Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Educational Consultant?
An educational consultant has experience working within the school admission process. They use their knowledge to guide you and your family as you navigate the endless school options for your child.
Lindsey Valente has 2 decades of experience with independent schools throughout the US and in London. Lindsey uses her experience as Director of Enrollment at a selective NAIS school to give you perspective from the other side of the admission table.
The goal of LVEC is to find a school where your child finds happiness and success. We accomplish this by partnering with you throughout the process of narrowing your search for the best fit for your child and your family.
When should we start our school search process?
The fall prior to the admissions cycle you wish to enroll your child is the best time to begin with LVEC so we can assist you through the entire admission process. The fall is full of open houses, interviews and information in which we encourage you to participate.
Some schools may have space in certain grade levels for late applicants or families moving into the area. We also welcome clients throughout the school year who seek assistance with specific areas of the process.
Is it ever too early to start the process?
It is never too early to casually look at selection of school websites, listen to parent chatter on social media or around town, or to take a walk through a school's campus. None of these actions are required for the process, but every interaction may lead you to have a better sense of the perfect school for your child and family, or even more importantly, a sense of what isn't a good match. This being said, Lindsey will begin working with families up to 18 months prior to the fall you plan for your child to enroll.
How much does it cost to work with an Educational Consultant?
The cost of hiring an educational consultant varies depending on individual family needs. LVEC offers several different packages to suit the needs and budgets of those looking for assistance in the school admission process.
With what ages do you work?
Lindsey Valente Educational Consulting works with families with children seeking entrance to Preschool through Grade 12.
What documents do you need from us to help us with our search?
Any information you feel would help us to learn about your child should be shared with LVEC as early in the process as possible. The more we understand your child, the better we are able to customize the process and advocate for them. Any teacher reports, Speech or OT evaluations, Previous testing results (ISEE, SSAT. etc.), Neuropsych reports, and description of extracurricular activities are helpful for us to review.
What tests are required as part of the school admission process?
Each school has different requirements. More traditional private schools typically require the ISEE or the SSAT for entry, and as students get older, they want to see either the SAT, PSAT or ACT. For younger children, schools may use some form of assessment during a child visit or playdate rather than a standardized test. When and where to schedule these tests can have a big impact on your student's performance and we are happy to guide you through that process.
With whom will I be working with when I request services?
Lindsey Valente Educational Consulting is a boutique consulting firm. When you inquire about our services, you will hear directly from Lindsey and work with her throughout your child's school search process.
What qualifications allow you to make school suggestions for our child?
Lindsey graduated from the Teacher’s College at Columbia University with her MA in Psychology of Education. She has two decades of experience in Independent Schools and has worked in admission offices in NYC and Chicago. As a mother of three children, Lindsey has been through the admission process with her own family at the pre-school, primary, and secondary levels. Lindsey is constantly expanding her professional network by touring Boston area schools to speak with admissions directors and closely follows news and trends from NAIS, Teachers' College, AISNE, the IECA and other educational sources.
Is there anything special we should know about applying to schools during the Covid-19 pandemic?
During the pandemic, schools had to rethink how to let families explore their campuses. Many of these new practices, have now become a staple of the process for schools as they allow for wider access to school events. Though nothing allows for a better sense of a place than the in-person experience, the majority of schools have continued to show virtual tours on their websites and conduct information sessions via Zoom. Lindsey can help you decide which events may be the most important and meaningful for you and your family to attend.
Interviews are currently being conducting both in-person and virtually. Depending on your child and your child's school list, Lindsey will help you develop an interview preparation strategy and provide you with tips to help you feel prepared and look your best for either type of setting.
How many spaces do schools typically have available each fall?
The number of spots available at any school in any given grade varies from year to year. Factors like whether or not the grade is an entry point, the number of sibling applications, and attrition from the previous year all play into how a school determines the number of places they can offer each year.
Our town has a good public school system. Should we still consider an independent school?
LVEC helps you understand how an independent school education and culture can be a fit for your family. In Massachusetts, we are very fortunate to have a number of high quality educational institutions serving our communities. However, there is no one-size-fits-all school and each family can determine what is important to them. We will work together to ensure you have the necessary information to make a choice.
Why should I hire a consultant who is a Member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association?
The process for finding the right school or program for your child can be anxiety inducing and is increasingly complex. Hiring a member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA) ensures that you will work with a professional with proven expertise and connections to a network of experienced colleagues worldwide. Educational Consultants (ECs) who are members of IECA are fully vetted and demonstrate the highest standards in education, training, ethics, and experience.
Will applying for financial aid affect our chances for admission?
Each school considers financial aid in admission decisions differently. LVEC can contact schools on your behalf to determine how each of the schools on your list consider financial aid in the admission process.