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#4 IEC Survey Results: COVID-19’s Effect on Their Small Businesses

Higher Ed struggle changes the IEC job

“Independent educational consultants are facing some serious business challenges as a result of the pandemic and its effects on the economy and college choice,” said Margaret Rothe, IEC and Founder of CounselMore, “we’re hoping that the survey will help our colleagues know that they are not alone, and that, soon, their professional insight will be sought after. Over the next year, Parents will feel more uncertainty than ever before.”

Although the data shows that two out of five IECs may not be feeling the immediate strain on their businesses, families may still change their appetite for paying for independent educational consultants.

With skyrocketing job losses and bankruptcies and significant losses in asset accumulation, families who see IEC as a want not a need may not be inclined to pay for full-service packages or may limit the number of hours they sign up for consulting.

This was echoed by an IEC from the Midwest who wrote,

“the uncertainty of the college process could bring more clients, but client's financial situation may limit their ability to afford us.”

Another Midwestern IEC wrote,

“Higher Education is heading into a budget crisis, and a contraction. So consulting work will change too.”

Universities like Johns Hopkins University are suspending contributions to employee retirement accounts, cutting salaries, and preparing for furloughs and layoffs, all levels of higher education are experiencing rising expenses and plunging revenue.

Jeanne Harrison, vice president and senior analyst recently stated in a Moody’s Investor Services statement. "We expect rated enroll fewer students for the next academic year than planned, due to the outbreak. In addition, if campuses remain closed for part of the year, income from residence halls, catering, conferences and sporting events will be lower than budgeted. Endowment and gift income may also decline."

Margaret Rothe, founder of CounselMore, pointed out that, “we've survived lots of challenges and been helping families for years. We'll adapt to the new environment as we have before, and continue to provide valuable insight and advice. It might be delivered differently, it might be structured differently, but it will endure.”

Colleen Krumwiede, the Co-founder of Quatromoney indicated, “Independent educational consultants need to rethink their strategies for connecting with existing and future clients. Those who embrace videoconferencing, keep abreast of and communicate colleges' decisions to re-open in-person enrollment in the fall, leverage their college counseling software, and offer a variety of ways to interact from personalized communications to community based social media will continue to win loyal, paying clients.”

Continue reading the IEC industry and COVID survey results blog series


How Durable is your business?

Written by: Colleen Krumiede, Financial aid expert

Over a decade at Stanford GSB, Caltech, & Pomona College.

Affordability advocate working in educational finance & technology companies servicing higher education. Co-Founder of Quatromoney, helping families make better, personalized financial decisions to

manage all 4-years of college costs and think about what's next.


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