HECA: Advancing Professionalism In College Admissions Consulting

The Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) is a professional organization focused exclusively on the practice of independent college admissions consulting. Since 1997, HECA has been dedicated to advancing professional standards for the higher educational consulting field while supporting our members as they expertly guide students through the transition from high school to college.

History of the Higher Education Consultants Association

HECA was founded by a group of higher education consultants who recognized the need for standards and professional development for those in the growing field of higher education consulting. The new organization received support and assistance from college admissions officials, who welcomed HECA’s commitment to advancing high ethical standards for the profession.

As the organization grew, HECA increased the depth and variety of the professional development programs offered to both experienced and newer consultants. HECA now hosts a membership conference each year to provide our members with opportunities to stay current on trends in college admissions and educational consulting. The conference also gives members a chance to network with colleagues across the country.

Today, HECA has grown from its initial membership of 38 to more than 1,000 professional college admissions consultants from every region of the United States. Our members serve the college planning needs of more than 23,000 high school seniors each year. Many of our members also actively assist low income students through pro-bono advice and volunteer service to non-profit organizations and local schools.

OUR Mission

To foster a culture of support for the HECA community to develop personally, professionally, and ethically (dated 2022-2025).

    To fulfill our organizational mission, all members agree to abide by HECA's Standards and Ethics Statement for members. The Statement is based on four core values: sound advising, integrity, respect, and confidentiality.


    In our actions, we strive to be a welcoming, collaborative, professional association that promotes volunteerism and integrity among our members.


    Our organization aims to continue:

    • fostering a culture of support for the HECA community to develop personally, professionally, and ethically
    • expanding our efforts in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion
    • enhancing our organization's credibility and recognition both internally and externally

    Our Members & Professional Development

    Our members come from many different backgrounds, but all members must meet membership eligibility requirements  that focus on demonstrating the demonstrate the training and experience necessary to effectively assist families during the college admissions process.  Additionally, HECA members are expected to demonstrate commitment to on-going professional development by participating in training and educational programs, visiting college campuses, and being actively involved in HECA and other professional organizations related to college admissions counseling.

    Because the college admissions landscape is constantly evolving, HECA is committed to the professional development of our members. Our members have the opportunity to share information and knowledge with each other through member online groups and events, website resources, and our member newsletter. Additionally, HECA's annual conference provides exceptional professional development opportunities, with guest speakers, educational sessions, college tours, leadership development, and networking opportunities.

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