Social Engagement: High
What’s What: College admissions and the cost of higher education have become increasingly complex for families to navigate. If you have experience in the field, enjoy working with young people and have a knack for project management, this could be the flexible career for you.
Amava Take: High school students today are facing the bewildering landscape of increased competition for fewer spots at some colleges and across-the-board mounting expenses for most forms of higher education, both public and private. If you have experience with the process, a passion for education and a knack for helping young people find their path and voice, working as a college admissions counselor could be a fulfilling way to make some money.
From the Front Lines:
What kinds of candidates are you looking for to fill these positions?
The best college counselors tend to be open-minded, flexible and relaxed people who can reassure their clients that there are many paths.
Any tips for first-timers to make it a productive and fulfilling experience?
Visit as many schools as you can and learn about specialized programs, merit scholarships and financial aid so that you can best advise your clients.
What’s a typical daily schedule like?
If you run your own business it is up to you. If you work for an existing company, you can work it out with them, but most work is done when students are free, so that usually means afternoons, evenings and weekends.
From the Trenches:
What’s the most satisfying part of the job/experience?
When students find a true fit with a school and they share with me how much they are thriving.
How would you describe the hard parts?
Rejections are hard, but disappointment after enrollment at a school is harder. I want all my clients to feel great about their choices and that doesn’t always happen.
What do you find yourself repeating most often about your job?
Nobody really knows what colleges want in any given year, but most students can be happy and thrive almost anyplace with the right attitude.
Special Requirements: This article outlines some of the basic requirements and more information is available from the Independent Educational Consultants Association. Conferences, trainings and retreats to keep you updated on the latest information are highly recommended. The National Association for College Admissions Counseling also has a group for new admissions professionals that provides support and resources. You can get a professional certificate in college admissions counseling online at more than one accredited institution.
Finding a Position: Once you’ve gotten accredited and affiliated with organizations to ensure ongoing learning and connection, you can market yourself as you would with any other business. You can also try the career center at the National Association for College Admissions Counseling.