by Emily Glickman

We all know mothers like Mrs. S. She’s thin, confident, immaculate, wealthy, and in this admissions season, she has something more. A connected, intelligent preschool director. A director who gives her personalized, thoughtful, time-tested advice that will help Mrs. S’s individual child, not just the whole class’s overall placement record. Mrs. S is also popular, with an abundance of well-connected, smart friends who have already been through the process and some of whom sit on school boards. They are delighted to give Mrs. S unbiased, accurate advice and write reference letters on her child’s behalf. Mrs. S’s husband, after a long day at his hedge fund, loves to pitch in with writing private school applications and preparing for interviews. He and Mrs. S both agree on the answer to the “Describe your child’s weakness” question. Like Mrs. S, Mr. S is a strong writer and speaker, with an uncanny knowledge of what admissions directors seek from parents and applicants.

The S family does not need to hire an educational consultant.

For those of us who do not have Mrs. S’s advantages, an educational consultant can be a useful ally in a stressful and disturbing process that is rigged in favor of the private schools. Educational consultants help families choose schools, formulate realistic admissions strategies, prepare for ERB exams and interviews, choose effective references, polish essays and thank you notes, talk to preschool admissions directors, and more. If you have no experience and little guidance, you may find it daunting to successfully clear the numerous hurdles private schools erect in front of their gates. The ERB exam, essays, interviews, thank you notes, reference letters, first-choice letters, the list goes on. A reputable educational consultant can help you efficiently navigate the road to private school. She has experience so she knows how to handle the process, saving you time and false moves.

Remember, no educational consultant can ring Sally over in admissions and get your child in. In fact, a good educational consultant is invisible. She discreetly advises you behind the scenes so your family can put your best foot forward. She should be an ever-present coach and supporter, helping you gain power over the process and your child entry into good schools.

Emily Glickman is the founder and president of Abacus Guide Educational Consulting, experts in admission and achievement at New York City and greater New York area schools. She has worked with private and corporate clients since 1999. Emily has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, New York Magazine, and other publications. For more information about how she can help your family with private school admission, you can call her office at 212-712-2228 or go to her website, .