Should you work with an admissions consultant? Is paying for professional MS admission counseling services worth it? What are the advantages?
Look around, and you’ll see your cousins, friends, colleagues, and perhaps, even yourself veering towards that application to study abroad.
In fact, according to a report presented by V Muraleedharan (Minister of State) earlier this year in Lok Sabha, over 2 lakh Indian students went abroad for studying in 2022.
Studying abroad isn’t a dream only of the privileged anymore. With the rapidly growing interest in moving overseas for the dream degree, as expected, the competition becomes too fierce. To flatten this demand (of counselors) and supply gap, we are seeing a rapid rise in independent admission counselors AKA professional admission counselors.
Who are Professional Admission Counselors (Admission Consultants)?
In layman’s terms, independent admission counselors are tailor-made and knowledgeable experts who work closely with you and are not connected to any college or university. Which means they are putting your interests before any target-driven pitch. Of course, these personalized services come at a steeper charge.
An everyday metaphor for independent admission counselors is your personal trainer in the gym. They are solely focused on your aspirations and work closely with you to alleviate your chances of the best shot and best-suited university for you.
Admission consultants are specialists, who are armed with expertise in the field that you choose. They provide career guidance, and resumé building and help the candidates realize their complete potential rather than simply place them in a university. Read professional admission counsellors vs traditional overseas education counsellors.
To throw some more light on the ease and upside of working with professional admission counselors, we’re going to highlight some of the stories of students, who’ve been there, made the choice, and studied happily… ever after.
How independent admission counseling can help study-abroad aspirants?
Hear it from the students themselves!
Susmita Bhowmick [MS Information Systems at UCD with Partial Scholarship]
“I’m glad I worked with Tanmoy Ray as my admission consultant. From sharing relevant resources to complete my SOP and lots of tricks and methods for writing my CV making it compact.
He not only helped me shortlist the universities but also taught me how to tailor every SOP based on the university and the subject I am choosing.
Sure, there are many agencies who are willing to provide support, and at a lower cost also perhaps, but the undivided attention you get from an admission counselor is beyond compare. It was a perfect blend of professional and personal support which is often needed by a new student.”
Satya Naren Pachigolla [MS Business Analytics Admit at UT Austin]
“Given the various costs involved along the process starting from the exam fees to college applications, people get skeptical about investing more for working with a consultant. But what they don’t realize is that this small investment might play a big role in your getting into your target university.
I believe that in the process of college admissions, we should take all the help we can get, and that’s exactly what I did, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
I preferred the fact that I got to write my own drafts of the essay. It helped me add my own personal touch to the essays, but the edits my admissions counselor provided at the end were helpful to bring my essays to the correct shape.”
Mohit Ahuja [MSc Artificial Intelligence Admit as a Reapplicant from Non-CS Background]
“We kicked off with an introductory call where the entire process was explained. I chose to go in for the entire package as I felt that I would need help in all areas.
There was a lot of to and fro about university shortlisting. Additionally, the reasoning and logic behind building the personal statement were explained carefully. There was no hand-holding – only steering and guidance.
Tanmoy would come back with revised drafts and we would debate openly about each point. With his help, I also reached out to a few professors to request for supervision on my potential MSc dissertation. This clarified a lot of things about the university, program, and professors.
Finally, the aspect that I found really helpful was after the application process – when the results started coming in. It was extremely helpful to have some guidance on how to face rejections and be patient. This humane aspect of the process was something I couldn’t recommend enough.”
Siddhant Sharma [MS Business Analytics Admits as Recent Graduate from Non-CS Background]
“I found the package and service I took to be exactly what I had in mind and as a result a good value for money.
The 1:1 online counselling session was great in terms of getting acquainted and knowing how the process works. Profile evaluation was also useful for me in getting to know where I stand/what I lack. The brainstorming process then focused on highlighting key achievements.
Multiple reviews and edits were done at a later stage to shape the essays according to the specific university requirement. My experience with Team Stoodnt was extremely professional and adequate consideration was given to my work timings and schedule.
I could also schedule a connect/call with the consultant at your leisure which was helpful.”
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Neha (Name Changed) [MS Business Analytics Admit as Reapplicant from Arts Background with 9-Year Career Gap]
“I had a long career break so decided to pursue MS (Comp. Sc.) to enter the workforce. The first time I applied, I completely underestimated the application process. So the result was obvious, I got rejected from all the schools I applied for. I was not so sure where my application was lagging. So I decided to take a consultation session with Tanmoy Ray.
In a 1:1 session with Tanmoy, he told me that having a career break should not be an issue, it’s what I do in the break that really matters. He told me to learn the latest tools and technologies to showcase my eagerness to learn and readiness for a top university.
I had a very limited budget to spend on professional admission counseling services; especially when I had got multiple rejections in the last round.
I found bite-size services are pretty useful and the pricing is very reasonable. Not everyone requires everything. A student should have a choice of what kind of service he/she wants to take and that’s what Stoodnt’s independent admission counselors offer.
I think receiving feedback from relatives/colleagues is not as effective as feedback from a consultant. Their feedback can be biased sometimes and they will not be as updated with the current industry trends as consultants are.”
Pakshal Shah [MSc Engineering Management Admits]
“Hybrid counselling at Stoodnt was commendable. Working with an Independent Admission consultant and University representative gave me a smooth experience in terms of pre and post-application processes. I was able to coordinate with the team anytime which turned the hassle into convenience.
From reviewing the application (CV, SOP & LOR) to giving the right guidance on which university to choose and what all criteria should be considered, he was on point and sound in his approach. I was introduced to Sunita Bose by Tanmoy.
Counsellors over there were easily approachable and I was able to ask even the silliest of doubts. Their expertise in the UK helped me to shortlist the right set of Universities based on my profile. Even after receiving my offer letter, I received constant assistance from them and it continues.”
Shahid Shakil [MS Data Science Admit at Rochester with 40% Scholarship]
“Earlier, I had signed up with a test-prep cum study abroad consultancy. But, that agency had a one size fits all approach and sent the same set of docs to everyone and put zero effort into understanding my profile and my story.
On the contrary, when I spoke to Tanmoy (after signing up for a 1-on-1 counselling session for MS Data Science application consultation), he went through several strategies that I was not even considering and he patiently heard what I aspired to and suggested several tips on how I could achieve them. After a couple of sessions, I was convinced I should go ahead and take the 3-University package.
The best part of working with independent admission consultants is that you have the privilege of choosing someone who you think has a similar work ethic as yours and has expertise in the domain that you are trying to get into.
For example, someone who has helped an applicant get an admit to a Biomedical Engineering or Artificial Intelligence program and understands the domain better has an edge over someone who just works with MBA applicants. The initial 1-on-1 counselling sessions can help ensure that the consultant is approachable and if he is someone you can work with for the entire process.”
Sumeet (Name Changed) [MS CS Admits at Cornell, Georgia Tech & Rice after Multiple Rejections]
More personalized feedback is a clear standout in working with professional admission consultants.
The help from Team Stoodnt (Tanmoy & Ajay) in making me understand how to modify my SoP and play to my strengths brought a lot of clarity in the process.
Initially, it (MS admission counseling services) seemed relatively expensive which might be a reason why people are hesitant to consult. However, they’ll realize through the process that the fee is worth it.
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