1. Consultants know their schools.
Why is this important? After all, the internet gives you everything you need to know about schools, right? Not exactly. Don't forget that a school's web site presents its story as the school wants it told. The videos are compelling. The photos are gorgeous. And the testimonials are glowing. As they should be. However, an educational consultant works for you. Not the school. She is paid by you. Not the school. She will point out features and aspects to a school's program which you perhaps have not thought of. Why is that? Because she is a professional. Just like an attorney will point out the pluses and minuses in a contract, an educational consultant can and will point out the advantages and disadvantages of a particular school as they relate to your child.
2. Consultants have contacts at schools.
Educational consultants visit schools. They make a point of keeping their networks current. As a result they can get answers to questions which you may or may not think about asking. They will know that a certain school has just been made an IB school and what that means and says about the school's programs. They will know that the long time English department head has retired and that some exciting, new programs are in the works. That means that an educational consultant can get answers to your questions because they know who to ask and what to ask.
3. Consultants keep up with goings on in their schools.
Just as with contacts educational consultants make a point of staying current with the goings on and activities in their schools. When we use the phrase "their schools", obviously a consultant has a group of 50-100 schools which he knows extremely well. He visits them regularly, speaks to the staff and has a finger on the pulse of things. Beyond that circle of schools he has the requisite contacts to find out about and inform you in detail about schools just about anywhere. Private schools are not the same as public schools. Your educational consultant is focussed tightly on a very select group of schools catering to less than 9% of students nationwide.
4. Consultants have plenty of experience dealing with families.
An educational consultant has years of experience dealing with families. He understands how much is at stake and how emotional a decision this is for all concerned. He is sensitive to your concerns about getting the right fit. He understands how important it is to find a school in which your child will thrive and build a solid future. Your child is unique. He will get to know you and your needs before making an recommendations.
5. Consultants will save you much time and effort.
Of course you can do a consultant's job. But it will take considerable time and effort. And do you really have the expertise to do the job? Truthfully you can do most of the work and find most of the answers. But like writing a will, wouldn't you want to have an expert review what you have drafted? An educational consultant will point out things you haven't thought of. He will caution you against simple mistakes such as only applying to very competitive schools. A professional educational consultant will save you much time and effort.