What is a College Admissions Tutor?
College admissions tutors -- or "admissions consultants" -- will charge anywhere from $75 an hour to $3,000 for a long-range plan, based how much attention your child needs. Their backgrounds will vary, but most have experience as either high school guidance counselors or college admissions representatives (people who work for a university to review applications and decide whether or not acceptance should be granted).
These specialized tutors will help your child assess this or her skills and then hone skills that need improvement for college admission. They are also well versed in the distinct personalities or cultures of individual colleges or universities, and can identify the right matches for your child when it comes to higher education.
How To Tell if Your Child Needs a College Admissions Tutor
Keep open lines of communication with your child and her teachers, and try to spot problem areas early -- possibly as early as her freshman year of high school.
- Test grades Look at her previous tests and identify the areas in which she might need improvement.
- Report cards Set up a meeting with her guidance counselor to go over her academic history to identify potential problem spots.
- Stress or frustration Ask your child if she thinks she might need help, especially if she's struggling in a subject that she will need to master for standardized tests and college entrance requirements.
If you identify any problems, or your child, her teacher, or her guidance counselor suggests it, you should start looking for a tutor. You can send your child to SAT prep classes regardless of her academic history just to get her used to taking the test.
If her essay-writing skills are the concern, ask an English tutor to work with her on the basics of writing a good essay. Have the tutor outline topics your child might like to cover for her college essays.
The longer you have to deal with potential problems, the better off your child will be, and the easier the testing and college admissions process will be on her. Also, the closer it gets to crunch time, the more you'll have to hunt (and pay for) for a good college admissions tutor.
National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC)
Tiffany Smith is the senior associate editor here at Care.com. She has written for All You, Time for Kids and the Boston Globe. And as a former babysitter, she knows a lot about fun games to play with kids. Getting them to eat their veggies -- thats a different story! Follow her on Twitter at @tiffanyiswrite.