West hills on March 4, 2018

Jen ParticaComment