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Consulting Associations and Organizations

An independent educational consultant is an expert in the college search and admission process who can help a student to discover and explore a wider variety of educational options than they might otherwise encounter through their high school guidance office or a general web search. Independent educational consultants seek to match students with a school, college, or other program that will foster the student's academic and social growth.

The two primary organizations that oversee independent educational consultants are the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) and the Higher Educational Consultants Association (HECA). The majority of college consultants are also members of the National Association of College Admission Counseling (NACAC). A certification program exists for college planning, but many educational consultants come into their field with extensive higher education experience or guidance counseling backgrounds and utilize this experience in place of formal training. Consultants also visit an average of 12 to 15 colleges annually to familiarize themselves with various program offerings and must also follow a strict code of ethical conduct, which states that schools may not attempt to purchase their influence in order to enroll students. Ethical consultants also do not make inflated promises to families that guarantee that a student can get in to a particularly challenging school or program.

Randi Heathman, who is currently the only known IECA member consultant working exclusively with equestrian students in her practice, has provided the excerpt above. To contact Randi Heathman directly or find out about her services go to


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