Fees (U.S. High School Families)

All one-on-one sessions and off-line work are billable. We remind clients who book an appointment online that there will be a fee based on the fee tier and the session duration.

With us, you pay by the hour (drink).  Our rate card is simple. 
If you have any questions about our services or fees, please contact us before booking the appointment. We appreciate your understanding!

Our rate card (Updated April 2, 2022)

[For existing clients, we will honor the rate specified in your most recent invoice - through May 31, 2022. After this date, the following rate card applies.]

Information on this page is the only relevant source for fees. Please ignore any fees information present anywhere else including our website, WhatsApp group chats, or Facebook Page.  

  • Tier A. 12th graders and rising 12th graders: Our rate, both for counseling and essay reviews, is $169/hour. If you hire us on demand (and for a one-off task), our rate is $169/hour. 1 hour-minimum. Calls longer than 1 hour will be prorated to the nearest 5 minutes.

  • Tier B. 11th graders and rising 11th graders: Our rate is $149/hour. 1 hour-minimum. Calls longer than 1 hour will be prorated to the nearest 5 minutes.  

  • Tier C. Younger grades: Our rate is $139/hour. 1 hour-minimum. Calls longer than 1 hour will be prorated to the nearest 5 minutes.

  • As your students move to upper grades, they will move to the respective pricing tier, and we will invoice you accordingly.

  • If you're an international student applying to U.S. graduate school, we offer a package fee. Please check out our international student page for details.

  • The rates above assume that you pay by Zelle, Apple Pay, cash, bank deposit, or check. Credit card payments may involve an additional bank fee.

  • College counseling generally requires both online sessions (in-person, video, phone and chat conversations - any medium where we are engaged with you to address questions specific to your case), and off-line sessions (such as during essay/resume reviews or course planning).

    For offline work, we can provide an estimate if you so request. In such cases, we will only begin work after getting your approval.

    Questions asked on public boards (like our Facebook page or on our WhatsApp group) are not billable because these are deemed general questions.
Our business model is to provide you with as much public information as you want for free - via our popular posts on this website, Facebook page, and public seminars. We only charge when you engage with us for one-on-one help, either online or offline. But you control how much you want to engage, down to the hour. This allows you to better budget your spend. It is one reason we are so popular with our clients.

We work hard to win your trust.  We are responsive, often getting back to you in a matter of minutes.  Our workday begins at 7 AM and ends at 11 PM.  We're open on weekends and holidays.  We counsel by Zoom.  Our essay review process is among the best - after all, the lead reviewer is a weekly international columnist for India's second-largest financial newspaper!

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Are Private Counselors Necessary?  How Much Do They Charge?

Hiring a counselor is a private decision but increasingly, a lot of US families are doing just this. 

According to the U.S. Department of Education in 2015-16, each public school counselor was responsible for 476 students, on average. In 2013, the counselor-student ratio in Texas averaged 1:470. How can high school students hope to get personal service with such lopsided ratios?  

According to Ruth Starkman of Stanford, in 2013, 26 percent of all college applicants — three times as many as in 2003, hired a “private admissions consultant” or an “independent educational consultant (IEC)” to assist with their college applications.

In a 2019 report, US News said: "When families turn to college consultants for guidance, it can often be expensive. According to IECA data, the average hourly fee for a consultant in 2017 was $200. A quarter of consultants charge more than $200 per hour while 15 percent charge less. Comprehensive package fees can range from a low of $850 up to a high of $10,000."

Crimson Education, a company that uses young "tutors" to help families navigate the college admissions jungle told USA TODAY in December 2019 that it charges between $5,000 and $10,000.

While we charge only by the hour, our typical total fees involve 18 - 24 hours of commercial engagement over four years - ranging from about $2,600 to $3,500. And because we don't require contracts, charge only by the hour, and offer plenty of do-it-yourself tools, you could further lower cost by engaging with us less. With us, you're always in control.

Why Are Our Fees Low?

Our fees are much lower because we are an online company that can pass savings on to you. We don't rent expensive office space or hire needless overhead resources. We don't advertise - all our growth is from word-of-mouth client referrals for which we are forever grateful.

We conduct most of our business online using cloud tools, lowering our costs of delivery. We reach a global audience and our volumes are higher. We earn revenue through ads on our site and our paid Facebook webinars which further help subsidize your fees. We get revenue from sales of our college selection book and our online courses.

We are the Southwest Airlines of college counseling.  We hate to say "No" to our clients!

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