Business Overview

School counselors are often overwhelmed with the number of students they counsel each year, leaving them little time to assist in the college planning process. College planning consultants guide families through the entire process, assisting in choosing schools, the completion of application forms and essays, and preparing for standardized tests.

Who is this business right for?

Those with a thirst for knowledge and who are passionate about helping others will excel in this profession. Your team’s primary focus will be to get to know these young adults on a personal level, using this knowledge to identify their strengths and weaknesses. Once you’ve tapped into this, you’re equipped to assist them in determining what schools are best for them and how best to proceed from there. Since colleges consistently change their admissions process, you must be committed to keeping up with these changes. A love of traveling is also important, as you’ll want to spend a portion of your time visiting college campuses, building relationships with individuals in the admissions office.

What happens during a typical day at a college planning business?

Your career as an independent education consultant (IEC) requires much one-on-one attention, so you’ll want to take a hands-on approach to your work. There are a number of activities that will keep you busy day in and day out.

Most days will include the following activities:

  • Meeting with families to discuss your business’ philosophy and to determine each student and family’s needs.
  • Assess academic and extracurricular achievements
  • Assist in drafting student’s personal resume
  • Research to identify colleges that are the best fit for your students
  • Arrange itineraries for visits to college campuses
  • Networking with admissions personnel at various universities, both to understand their unique process
  • Identifying the need for financial aid and scholarship opportunities
  • Strategizing the essay and other elements of the admissions process
  • Keep student on a timeline
  • Researching colleges across the country

You’ll have a small window of downtime each year. This should be spent on continuing education, meeting with college representatives, developing new marketing materials, and networking. A portion of each week will also be spent making appointments with prospective clients, assigning new customers to the team member you feel will be the best fit, and completing other administrative tasks.

What is the target market?

Your ideal customers recognize the value of higher education and understand the importance of a matching each student with the college that best fits their personality and long-term goals. Parents who understand that school counselors do not have the time and resources to properly guide their children through the process, and are willing to pay for their children to have a great experience will be your best customers.

How does a college planning business make money?

Consulting fees are paid for by the family and are set depending upon the services rendered. As the owner of the business, you’ll collect client fees, dispersing a percentage to employees, based on the clients they met with and the services they provided.

What is the growth potential for a college planning business?

As parents struggle to balance their work and social lives, while still offering their children the best opportunities, the need for college planning consultants has grown. In fact, many individual college planning consultants are so busy, that they’re booked up one to two years in advance, forced to turn new clients away. This is wonderful news for entrepreneurs, as the opportunity for expansion in this industry is boundless.