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Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University

Working with The Red Pen team has been an incredible experience! My consultants spent time getting to know me before starting on the application process. My 2000-word brainstorming document became a central part of my applications. We talked about each college; understanding the culture made it easier for me to write unique essays for every college. They were diligent about the quality of my essays: I wrote about 13 drafts of my common app essay!

The Red Pen team members were always accessible. They helped me break my boundaries by pushing me to work harder and present my best. As someone who was juggling school work and extracurricular activities, the US admissions process seemed daunting. But, we strategized logistics and the team helped me stay on top of the different timelines and deadlines for each application. If you are embarking on your college journey, you can’t find a more trusted counsellor and good friend than The Red Pen.

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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?