If you know a few friends who had the help of an independent college counselor as they applied to highly selective colleges, just think how many friends were too embarrassed to tell you they had help. If you are a parent, think twice when a mother at the grocery store tells you how her daughter got into Yale without any help. Do you think she wants to admit that she had to pay a sizable fee to help make her daughter’s candidacy stronger to admissions officers? Or do you think she’d rather allow you to believe her daughter got into Harvard because of her excellent Tiger Mom parenting? You decide. At private four-year colleges, 27% of freshmen cited using a college counselor. And 32% of high-achieving seniors cited using a college counselor in the college admissions process. Imagine the numbers if every student were forthright! Each year, more and more students are turning to independent college counselors. It’s a trend that has been on the rise for years and one not flatlining anytime soon.