Posted in HS4CC

Parent Question: I’m considering hiring a college consultant. Do you know what they charge?

Great question, and yes, I do know what they charge! Let me show you the current rates and see if I can change your mind.

Finding consulting fees is hard- most independent education consultants (IEC) keep their rates confidential, or at the very least require you to hear their pitch first. A good way to find industry averages is to go inside the professional organizations that educational consultants belong to. A large and well-respected professional association is The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA). Professional members generally have a master’s degree or higher and may years of experience inside and outside of a college setting. It’s worth noting that educational consulting is not a licensed profession, so at a minimum, be sure to look carefully at your consultant’s credentials. IECA members report having an average of 12 years professional experience.

The trick, however, is in knowing whether or not they have the knowledge to help you accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish.

2019 Average Independent Education Consulting Fee*

  • From experts with less than 5 years experience: $4,100
  • From experts with more than 5 years experience: $5,200

*Mark Sklarow, Mega Trends IECA Webinar, February 2019.

Typical Consulting Services

Career Exploration

Admissions Test Prep / Academic Tutoring

Admissions Applications / Essays

High School Course Selection

College Selection

It’s important to consider that public and private school students don’t have unlimited access to their guidance counselor. Data shows that the current student to counselor ratios:
Nationally 476 students per 1 high school guidance counselor
California 1,016 students per 1 high school guidance counselor

In a homeschool, with the parent(s) serving as guidance counselor(s), homeschooled students have the luxury of one on one counseling for their entire lives! We are privileged to not only have that close relationship, but we are the most invested and care more than any hired professional.

As you consider whether or not to hire a consultant, ask yourself these important questions:

  • Is your top concern “getting in” to a specific college?
    • If the college or university has selectivity of less than 30% and you have at least 2 years before your student’s application cycle, you may benefit from the guidance of an independent college consultant. In this situation, good advice has time to be implemented and your student has time to position themselves as a top candidate.
    • If the college or university accepts more than 30% of applicants but is not “open enrollment” use the college’s own website to research their expectations for an incoming student and exceed those targets. Redirect those funds towards dual enrollment, Advanced Placement, or other academically rigorous opportunities like SAT tutoring or summer enrichment programs.
    • Over 80% of all colleges and universities in the United States are “open enrollment” which is to say all eligible students simply pay tuition and begin. 100% of public community colleges are “open enrollment.” If your student is pursuing a 2 year degree or plans to attend your state university, redirect those funds towards earning college credit in high school instead of on a consultant.
  • Is your top concern their ACT, SAT, or admissions placement test? In every case, your funds are better spent using a private tutor, test prep program, and practice exams.
  • Is your top concern finding scholarships? This is outside the scope of practice for most IECs. Instead, use a robust website like the free resources at JLV College Counseling to research your own college scholarship opportunities.

Homeschooling for College Credit

The average family in our community earns at least 30 college credits in high school and attends at least 1 college in high school. Most of our families attend one of the 3,200+ colleges that are NOT competitive admissions, therefore simply opting out of the crazy.

Our members know that getting a college degree is simply a matter of planning and executing a resourceful plan. Sure, some occupations require careful selection of a college with a unique specialty major, but in fields like liberal arts, business, or computer science, motivated students can start (and sometimes finish) these degrees in high school for a fraction of the cost.

The leverage HS4CC parents have over others is understanding that you save the most money when your teen earns college credit before high school graduation, and that everyone pays full price after high school graduation.

  • 13 states have free dual enrollment (college classes) which allows students to complete some or all of their college degree NOW for free.
  • 78% of all colleges accept CLEP exams, which allows you to accumulate college credit for $0.
  • Most states have transfer agreements between the community college and university, which guarantee a students credit earned in high school will transfer into their state university after.
  • Over 100 colleges make up the ACE Partner List that allow students to accumulate college credit alternatively and complete as much as 75% of the degree using low-cost self-paced programs like Sophia, Studycom, CLEP, Straighterline, ALEKS, Statisticscom, Saylor Academy, and more.
  • A motivated student can complete 3 years of college (90 credits) in high school for under $3,000.

If your exceptional student is aiming for the tippy top, then you may want or need to hire an educational consultant. For average students attending average colleges, you’ll get more bang for your buck by being your teen’s own guidance counselor! Save that money and use it for college!


Watch the FREE Mini-Course: Homeschooling for College Credit Basics (about 1 hour). You’ll learn how to start injecting college credit into your homeschool right now! I can’t recommend this highly enough, it will help you in valuable ways and will answer all of your most pressing questions.

Ask for help: Each state has a private Facebook group led by a volunteer moderator and filled with parents like you! These small groups are tremendous resources of peer-to-peer support. Find my group

HS4CC Consultants are experts in Homeschooling for College Credit: If you want to book a low cost private video call with Jennifer cook-DeRosa or someone from our team, you can sign up on our HS4CC Academy page.


Executive Director of Homeschooling for College Credit