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TOEFL Tip #107: Use a U.S. Admissions Consultant When Applying to U.S. Universities

by Strictly English TOEFL Tutors on June 28, 2011

Strictly English refers our students to many U.S. Educational Consultants because we believe that U.S. Consultants are better prepared to help internationals get into U.S. universities and graduate programs. We’ve asked EqualApp to explain why. Here’s what they wrote!

The rumors, unfortunately, are true.

Application volume at most competitive colleges in the United States hit an all-time high this year. The year before was also record-breaking. And the year before that? The same.

What’s behind this trend? Two years ago, we saw the highest number of graduating high school seniors in the U.S. That number is predicted to hold steady for another six years, and then go up again. Other factors have contributed to the application increase: a greater percentage of high school seniors are continuing on to four-year colleges; the average student today applies to many more colleges; financial aid has made attending college possible for many; and international students come to the U.S. to study in greater numbers than ever before.

With all this competition, how can you give yourself an advantage in the admissions process? Although it is tempting to use an educational consultant from your own country, who speaks your language, knows your customs, and understands the strengths of your educational system, it might not always be to your advantage to use such home-grown consultants. Instead, working with a U.S. admissions consultant (or counselor) is one way to ensure that your application will stand out. This is very important to build an application that works for U.S. admissions officers. So, how can a U.S. admissions consultant help you?

1. Consultants who have worked in at U.S. admissions offices know what can get you admitted. Those who have evaluated applications can provide you with an insider’s perspective. It’s important to make sure that your consultant has actual admissions experience at a U.S. university! A consultant from your country that graduated from college X doesn’t have the same knowledge as a former American admissions officer at that same college.

2. Consultants provide an objective opinion. If you ask your parents or friends to look at your application essays, they’ll be biased and perhaps not give you their real opinion. Instead, a consultant will be more honest when it comes to giving you constructive criticism. U.S. admissions consultants will not write your essays, but instead give guidance on what works (and what doesn’t work) to get you admitted.

3. You’ve got lots of questions that you need answered. Non-U.S. consultants might not have the most recent information to your questions or will not know what works best in the U.S to gain admission. For example, consultants outside the U.S. might value high test scores, but U.S. admissions officers might instead value other areas of the application, like your leadership, non-academic activities, and essays.

4. Consultants think creatively to help you stand out. U.S. admissions consultants can give you ideas about summer and extracurricular activities to make you stand out and appear different from other applicants from your country. For example, perhaps almost all applicants from your country play a certain musical instrument or participate in science research. While these are terrific activities, it’s not very unique if everyone from your country “looks” the same as you! Instead, you’ll need guidance on joining other activities that highlight your uniqueness and leadership.

EqualApp is not only a U.S.-based admissions counseling firm, but our counselors are all former admissions officers from highly selective U.S. colleges and universities. Because we deliver our counseling “virtually” – by phone or online – we’re able to bring all the advantages of a U.S. education consultant into your home for a fraction of the cost of face-to-face educational consultants, regardless of location. Our counseling packages are more flexible and affordable than any other alternative out there.

Hiring a consultant is an important decision – be sure to do your homework and pick the consultant that you feel will most enable your success as an applicant.

Visit EqualApp‘s website to learn more about how they can help you in your application process!

Categories: Admissions Advice,Industry Issues

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