The college admissions scandal making national headlines this month is on the mind of local parents who have students currently trying to get into college.
Samia Ferraro has been a well-known college consultant for 25 years. She recently wrote families that she advises regarding the college admissions scandal reassuring them that "we operate under a strict guideline of ethical practices."
Ferraro describes herself as "not necessary (someone) who can give them an advantage, because I honestly can't, but someone who can give them good information about schools."
Ferraro said you should consider focusing on your kids and colleges as early as middle school. She prides herself in getting to know the students.
"(I have) face-to-face time (for) about 30 hours," she said.
After Ferraro learns their strengths and likes, "by the junior year, we get pretty intense."
Together she and the student come up with a list of colleges.
"From there we would build a curriculum that would open up doors for you," said Ferraro.
The big question everyone still seems to ask is how is it fair to hire someone.
"It's not fair. It's not fair, but life isn't fair," she said as she pointed to the similarities of hiring a real estate agent or an accountant.
Ferraro said the cost of college consulting ranges from $3,500 for four years. Some counselors are charging all the way up to $10,000, depending on where you live.
Ferraro said she does take on some students for free or at reduced costs. She also pointed to non-profits for college consultants. Her biggest advice was to make sure the consultant is part of a professional organization of consultants.