Admissions Consultants

Discussion in 'Service Academy Parents' started by Rotor, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. Rotor

    Rotor New Member

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    Do people ever hire admissions consultants to help students with interviews and essays?
    I see this for Ivy league admissions.
    Do people do it for Academies?
     
  2. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    I did this privately for civilian schools and for some academy applicants prior to being an ALO. But the academies are so specialized; and SMALL; by comparison of most universities, that I doubt you'll find individuals who do it specifically for the academy.

    Truth be told, interviews and essays are not that difficult; especially for the academies. Now; if you happen to be an individual who totally freezes up in interviews, and/or doesn't know how to write using proper English; and more importantly don't have others who are educated, like teachers, counselors, etc... proof read your essays; then that's something you need to fix immediately.

    In other words, you can hire a consultant, but you really don't need one. Especially for the academy. You have all the resources you need available to you absolutely free of charge. High school teachers and guidance counselors have been helping kids get into good schools for many years. Of course, if you're home schooled, that could be a problem.

    But again, the academies are so small and so specialized, that I've never seen any consultants that worked specifically at helping individuals get into the academies. Remember; applying to the academy is basically a 3-part process. 1) Your resume; 2) Receiving a nomination; 3) Being better than your competition. Civilian universities aren't quite as cut and dry. There's a lot of different angles to come from when applying to civilian universities. Best of luck.
     
  3. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    I've hired folks...

    I have taken all my kids to career guidance consultants that if I've paid for. My advice and experience to help my kids is out of date and obsolete. So I relied on a professional. They were extremely valuable when it came to ACT/SAT testing. They were a big help with interview skills. They taught them the same stuff I told them but it wasn't from out of mom and dads mouth.

    Great question!

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  4. buff81

    buff81 Moderator

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    SAF is free and available 24/7 :wink:
     
  5. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    :thumb: +100
     
  6. OBXmom

    OBXmom Member

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    I learned everything I needed from this site, for free. No one from my son's high school had ever even applied to a service academy. The information is here thanks to the many experienced, informed and generous contributors and moderators of this site.
    A few tips:
    Each service academy forum has a "sticky" section. Read these first.
    Use the "search" function to find just about any topic you can think of.
    Don't be afraid to ask questions. It helps to be specific.

    It's my personal opinion (so feel free to ignore it) that your money would be better spent on SAT/ACT testing fees. Take them both, take them multiple times.

    With the help from the kind folks here, my son was able to secure two noms to USNA, two noms and an appointment to USAFA, and an NROTC scholarship.

    There are contributors here who are currently in admissions, BGO's, ALO's, senators and congressmen's staff and many other official capacities. Most advisors formerly held such positions. The application and admission process changes from year to year. I believe the information found here is the most accurate and up to date you can find...and its free!
     
  7. Pima

    Pima Parent

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  8. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    How much you offering? :biggrin:
     
  9. Rotor

    Rotor New Member

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    Ok.
    Thanks for the thoughts.

    It seems like most people prefer the forum (but that is also why you are on the forum :) SAF is definitely a great resource.

    I got into USAFA without any "outside" help- but that probably wasn't the best thing. I didn't ask my parents or anyone at school. I didn't really think to prepare for the interview. It was 1997-98 so I have no idea how I would have found a consultant anyway.

    I think today, with all the ways to communicate- it might be worth it to do mock interviews over skype or have someone proofread your essays.

    There is some percentage of applicants who are doing this already- for academies and civilian colleges, right?
     
  10. mjm

    mjm Member

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    when will it end

    In the areaI live in there is a company ( probably several) that will take over the whole college application process 'soup to nuts'" for you and your child for the mere sum of $6,000.00 They will do all the test prep, help you with applications, help you write your essay, figure out which colleges are a "match" , help with required paperwork, and coach you through your interview.

    What is going to happen when this child goes to college and they don't have a consultant to help them?
     
  11. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    No offense, but I think you are over thinking it.

    We did not do any mock interviews with our DS. DS received all 3 MOC noms. He also was awarded an AFROTC scholarship.

    He had a great ALO. His ALO met with him 1x a month over the summer to edit his essays, took him to Daedalian dinners on base, etc.

    The big thing for his ALO was he talked to us. He interviewed us. He wanted to know if this was DS's dream, or DS doing it for the folks. The mock interviews at home might give cause/fear in their mind that this is parental guidance pushing the line.

    The only thing we did for DS when it came to it, was drive him to the interviews, and put a pull up bar in his doorframe. The essays, and prompting questions for interviews were nothing we ever touched.

    A question like yours will get 50 different answers. There is mine, now throw it in the circular filing cabinet and do what is best for your DS and your family.

    xposted with mjm.

    +1 to them. This is the last yr you can give them some support while allowing them to test their wings. JMPO.
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    As Pima and others are saying, this is NOT rocket science. You do not need a consultant. You don't need practice mock interviews. I will say that for a civilian university; especially the highly coveted and competitive ones; a consultant can be a good idea. That's because there's so many facets to how to get accepted.

    But for the academy; you as the applicant obviously has to take care of your grades, physical fitness, getting into extra curricular activities, sports, volunteering, etc.... That's your job. No one can help you with that.

    Next. When you do your essays and such for the academy and your MOC nominations, have people who are smarter than you, proof read it. You'd be so surprised to know how many applications and essays I've read with basic spelling and grammar errors. The content/subject matter is already chosen for you. You don't need someone to tell you what to write about. But someone to proof read for you would be great.

    Then; as far as interviews go, there's only 2. Your MOC and your ALO/BGO/MALO. Chances are, the ALO/BGO/MALO is going to be a bit "Less formal". At least for many it is. But as for practicing for this, start by assessing your communication skills. Ask your teachers what they think of your communications skills. Do you use the word "LIKE" every 3 words??? Do you say "Ummmm" every 4 words??? If you give a report in class or need to give any type of speech, do you jitter around??? Are your hands flapping around? Are you nervous? etc.... Once you have assessed what your strengths and weaknesses are, simply make it a point to correct them. Make a bet with your younger brother/sister that every time you say "Like" or "um", you'll give them a dollar.

    Bottom line: There isn't 1 thing in the academy application process, that you need to "Hire" a consultant or professional for. It's a waste of money. Again; I will concede that for civilian schools, where there's many more angles to come at it from, a professional could help. But you've already taken the best step you could. You came to this forum. How many of the 12,000+ applicants to the air force academy do you think visit this forum??? There are 17,266 members in this forum. MANY of them, once they get to the academy or graduate; or are parents of such; no longer visit here. You can't turn lead into gold. All you can do, is be the best that you are capable of. You don't need a paid professional consultant to do that.
     
  13. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    I would agree if you are applying Harvard, Yale, etc., maybe hiring a consultant is smart....just make sure you get references from those that got the BFE from HYPPSM using the consultant.

    Off topic, but I have to ask, what do your GC's do? At our kids school, starting their jr yr, they meet quarterly with their GC. Their fall sr yr. it is monthly until they submit all of their applications.

    OBTW, CC I laughed about the like and umm comment. My kids learned that when they were in middle school preparing for a speech. I use to count their um, uh, like in the speech. I was a hard arse until they became cognizant of doing it. Good speech dear...did you realize you said um, uh like 42 times...now try it again. In the end they were so aware of it they would take a breath, think and than speak. Um, UH or like was maybe 5 times.

    That came from when I was getting my Masters. After dozens of presentations, I would start counting UM, UH, LIKE and than it became a pet peeve of mine everytime I heard it. It is now our DS1's biggest pet peeve when he hears a peer brief.

    For our DS when we drove him to the interview he popped in his earplugs and listened to his IPod. We didn't talk. We didn't pepper him with questions. It was his way from yrs of athletic competitions to get in the zone. We respected his space. Like I said he got all 3 MOC noms, and according to his ALO was his number 1.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2013
  14. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Pros and Cons

    When I used our career consultant it was for more of a broad spectrum. My kids were looking at several schools. My kids were looking for schools that had their sports and he could tell them what grants, scholarships and other endowments were available. He also assisted with head hunting and had up to date info on company infrastructure. He was a great help with understanding the technique of taking the standardize testing. Which was huge achieving the goals they were striving for. That was the single most important skill. His services would be sitting down timing each questions and analyzing their thinking process. The SAT/ACT test scores are needed for all the competitive schools, simply, the higher the better. I felt it was important for their Plan B. You need to always be thinking about the Plan B.



    Professionals in the business world use these types of consultants with inside information all the time. I guess it just depends on what your needs are. SAF can be a great source, most of the folks here are good hearted and well intended to helping find the path to an academy. Lets look at it this way and I will PO a few people now, you don’t know who I am, you don’t know my back ground, you don’t know my credentials, matter of fact you don’t even know my name. You get what you pay for. Just be careful were you are giving your trust.

    I’m just a simple vessel assist tug captain, don’t know much. Or am I?

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  15. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    Confused...you used a head hunter?

    Basically that is how I read a career consultant.

    I take no offense at all, nor am I PO'd. I will just flip your comment. When you hire them, you are hiring an employee. You want to know their success rate in their field.

    Ask them, have you had any SA applicants? How did you get along with the ALO/BGO/MALO? Did they get noms...from all 3? Percentage that got appointed? Their cgps, SAT, ECs?

    If they have never worked with an SA or ROTC applicants IMPO you are wasting your money.

    They don't know that AFROTC is the only ROTC that does not superscore the SAT/ACT. It is the only ROTC not tied to the college, but only to the cadet.

    They don't know how to work the DoDMERB world....that DoDMERB DQ's, branches waive.

    Thus, in the end, if your child is going for a ROTC or SA appointment, the consultant that has no experience does not assist at all when it comes to the nuts and bolts of the scholarship/apptmt.

    Please understand, HYPPSM, I totally agree because many have connections, and know the hooks for their system. SA, IMPO, sorry if that POs anybody is a waste of good money.

    They have a consultant assigned to them. They are called ALO/BGO/MALO. Free of charge! The big bonus, they all are part of the admission system for an SA. They lived that life. They also know your competition in your area, because they are assigned to many candidates. They weren't hired by a parent.
     
  16. Packer

    Packer Member

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    In our part of the world the GC's are really not much help. First there is one GC per year group (~500 students per grade). Two they don't have a clue about the academies even though this school has between 1 and 3 accepted every year. It is fantastic that some schools have great GC systems but I really don't think that is the norm. My son supplied a resume for one GC recommendation that was required and for another actually supplied a draft of his letter of rec at the GC's request. The GC tells him, I want to help but I don't know you well enough to write anything helpful.
    Sorry for getting a bit off topic.
     
  17. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Pros and Cons

    I don't disagree with you PIMA. Like I said we were also working on Plan B with several of my kids. (Kids, I mean my kids) I have always encourage my kids to serve in our armed forces to learn and gain an understanding of how fortunate we are and need to always, always, always give back and be in the service of others. I was just trying to relay my experience with a career consultant service. The service we used is very good. If they didn't know they would find out or get us in touch with someone who knew. It was stunning to be in contact and network with them. You couldn't find this same service unless you live in New York or Boston as an example. Its just what your own needs are. We are always exploring options.

    Originally, I was told my DS was awarded an AoG scholarship to attend NWP. Buff81 had investigated this in detail because things did not add up in her experience. She later suggested my DS had received a scholarship to attend NWP through our local WP parent group, which is kinda an AoG only private. Buff81 is probably correct with her investigation, I trusted her, I have no reason not to. I think Buff81 is a person who puts a lot of heart and soul into this blog like so many others do. Many of you know each other in the real world. SAF is a good source, but I was posting our experience and it was confusing many others. My DS experience was not of the norm.

    I still scratch my head about the scholarship and have asked several folks at our parents WP group. Still can’t get a straight answer. I just wanted to help someone else out.

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  18. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

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    What do you call non paid SA consultants? FFRs, BGOs, ALOs
     
  19. usna1985

    usna1985 USNA Alumnus

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    Don't waste your money. I would guess that 99.9% of kids who successfully apply to a SA use their parents, their school counselors, their BGO/ALO/MALO, sources like this, the library, etc. And this includes folks who have zero ties to the military.

    Consider this: if your child can't get into a SA on his/her own, how will he/she ever manage to make it through the SA on his/her own? And, trust me, getting through is much harder than getting in.
     
  20. Packer

    Packer Member

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    I don't think you one needs a consultant but there are plenty of kids that could make it through a SA but don't get in. Given that, the whole getting through is harder than getting in sounds pretty hollow.
     

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