Here are the top five reasons you should hire an admissions consultant.
1. You have no time
Applying to private schools takes up a ton of time. First, you need to tour a half dozen or so schools. If you are married, both parents are strongly encouraged to attend every tour, meaning both parents will be missing work during the day, at least once a week for several weeks. A consultant will help you narrow down your choices so you’re not wasting time touring schools that are not a good fit for your family. Second, you will be required to write several essays for each application. A consultant will help you identify the most appealing and authentic responses and help you edit your essays. This saves hours and hours of time, allowing you to feel less stressed and more confident about your application and your chances for acceptance.
2. You’re not from the Bay Area
Ten years ago, when I was seeking a private school for my daughter, Greta, I had no idea where to begin. I grew up just outside of Boston, and my husband was from Southern California, so neither of us was familiar with the private school landscape in San Francisco. We started by asking friends and colleagues about local private schools, then we diligently researched those schools online. After all that work, we had a long list of potential great schools but we still felt confused and a little unsure about how to proceed. Had we worked with a consultant, he or she would have swiftly whittled down our list to best fit schools based on our family’s wants and needs, steering us away from schools that were not a synergistic match. In other words, a consultant will help you make well informed decisions about where to apply.
3. You are unsatisfied with your public school
This is a controversial topic, so I’ll begin with this. There are plenty of good public schools in San Francisco and if you are happy with your public school, stay there. But, if you feel like your public school is not a good fit or is not meeting the needs of you child, don’t hesitate to consider private schools as an option. If finances are a concern, apply for financial aid. Twenty five to thirty percent of all private school families are on financial aid. There is no shame in asking for help and these schools are eager and happy to provide.
Simply put, because independent schools are primarily funded by parents, these institutions have far more resources. This means that private schools have updated physical infrastructures like playgrounds, fields, gyms, and state of the art classrooms. This also means that there are a plethora of on site extra curricular activities to choose from like sports teams, drama classes, art classes, cooking classes, chess clubs, robotics and math teams, photography and sewing classes, choir, musical theatrical productions and much, much more. In short, this means that your child will be attending school that is, and always will be, fully funded, with top notch facilities and a wide variety of extracurricular activities to explore and enjoy.
As for the topic of teachers, I can only speak from experience. They are exceptional. When I had a back operation six years ago, my daughter, Bridget, misunderstood the procedure and thought I might die at the hospital. She explained this to her kindergarten teacher, who then held her and consoled her for over an hour while my daughter sobbed in her arms. Bridget’s teacher, Mrs. C., could tend to my daughter’s emotional needs because her classroom was staffed by two fully equipped teachers. This low teacher/student ratio allows for customized individual attention for children with learning differences, children who are struggling emotionally and children who are academically accelerating beyond their peers. Every child deserves to be seen, heard and loved. Yes, public schools can and do support all students, but at private school it’s a gimme.
From touring schools, to writing essays, to interviewing to finally choosing the right school, a private school consultant will help you effortlessly transfer from a public school setting and into a private school environment by guiding you every step of the way.
4. You want to change private schools
5. You need extra support
There are many steps in the application process. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon and all parents need to pace themselves by knowing their strengths and weaknesses. Some parents are fantastic at writing but insecure about interviewing. A consultant will help you brush up on your interviewing skills. Some parents are brilliant writers, but need assistance with editing and time management. A consultant will help you edit and stay on track. Some parents are overwhelmed by the whole process and simply need overall guidance and a little bit of emotional support. Again, that’s where a consultant can help as well.
Sometimes, we need a cheerleader, an organizer or a local expert to light the way. So, if you have no time, just moved to San Francisco, want to transfer from a public or private school, or simply need a helping hand, a consultant, like me, can help.