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FAQ: The 6 Most Common Questions About College Advising

When we chat with both parents and students, we receive a variety of great questions. Some of these questions are asked more frequently than others. Thus, we thought it would be helpful to share the answers to these common questions, just in case you were wondering too.

Ari Freuman

on July 8, 2024
A student and a college advisor collaborate using a laptop at a wooden table in a home office.

Navigating the landscape of college admissions can be daunting. At Ivy Tutor, we specialize in offering expert college advising to help demystify this complex process. In this blog post, we’ll tackle some of the most common questions about college advising including its benefits, the role of a college advisor in essay writing, the difference between guidance counselors and college advisors, the advantages of our flexible advising packages, the ideal time to start advising, and whether college advising should be considered an investment or a luxury.

1) What is college advising and how can it benefit my student? 🎓

Today’s admissions landscape is quickly evolving and growing more complex. Only a dedicated few remain up-to-date on all the nuances and possess the necessary answers. Advisors support a student’s journey from beginning to end, ensuring they confidently tackle each part of the process. This dedicated support aims to boost your student’s chances of getting into their preferred colleges by strategically navigating deadlines, requirements, and opportunities.

2) Does a college advisor help with writing college essays? ✍️

At Ivy Tutor, absolutely. Essay assistance is a fundamental part of the college advising process and is best handled directly by the advisor, not outsourced. A college advisor helps students craft compelling essays that effectively “market” them to colleges by presenting their stories in a clear, engaging narrative. This approach ensures that the essays authentically highlight the substance of the applicant, thereby enhancing their overall presentation to admissions committees.

3) My school has a guidance counselor. Don’t they provide college advising? 🏫

Guidance counselors value good college advisors who can devote the resources they simply do not have. While school guidance counselors provide essential support, their availability is often limited to just a few hours per student due to their extensive responsibilities and large caseloads. Consequently, they typically offer basic information and guidance but may lack the time to provide in-depth support for essay writing, interview preparation, scholarship applications, and other specialized aspects of the college application process.

4) Many Advising Companies Offer “Unlimited” Packages. Why not Ivy Tutor? ⏳

Escaping the economics of advising is challenging. Advisors working under an unlimited model often risk burnout, especially from students who require the most support. Our flexible hourly approach ensures that each student’s needs are treated with equal importance, without overwhelming our advisors with the demands of any single student. This method also eliminates any incentive to rush through tasks just to meet time constraints, enabling our counselors to provide thorough, attentive support tailored to each student’s unique requirements.

5)  Should I hire a college advisor even if my child isn’t a junior yet? 🕒

We recommend it. Hiring a college advisor before your child’s junior year allows the advisor time to strategically shape your student’s narrative in real time. In contrast, hiring an advisor closer to application deadlines shifts the focus to reflecting on past achievements in order to create a compelling narrative. Starting earlier is particularly beneficial for competitive students or those with strong ambitions, as it maximizes their potential in the college application process.

6) Is college advising an investment or a luxury? 💼

College advising is undoubtedly an investment. College tuition does not always correlate with quality, so getting more for tuition spent requires getting into a better school. Moreover, well-crafted college applications can attract significant financial incentives, such as scholarships and grants. Effective college advising prepares students to present the strongest applications possible, significantly enhancing their educational outcomes and long-term career prospects.

Have More Questions? We’re Here to Help!

Your journey to college admissions is important to us, and we know you may have more questions along the way. Don’t hesitate to reach out! Whether you’re curious about test prep strategies, college admissions, or how we can tailor our services to fit your needs, we’re just an email or phone call away. Let us be a part of your success story—ask us anything!

Ask Us Anything!


Ari Freuman

Ari began his journey into test prep while working on his Master’s degree in Psychology at SUNY New Paltz and continued through his second Master’s in Statistics. Thanks to insights from his graduate-level studies, Ari became one of the top private tutors in the New York metropolitan era, where he earned a reputation as the original “Ivy Tutor.” Ari decided to create Ivy Tutor when he realized how difficult it was, at any price point, to find tutors who could reliably help students reach their scoring potential.


The College admissions process can be incredibly stressful for students and their families. Ivy Tutor removes uncertainty from the test taking process, providing clear strategy and grounded guidance.

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