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When's the best time to start working with a college consultant?

Updated: Feb 22, 2023

College applications are due in December -- very early January, if you're pushing it -- of your senior year. They're due in October if you're applying Early Action or Early Decision. So, how long does it take to get the applications ready? And if you think you might ask for help, when is the best time to talk to a college consultant?

If applications were as simple as filling in blanks, maybe it would take a month and you could start in September. But, you probably know, in the U.S. there are more than a few extra hurdles beyond sending in your grades in school: Forget the personal statement and the UC Personal Insight Questions, because you've got college-specific supplement essays, maybe twenty or more of them; and you've also got materials to gather, like recommendations, transcripts, and score reports.

This isn't all, unless your application looks just the way you want it to look and you wouldn't want any guidance ahead of time to help you strengthen your course schedule, extracurricular resume, and list of honors/awards.

My College Torch programs begin as early as 9th grade, but if you're a high school student feeling application anxiety, a great time to start the College Hero one-one application program is at the end of sophomore year.

In junior year, we research colleges, create a college list, discuss financial aid strategy, create a college application plan with deadlines, and start the UC Personal Insight Questions.

If the fall hits you and your applications seem suddenly due, don't give up hope. A college consultant will help you structure the time you've got left and make the most of your effort while every hour counts. You are welcome to contact me and see if I have any space, or if I can refer you to someone who does.

Lastly, don't say au revoir to your counselor as soon as you press Submit and send your application off to your dream schools. Your consultant can be a resource to help you achieve second semester goals (yes, these are a thing!) and can help you wisely and tactfully reply to correspondence from your favorite colleges when you need to.

And in April, you bet we want to celebrate with you!

Want to make sure you have a strong college plan and don't miss any of the important milestones? Download my completely free College Admission Timeline below!

Robert Powers (M.A. Johns Hopkins) is the college consultant at College Torch. He is an expert in colleges and the college admissions process. You can reach him by emailing Parents are able to join his private Facebook group for Parents of College-Bound Students.

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