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School of Art Institute of Chicago

School of Art Institute of Chicago

Balancing college applications and schoolwork as an art student can be a daunting task, especially in regards to working on a portfolio which matches the requirements of a range of different programs. On choosing which colleges to apply to, The Red Pen was tremendously beneficial in helping me formulate a timeline of when I should get my SAT attempts done, start working on my Common App essay and finalise my college portfolio so I always had a clear idea of what I needed to work on and where I was headed next. My counsellor was always enthusiastic to discuss potential ideas for college essays or to clarify any doubts that I or my mother might have had. The Red Pen made the college application process much less stress-inducing and much more exciting, as it should be!

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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?