Ethics in the Independent Education Consultant (IEC) Profession

On Tuesday March 12, 2019, the news of a nationwide bribery and fraud scheme, commonly referred to as the College Admissions Scandal, came to light. This has shocked members of the Independent Education Consultant community and, I’m sure, many parents who are currently using or considering using a college consultant to help their son or daughter navigate the college admissions process.  So, who can you trust, and how can you protect yourself?

There are three main college consultant associations.  Each association has a strict Code of Ethics the member consultant is required to follow and Annapolis College Consulting is proud to be a member of all three associations.

  1. Independent Education Consultants Association (IECA)
  2. Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA)
  3. National Association for College Admissions Counselors (NACAC) or their local NACAC group

Here, you can view the Code of Ethics for IECA, HECA, and NACAC.

Like you would when hiring any consultant; do your due diligence by vetting the consultant and the consulting firm. Here are two lists the IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association) has created which lists 12 Questions to Ask Before Hiring an IEC and 12 Warning Signs that an IEC is Not Worth Hiring.

In Mark Skarlow’s (IECA’s CEO) State of the Profession 2018 presentation, he stated:

  • 30 years ago, the percentage of IEC’s that “belonged” to a professional association was over 80%
  • Today the 2,700+ affiliated IECs represent only 20% of the total

This means families who do not check credentials have an 80% chance of working with someone who is not being held to a professional standard of ethics.

Disheartened to the core by the actions of the adults involved, the extensive media coverage has created more awareness of the college consulting business. There are now many more parents and students who know there are professionals dedicated to helping college applicants navigate the process. Annapolis College Consulting has been and will continue to be committed to providing the highest calibre of college consulting services to our clients.

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