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  • What is an Independent Educational Consultant?
    An Independent Educational Consultant (IEC) provides individual attention to a student and family, firsthand knowledge of colleges and the admissions process to various types of schools, and devoted time to explore all options. With their extensive knowledge of colleges, IECs can guide students to better choices, and provide vital help in weighing factors such as cost, location, and curriculum. With an IEC, your student has the opportunity to explore a wider variety of options and discuss possibilities in a meaningful way. Because we are not tied to any specific school or college, as a member of the IECA, we are not burdened with unrelated duties, and are available at the family's convenience - not just during school hours during the school year. As a member of the IECA, our Principal Consultant (Steve Colley) adheres to the Principles of Good Practice and is required to annually sign and follow the principles as part of his Association membership in good standing.
  • Why hire an Independent Educational Consultant when my high school student already has a counselor at school?
    While high school counselors are the backbone of our high schools and work incredibly hard, they normally have limited time to help college bound students because of their additional responsibilities. Hiring an Independent Educational Consultant can enhance their work by adding a devoted member to the team that is helping your child get into their best fit college. We will provide the time and expertise to empower your student and work with counselors to strengthen their support. Read more at "Why Hire a College Consultant"
  • What is the consulting process like at Waypoint College Consulting?
    We first begin with a free 45 minute consultation with any interested student or family member. This is an opportunity to answer any questions, while we assess the student's academic and extracurricular progress and their current goals for high school and college. Based on this information, we discuss an appropriate consulting service to suit the student and family's requirements, and then tailor a package specifically for that student as needed. Once a student signs on with our services we provide them with access to our student portal and send our detailed consulting plan to the family. This will provide a detailed list of meetings, objectives, and deadlines that we will follow together. Learn more about our services here.
  • How involved are parents during a student's work with you?
    We ask that parents at least maintain a minimum level of awareness regarding the progress we make with students each session, and that open communication be maintained between us on a regular basis. We also ask that parents give us an opportunity to work with their student and allow them to express themselves authentically and openly so we can craft a strong and genuine narrative to colleges that best fit their interests, personality, and goals.
  • Are you focused on helping certain types of students?
    Absolutely not. We are here to serve every unique student from all types of backgrounds at any point in their journey to college - from 8th graders to non-traditional college bound adults. While most of our clients are traditional high school students from both public and private schools, we have also served 1st generation students, low-income families, military servicemembers, veterans, musicians, athletes, and international students. All of our students have applied to schools ranging from community colleges, to state schools, private colleges, music programs, art programs, service academies, international universities, and to highly selective schools in the Ivy League.
  • Can Waypoint College Consulting still help my student if we do not live in your local area?
    Yes! While most of our students are local in Central Arkansas, we have many clients that live on both sides of the United States, as well as students from Europe, Asia, and South America. We work just as efficiently remotely as we do in-person.
  • How do I get started?
    You can give us a call at 501-712-3252, email us at, or schedule a free consultation to discuss how we can help your child. Learn more about our services here.
  • When should we start the process of applying to colleges?
    Most students begin the process the summer before their senior year. Once college applications open in August, students work through their applications in the fall. Early Decision and Early Action applications are mostly due on November 1st and Regular Decision applications are normally due in January. However, at Waypoint, we provide in-depth assessments and counseling earlier in a student's junior year, enabling them to discover and create a balanced list of colleges that will fit their interests, personality, goals, and financial situation. Furthermore, we advise students to visit colleges throughout their time in high school to gain first-hand insight of the potential campuses they will call home for four years.
  • How many colleges should I apply to?
    Generally, we recommend that our students apply to a range of five to nine colleges, comprising of two to three "safety schools", a few "target schools", and two to three "reach schools" that may be more selective and challenging for the student due to their GPA and test scores. It is important for students to maintain a balanced list to avoid undercutting themselves by applying only to "safety schools" or risking not being admitted anywhere by applying solely to "reach schools".
  • Do I need to take the ACT and SAT?
    While many colleges and universities are going "test-optional", we advise students to prepare for either the ACT or SAT. We offer a diagnostic test to determine which test (ACT or SAT) best fits your student and then we offer additional test prep in our services. It is true that many schools won't consider a test score if you choose not submit them, but the majority of institutional merit aid (scholarships) are triggered by varying levels of test scores.
  • Should I apply to a college that I likely can't afford?
    We always advise parents not to just look at the "sticker price" of a specific college, but to consider potential factors that can bring that price down - such as the FAFSA, institutional needs-based aid, scholarships, and other sources of financial aid. That is not to say to ignore the price, but to take a deeper look at the financial question for each college. This is one of the most important considerations in college planning and one that we help families navigate with our College Aid Pro. Learn more about our financial aid counseling and College Aid Pro.
  • Should I apply early?
    It depends. If you are certain about a school you want to attend, then we recommend applying early either through the Early Action or Early Decision application (this varies from school to school). Applying early can possibly increase your chances of admission, but can also lock you into that school if it is a binding agreement. Applying later might benefit a student that needs the first semester of senior year to showcase their high school record in a more positive light than if they had applied in the fall or give them more time if they are not quite certain.
  • Need help preparing for college or navigating the college admissions process?
    We work in-depth with students of all types to become acquainted with their unique talents and interests. We use this to guide their path toward a college that will fit their personality, interests and allow them to thrive. ​ No matter where students are in high school, we have options that can be tailored to serve their needs. Preview our services here and reach out to us for a quote and free consultation.
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