The best college admissions consultants will help you develop a plan to create the life you want. No matter what part of the college journey you’re on, the best college counseling services will create concrete steps toward your goals. But some of these offerings are better than others. After examining dozens of college admissions consultants reviews, these are our top picks.
The 9 Best College Admissions Consultants
Price: $499 to $3,999 depending on package
- Multiple packages with varying levels of feedback
- Experts in the Ivy League
- Article and video tutorials and resources
- Tailoring of your goals to an ideal school
Princeton Review has the most robust packages, especially for students aiming for the Ivy League. Their comprehensive Ultimate Admissions Package includes feedback on essays, virtual meetings, edits on your personal statement, and a personalized portfolio of schools. The on-demand package uses pre-created tools, videos, and articles to support you.
You can also schedule a one-hour meeting with a counselor to get a personalized list of 20 to 25 schools that’s tailored to your preference. Since this comes without the advice and extra tools, it only costs $499.
Ultimate Admissions Package:
- 7 virtual meetings with a counseling team
- Up to 25 school options personalized for your interests
- Up to 3 rounds of written edits on personal statement
- 2 rounds of written edits on 5 admissions essays
- Post-application support with interview preparation, making final selections, etc
- Over 120 articles and videos explaining college admissions
- 25 DMs with admissions team
- Written feedback (one round) on 5 essay prompts of your choosing
- Admissions Planner and Activities List tools
- Application Tracker and College Research tools
- 96% of students give 5 stars
- 77% of students enrolled in one of their top 3 picks
- Range of prices and levels of involvement
- Ultimate package includes after-application help with interviews and more
- Very affordable compared to other Ivy League packages
- Not the highest success rate on the list
Price: $195 to $6,895
- Essay editing and full essay services
- Complete admissions package for high school seniors
- Annual mentorship package for underclassmen to improve their applications
- Application review service
Prep Scholar is a service that helps high school students perfect their college applications. There are essay editing and workshopping packages, which are all priced by the essay word count. The comprehensive packages include these services and more.
High school seniors can use the complete admissions package to receive essay feedback, admissions strategies, interview preparation, and other vital pointers. To get an early start, the mentorship package is for underclassmen. It allows you to personally tailor your plan to improve your GPA, improve your ACT or SAT test scores, take advanced courses, and do extracurriculars.
See our in-depth review of the PrepScholar ACT and SAT prep course
Complete Admissions Package:
- Full essay service for every application
- Full application review prior to submission
- Interview strategy and advice
- Scholarship and financial aid guidance
- Full student profile review
- For students grades 9 through 11
- Advice on best courses to take
- Setting up extracurriculars and summer activities
- Creating relationships with teachers who write recommendations
- GPA improvement and test prep strategies
- Huge range of prices and packages
- Essay services are priced by word count
- Can tailor packages to your specific needs
- Only 1 in 205 applicants accepted
- Data used to analyze applications with an algorithm
- Best to start early; 12th graders can benefit, but underclassmen benefit more
Price: Starts at $1,450 for initial consultation
- Programs for K-8th grade students, high schoolers, and college students
- Each student works with a dedicated team focused on their needs and goals
- Mock simulation of the admissions process through the IvyWise Roundtable
- Review of every single step of the application and interview
IvyWise is one of the most successful college admissions counseling programs in the world. Each student is given a flexible package based on their needs. A counselor will get to know and mentor them individually, while an entire team will handle the application review and feedback process.
Ninety-one percent of students with IvyWise get into at least one of their top three schools. About 25% get into Brown compared to the general 6.3%, 21% get into Harvard compared to 4.1%, 17.5% get into MIT compared to 5.7%, and nearly 34% get into Stanford compared to 4.4%. The level of comprehensiveness cannot be overstated.
- Team members have over 300 combined years of experience
- 91% of students were admitted into one of their Top 3
- Individual attention from a counselor and mentor
- Roundtable Review involves team of mock admissions committee
- Full range of academic and tutoring services
- Pricing is customized per student but is typically expensive
- Since each counselor's roster is limited to 10 students per grade, there can be limited availability
Price: Customized per student
- Packages for all age ranges, up to graduate school
- Tutoring for AP tests and standardized tests
- Full application review package including private counseling sessions
- Application Boot Camp for intense four-day application improvement
Top Tier has programs spanning every age range and type of academia, all the way up to grad school. Their college counseling programs include private sessions, essay guidance, guides to common applications, and a full application review program. There are also tutoring programs for the SAT, ACT, AP exams (see the easiest AP classes to take), basic academic tutoring, and writing guidance.
The right program for you will depend on your personal needs, as well as your age. There’s a four-day College Application Boot Camp, in which you’ll prepare multiple essays and create an application strategy devised by experts.
- Many programs specifically targeted toward admissions
- Comprehensive coverage of different standardized tests
- Writing and essay guidance available
- Programs range in length and intensity
- Application review program may not include after-application help
Price: $1,650 to $5,400
- Questionnaire and tactical analysis of your future
- Action plan for your application
- Four-draft essay help with feedback
- “Insider audit” points out weak spots in application
Admissionado is a college admissions counselor that focuses on comprehensive packages, both for high schoolers and for grad school applicants. When you use their application package, you’ll go through a step-by-step process of narrowing down your options, honing your focus, and creating ideal essays.
Once you’ve taken care of the entire application, you’ll do interview preparation. With two video conference sessions, you’ll have your strengths and weaknesses analyzed. After the application is sent in, your counselor will provide ongoing support with things like waitlists, choosing your school, and preparing for college life.
- Free consultation option available
- Three tiers of application consulting
- College counseling for underclassmen
- Programs for MBA and Master’s applicants
- Very few individual tutoring or advice packages
Bright Horizons College Coach
Price: Customized depending on package
- Education for every age and career path
- Over 26,000 employees globally
- Childcare offered for working parents
- Help accessing education benefits
Bright Horizons is a global powerhouse that helps people access opportunities for the future, be they career, education, or childcare. Their college coaches all have prior experience working in admissions or financial aid. The goal is to match each student to their eligible benefits and advise them on how to improve their application.
A whopping 98% of the students mentored through Bright Horizons get into one of their top school choices. If you can’t afford the individual packages, you can also go to one of the company’s live events. At these events, a college coach goes over the basics of applications for about 90 minutes.
- Student loan benefits with customizable setup
- Affordable live events with college coaches
- 98% of students get into one of their top picks
- All college coaches are prior admissions or FinAid officers
- More focused on education benefits than Ivy League admissions
Price: Flexible depending on program
- Premier Roadmap Package for grades 9 through 11
- Premier Senior Package for grade 12
- SAT and ACT tutoring
- College Application Booster camp
With Command Education, the goal is for students to begin creating their roadmap to college from the beginning of high school. The company’s signature service is their Roadmap Package, which is personalized to help underclassmen with their community service, extracurriculars, standardized testing, and research opportunities.
The Senior Package is customized to help seniors narrow down the best schools for them, create strong essays, build a resume, and compile a list of their activities. The company works with each student to figure out what school is the best personal fit for them. There are also ACT and SAT prep programs, plus a 5-day boot camp to boost your application quality.
- Over 90% of students accepted into one of their Top 3
- Premiere focus on preparing underclassmen
- 100% of early applicants to Harvard were admitted in 2022
- All mentors are recent school graduates
- No solo essay writing program
- Students must manage expectations when narrowing down ideal schools
Solomon Admissions Consulting
Price: Depends on the student and package
- Insider information about your top schools
- Consulting on strategic positioning
- Essay assistance and interview help
- Realistic evaluations of your best options
The experts at Solomon Admissions Consulting have been featured in media like the Huffington Post, Forbes, Time Magazine, and the Chicago Tribune. The goal is to tailor each student’s application for the specific school in question. There are multiple services providing specific help with things like your personal statement, supplemental essays, or interview preparation.
The acceptance rate for students with Solomon Admissions Counseling is astonishing. In 2021, 34% of students were accepted into Stanford, compared to the 4% general rate. Then 39% of applicants were accepted to Cornell, compared to 8.7% in general. Half of the applicants were accepted to the University of Chicago, compared to 6.5% in general.
- Founded by 2 Ivy League experts
- Solid essay advice for multiple Ivy League schools
- High acceptance rates to competitive schools
- Transparency and case studies available
- Website isn’t the easiest to navigate
- No information on how pricing is calculated
Price: $21,995 (for 35 hours) to $45,995 (for 80 hours)
- Scientific approach to 75 schools’ admission processes
- Customized consultations to target weaknesses
- Help developing strategies, plans, and future goals
- Edits and guidance on essays
Spark Admissions was founded by a woman who wrote an analytical paper “hacking” the ways that 75 top schools admit students. She uses her insights to help students tailor their applications to their top schools.
The company provides several different services to help students identify and improve their weaknesses, develop strategies for the future, and hone their goals. Because the company uses such valuable data to help students, the pricing for the consultation is pretty high among this list of the best college admissions consultants. But you will have every aspect of your application and plan holistically evaluated and improved.
- Comprehensive consulting services
- Covers application, essays, interviews, letters of recommendation, and more
- All packages customized to the student’s exact needs
- More 5 star reviews than any competing consulting site
- Flexible pricing packages
- Even with flexible pricing, this is the priciest option on the list
What to Look For in Hiring a College Admissions Counselor
Main Area of Focus
Different counseling companies have very different approaches. Options like Spark Admissions use scientific data and algorithms to “game” your application. Then there are places like Bright Horizons, which focus on connecting you to the best college benefits instead.
Figure out what you need most from a consulting service before you make a purchase.
Admissions consulting can get incredibly pricey. Some companies charge tens of thousands of dollars for comprehensive consultations. It’s also common for companies to have flexible packages that still cost several thousand dollars.
If your budget is limited, you might want to focus solely on the areas that are most difficult. Places like Command Education have SAT and ACT tutoring that’s more affordable than a full consultation package.
Your essays are the most unique part of your application, and they let the admissions staff know who you are. It helps to get essay assistance from people who have worked in admissions. The best college admissions consultants can help you hone your voice and determine exactly what you should say to make an impact.
The level of customization is also important. Companies like IvyWise will create an entire strategy that’s centered on improving your weaknesses. They will do full audits of your current application, coach you on interview questions, and tailor their services to whatever you most need help with.
Best College Admissions Consultants FAQ
Do I need a college admissions consultant?
You don’t technically need a college admissions consultant, but if you’re aiming for the Ivy League, a good consultant can increase your chances of acceptance by 20x.
Can a college consultant guarantee admission into top schools?
College consultants can’t guarantee admission. But they can do everything in their power to give you an application that will shine.
What other services can a college consultant offer?
Some college consultants offer strategy services for underclassmen, application guidance for grad school applicants, basic tutoring across all subjects, and ongoing mentorship and guidance.
Final Thoughts on College Admissions Counseling
When you’re looking for the best college admissions consultants, you need someone who understands your goals. So you want a consultant that is familiar with your chosen career path and potential schools. Every consultant on this list offers stellar services, so it’s just a matter of finding the one that clicks.