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In a panic, I got in touch with The Red Pen a few days before Round 2 application deadlines on a friend’s recommendation who had worked with them previously. They were very accommodating and friendly, always available for a chat and quick with their feedback. We brainstormed school options that were the best fit for my profile. With their guidance, I was able to tell my story in a compelling way. My writing improved significantly – there was a big difference between my first few drafts and the final essays. I can safely say that working with The Red Pen team was a great decision and would definitely recommend them to all who are applying for an MBA.

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The fundamental role of independent educational consultants is to help students explore college opportunities and find the right place for them to succeed academically and socially. IECs don’t get students admitted—they help students demonstrate why they deserve to be admitted at appropriately chosen schools. They help students find colleges they might not have heard of—often out of their region—and they help students put their best foot forward.

Here are 5 things families should consider when looking to hire an IEC:

  1. Does the IEC belong to a professional association such as IECA with established and rigorous standards for membership?
  2. Do not trust any offers of guaranteed admission to a school or a certain minimum dollar value in scholarships.
  3. Ensure that the IEC adheres to the ethical guidelines for private counseling established by IECA.
  4. Find an IEC that visits college, school, and program campuses and meets with admissions representatives regularly in order to keep up with new trends, academic changes and evolving campus cultures.
  5. Do they attend professional conferences or training workshops on a regular basis to keep up with regional and national trends and changes in the law?