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8 Great AI College Counselor Tools

If you’re a new Independent Educational Consultant (IEC) just starting out your practice, then you would already be aware of how challenging it can be to manage appointments, marketing, content, admissions calendars, and client guidance all at the same time. In today’s blog post, we’re going to look at several AI tools that you can leverage to significantly enhance your efficiency and hence your effectiveness. 

We’ll be covering eight AI tools that will help you cover everything from content creation to admissions information collation to general operational efficiency.

Grammarly is an indispensable tool for not just for students crafting their college essays, but for you as an IEC to evaluate those essays. Beyond basic grammar and spelling checks, Grammarly offers advanced suggestions on tone, clarity, and style, making it easier to convey messages effectively. A standout and relevant feature is its plagiarism checker, ensuring essays are original and giving you another safety check for your clients’ final submission. It’s also a good tool to draft and cross-check your own communication.

Pricing: Free for basic checks, with Premium plans starting at $12/month for more advanced features.

ChatGPT has likely become one of the defining tools of the decade. It serves as a versatile, powerful assistant for both research and creative writing. You can use it for almost everything you can imagine - to help students brainstorm essay topics, to generate outlines, or even to tackle complex research questions. Its ability to provide quick, informed responses makes it a valuable tool for enhancing the depth and breadth of students' essays, while also helping both you and your clients to broaden your net of ideas. While using ChatGPT too much is becoming a problematic issue in academia, with the increased scrutiny around ethics and citation, it is still an incredibly useful tool to help you brainstorm.

Pricing: OpenAI offers a free version, GPT 3.5, with limited capabilities but good for basic writing and brainstorming. The more extensive features are available under subscription plans, allowing you to use powerful plugins and greatly improve your productivity.

This is a tool that will save you a lot of time by streamlining the college search process, by using AI to match students with institutions based on their preferences for majors, location, and campus culture. This tool can save hours of research, providing personalized recommendations that might not be immediately obvious through traditional search methods. As an IEC, one of your biggest value adds for your customers is the ability to make an intelligent ranking criteria relevant to their needs, and then provide them a list of colleges that fit those criteria. UniversityFinder will help you do both, making it invaluable in your day-to-day operations.

Pricing: Generally free to use, with some platforms offering additional paid consultation services.

The Admit Yogi platform acts like a virtual co-counselor, guiding you and your students through the admissions process with personalized advice. From essay editing to preparing for interviews, its AI-driven approach is meant to demystify the complexities of college admissions, offering strategies tailored to each student's unique profile. Now while you may think this is effectively your competition (and you’d be right), it is still an effective tool that can either help you create and price your services, or shore up gaps in your output. You can also use it to offload some of your more simplistic work requirements while devoting your time and energy to high-impact services.

Pricing: The site operates on a subscription model, with various tiers depending on the level of service required. This also makes it a good tool to benchmark your own pricing against!

Notion is one of the most powerful and intuitive project management tools on the web. That makes it an organizational powerhouse for both you and your students. Its flexible platform allows for tracking application deadlines, essay revisions, and other critical components of the college application process in one centralized location. While its base use case is not AI-driven, its capabilities in project management are invaluable for keeping the admissions process organized and on track, and it has introduced an AI component to help use it more efficiently. The prime draw of Notion is creating a convenient, centralized application management page for each client that allows you to seamlessly communicate with each other.

Pricing: Notion is free for personal use, with paid plans offering more advanced features and collaboration tools.

Canva is a now-ubiquitous designing software that utilizes AI-driven design tools to help you create visually appealing presentations, portfolios, and other materials. Its ease of use and professional templates enable the creation of high-quality content that can stand out in the admissions process. It’s widely used for creating eye-catching graphics that you can use for your website, newsletter, or marketing material. It even has a large set of resume templates to help your students find the perfect layout for their needs.

Pricing: Canva does offer a free basic version. The Pro accounts, which provide access to more features and resources, start at $12.99/month.

This one has a very specific use case that should hopefully help you add some uniqueness to your service offerings. is a free AI-powered platform designed to help high school students find summer programs that align with their interests and academic goals. Given the increasing importance of pre-college programs and resume-building summer projects, and how much students are expected to enhance their college applications, this is a good tool to familiarize yourself with to help your clients with that goal. 

Pricing: The best part is that it is free to use, making it an accessible tool for students and counselors alike.

This is a comprehensive platform designed specifically for IECs to manage their consulting business efficiently. It offers a suite of tools that facilitate the organization of student information, scheduling, and communication. With features like custom college lists, integrated calendars, and direct messaging, it simplifies the management of multiple students' admissions processes. A key benefit of CollegePlannerPro is its ability to centralize all aspects of college counseling, from tracking application deadlines to storing important documents, making it easier for you to provide personalized guidance.

Pricing: CollegePlannerPro operates on a subscription basis, with pricing available upon request. This model allows for scalability depending on the size of the consultancy and the number of students being managed.

These AI tools offer a blend of personalized guidance, organizational efficiency, and creative assistance, making them invaluable assets for scaling up your business. By integrating them into your operations, you can not only streamline your workflows but also provide a more tailored and impactful experience for students navigating the college admissions landscape.

If you’d like to recommend a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, you may want to consider the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here. You can also reach out to us at to know more, or to have a chat about possible collaborations!

Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!

Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a PhD student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.

Image Source: Grammarly logo



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