Education: The Spin Doctors of Admissions

"Let's add it up," says Frank Leana, director of the Manhattan office of Howard Greene & Associates, a Connecticut-based education consulting firm. "The full line with us is about $2,000. Visiting five schools in New England and staying two overnights is close to $800. If you do an SAT prep course, that's another $500 to $600, and there are private tutors for $35 to $100 an hour. Every college application is another $25 to $40." The total: well over $3,000.

Advising parents about the costs of the admissions race is just one of the many services offered by independent consultants. They...

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