Frequently Asked Questions


How can an independent educational consultant help us?

An independent educational consultant can be an invaluable resource during the college search and application process. At Matlack Educational Consulting, we are committed to personalizing each family’s college admissions process through careful evaluation and knowledgeable guidance. We take the time to thoroughly understand a student’s strengths and needs, and provide information and insight to finding good fit schools while building independence, organizational, and decision-making skills. Families appreciate our accessibility, hands-on guidance, and the objective point of view that helps keep the process manageable.

When should we start planning for college?

While our formal college planning program begins in the junior year, we are happy to meet with families in the years leading up to the junior year to assist in early college planning. Curriculum planning, student assessments, extra-curricular activities, and considerations about summer plans or work are all part of early preparation that can start in the 9th and 10th grades. Exploring a variety of college campuses is another way for families to initiate the search process. We are happy to begin the college process at any point in a student’s high school career, whether that is in the freshman year, spring of the junior year or even the summer before senior year.

What if my child seems reluctant to start the college search process?

A student’s readiness depends somewhat on her perception of the process. If they feel overwhelmed and have no sense of where to begin, many will procrastinate or seem reluctant to start. We find that beginning with a thorough assessment and opportunity for self-reflection, we are able to focus students on their interests and strengths and then we are able to build a list of college criteria that has context for them.

Isn't creating the college list the most important part of the process?

There is no question that a thoughtfully developed list is one of the most important parts of the college process and many families are eager to jump right into list building. However, we like to make sure we understand the student and their social, emotional, and academic needs well so that the college lists we create reflect their emerging values and preferences. In addition to creating a list of schools with a range of admission probability, we also spend time detailing each step of the application process, assisting with essays, and preparing students for campus visits and interviews.

What qualifications and professional memberships do you consultants hold?

Our educational consultants posses a variety of educational and professional backgrounds related to the fields of education, counseling and college admissions. We spend a significant amount of our time traveling to campuses and seeking other opportunities for professional development. We are members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), a national organization of more than 500 consultants that holds us to high ethical and professional standards. We also hold memberships with the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC) and the Secondary School Admissions Testing Board (SSATB).

Can we have a preliminary conversation before we decide whether or not to engage your services?

We encourage anyone who is interested in learning more about our services to call. We will answer any questions you have, describe the range of services that we offer, and learn about your child. The college process is lengthy and complex and we believe that, for the best outcomes, it is important that you find a consultant you like and trust to skillfully and compassionately work with your child. We welcome the chance to tell you more about us, our experience, and our approach to the college process.