People are always curious about my company, and wonder if students truly need a college admission advisor, in addition to their high school guidance counselor. There is no simple answer because every situation is unique, but hiring a college admission advisor may provide a student with a variety of advantages both personally and professionally.
Often private advisors have worked in college admission so they are able to offer you advice and give you insight on the college admission process, as well as steer you away from making common applicant mistakes. The closest similarity that I think most people can relate is a when someone talks with a person who currently works or previously worked at a place where they are applying for a job. That insider can tell the applicant not only the ins-and-outs of the job and the environment, but they can also give them pointers on what to emphasize during the interview, give information to the applicant about who they will be interviewing with, and possibly give the applicant suggestions on how to stick out from the rest of the applicant pool.
College admission is cyclical in nature. The "application season" comes around once a year, and college admission counselors approach it like the many other aspects of their jobs. They usually are responsible for reading a stack of applications. They usually spend a set amount of time with each application, and have little time to even consider the effort that may have been put into an application if they consider it to be less than stellar. But on the flip side, if there are any errors, many will have the thought that the student isn't taking the process seriously since they submitted an application with errors, even if that is not the case.
Personally, as a private college admission advisor, I will work with students to not only ensure the applications are flawless, but also make sure they communicate a real story about a real person. Although I can't make any guarantees, I can assure students that they will feel confident the person reading the file will truly become acquainted with them, even if it is only on paper.
If you still opt not to use a college admission advisor, my advice to you is to remember ERRORS ARE NOT FORGIVEN and DO NOT ASSUME ANYTHING!!! Allow yourself some breathing room and at least investigate hiring a private college admission advisor, or at the very least pick up a good book that explains how to approach the process.