Standards for Working with Students and Families

HECA Members

  • Serve the interests of students and families by providing accurate, unbiased information about the college planning and decision-making processes.
  • Respect issues of confidentiality and students’ rights to privacy throughout the process. Confidential information is shared with others only with the written consent of the student and/or family.
  • Respect the values and expectations of students and families while presenting professional advice that is sound, honest, and candid.
  • Respect the college planning and decision-making processes as learning opportunities for the student and family.  In this spirit, the HECA member counsels and advises in the college research process, provides guidance, direction and review, but does not complete or submit a college application on behalf of a student.
  • Provide information to students and families that is:
      •  Accurate and timely, and is based on research, college visits, participation in professional organizations, and attendance at national and regional educational conferences and meetings.
      • Based on the evaluation of the student’s academic record, standardized tests, interests, activities, future plans, and family circumstances.
  • Counsel and encourage students and parents to approach the college application and admission process ethically and honestly.
  • Advise students and families of the importance to take responsibility for understanding the policies, requirements, and timeliness in meeting deadlines for each college to which they apply.
  • Remuneration between educational consultants as a referral fee exchange is not a violation of HECA Ethics and Standards, provided the client is informed of the financial arrangement and it is in the best interest of the student. At face value, referral fees distract from the collegiality HECA strives to maintain. Paid referral arrangements should involve more than sharing names, and instead consist of continued involvement on the student’s behalf.

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