How To Select a College Admission Counselor

If you are confused about college admissions and which college to choose to pursue higher education in your field choice, you must consult an admission counselor to sort out your confusion and queries. This article details out how to select a college admission counselor. To know more, read on..

TCM Staff

14th April 2020

An admission counselor is one who bridges the gap between the Information and Admission Process. The best kind of counselor will spend time with you and suggest to you what kind of institution would be best academically, socially, geographically and financially. You do not want a counselor whose aim is to get you into the most prestigious school possible without considering whether it's a real match or not.

In this article, we discuss the things that you must keep in mind while selecting a college admission counselor.

An admission counselor can be a graduate of the university or a similar research university; a former student ambassador or a student leader. They can be an individual who is familiar with word processing, spreadsheet, and database software tools.

As an admission counselor, you must have a sound knowledge of colleges, their academic programs, admission policies, financial policies and procedures. You should possess excellent cross-cultural interpersonal, writing, communication and organizational skills. You should have the ability to present the college in a positive way to prospective students and their parents and to respond effectively to the needs of demanding students and parents.

When searching for a counselor, here are the four things for you must keep in mind

Call for a preliminary meeting

Applying to college can be mind-blowing, and knowing you have a mentor in your corner for advice and encouragement can make a vast difference. The best way is to meet face-to-face.

Measure your need with the counselor

The process of finding an admission counselor is one of the important decisions you will make. It is important to work with a professional who has proven expertise and can demonstrate the highest standards in education, training, ethics, and experience. Make sure that there should be a match between your needs and the counselor.

Find the one who can answer your financial aid questions

Selecting a college is one thing but paying for college is another experience entirely. A perfect financial aid plan should feature into every step of the college process. College counselors know how to evaluate schools, but not all of them understand how parents can reduce college costs.  You can ask any potential college counselors about their financial aid strategy.

Go through online directories

You can also consult various professional membership directories such as The Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA), and the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners. They post information about their members on their websites.  Members of these organizations have to meet tough requirements and the consultants of these groups have to follow a strict code of ethics. 

An Admission Counselor Skills

Decision Making Skills

  • Reduce student’s complicated decision down to simpler decisions by:

  • Listing all the issues of the students.

  • Providing the necessary information to the students.

  • Listing all possible solutions or options.

  • Weighing up the risks involved.

  • Deciding on what is important.

  • Making the decision.

Emphasizing Skills

  • Develop the skills of emphasizing those aspects which best fulfills students’ requirements.

  • Minimize less important aspects of counseling and talk more on the facts related to the information and admission process.

Connecting With Students

  • Strong interviewing skills needed to connect with students and make their admission process successful.

  • Knowledge of student’s academic records, area of interest, preferred location and college.

  • Build a strong rapport with the students

Strong Listening Skills

  • Face the client and maintain eye contact.

  • Remain ready to deliver the information.

  • Listening without judging and arriving at conclusions.

  • Listen to the words and try to picture what the client is saying.

  • Don’t interrupt and force your solution to be accepted.

  • Wait for the client to pause to ask questions.

  • Ask questions to ensure better understanding.

Verbal – Communication Skills

  • Be confident before you speak

  • Be well prepared about what you are going to talk about.

  • Be concise and comprehensible.

  • Have a clear understanding of the topic of discussion.

  • Try to add relevant humor to your talks.

Motivation Skills

  • Answer potential students’ questions correctly.

  • Motivate to take admission in the college by making them understand the benefits that they would get as the students of that particular college.


An admission counselor accepts payment only for work performed. They do not accept remunerations for referring clients to other consultants or other related professionals.  Admission counselors do not take profit, direct or indirect if they perform no work. They earn through their business. 

Admission counseling is a highly specialized and customized service provided to aspirants with an aim to optimize their chances of obtaining admission through the best possible way. Look for counselors who work with all kinds of students and avoid any counselor who is interested in shaping you into a Stepford applicant.

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