By firstname.lastname@example.org (Thomas Jaworski) An Independent Educational Counselor (IEC) is an individual who is hired by families to provide expert college counseling assistance. IECs are qualified professionals who are independent of high schools and colleges and work on behalf of families in order find the best academic, social and financial ‘fit’ for students. An IEC is similar to a school counselor in that they assist students in the college process; yet in many ways they differ.
The U.S. Department of Education states the student to counselor ratio is 467:1. The American School Counselor’s Association asserts that the average Illinois school counselor works with 667 students. How can a school counselor find the time to meet with each member of the senior class, for an hour, to discuss their future plans, schedule their proper courses, find the best fit college, assist in filling out college applications, brainstorm and edit college essays, discuss financial limitations on college selections, assist with the FAFSA and CSS Profile, give them a ‘high five’ when they receive an acceptance letter and give them a big “I’m proud of you!” when they announce on May 1st where they have sent their deposit check too? An IEC typically works with a smaller caseload. IECA states that number is an average of thirty high school students, not just seniors. This allows each IEC to personally develop a relationship with each family. An IEC is also readily available via email or phone for quick questions, or can easily schedule appointments to meet with parents and/or students who have concerns, are stressed or would like to fill out ‘just one more essay.’ In the very competitive college application process, having someone behind you, helping to guide you along the way is something that is priceless.