The Professional membership category is for independent educational consultants who have demonstrated a professional mastery with years of experience.

We welcome all qualified independent educational consultant applicants and want to make the process as smooth as possible. Let us know how we can help. Contact the IECA Membership Department:  [email protected]

Professional membership requirements include:

  • Three years of experience in educational placement counseling or admissions, including a minimum of one year of independent educational consulting.
  • A master’s degree or higher in a relevant field, or a combination of training and experience that demonstrates a mastery of the profession.
  • Minimum number of students advised (during the previous five years) on school, college, or program admission. Either:
    a) 35 students advised in private practice; OR
    b) 50 students advised: a minimum of 10 students advised in private practice; the balance personally advised as a counselor or admission professional.
  • A minimum number of evaluative campus visits during the previous five years within each specialty area (only specialties you choose for yourself apply): Boarding/Day Schools: 25 visits; College: 50 visits; Graduate & Professional School:* no visit requirement; LD Schools/Programs:* 25 visits; Therapeutic Programs:* 50 visits.
    (*A supplemental application form is required when you add these specialty designations. Note: We have temporarily updated our visit requirement to allow for virtual visits. Virtual visits will be allowed to be included in this list starting from the year 2020. Virtual visits can be included at a 2:1 ratio for those visits that have been provided through IECA and at a 3:1 ratio for those completed outside of IECA. These visits can be submitted for up to 40% of the total towards the requirement. 
    Learn more about specialty designations here.)
  • Three professional references. Suggestions for references include:
    – College or independent school admissions officers
    – Psychologists/counselors
    – Other educational counseling professional with whom applicant has worked in the application process
    – An IECA member
    – Client family
    – Should not be a relative of the applicant.

Professional membership dues are $600 annually.

Learn more about specialty designations here.
Learn more about references for the professional membership application here.
Information for current Associate members applying for Professional membership can be found here.


1) Membership in IECA is granted to an individual professional and not in the name of the firms, partnership, or corporation. IECA members are responsible for assuring that business letterhead and brochures clearly identify the IECA member and do not imply that other partners, associates, or employees are members.

2) A candidate’s eligibility is neither determined nor conditioned by race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, physical capabilities or handicaps, age, gender, sexual preference, or marital status.

3) In order to maintain the confidentiality of our membership files, as well as to encourage persons submitting letters of reference on behalf of potential members to be candid and honest in their evaluation of the applicant, all information, including letters of reference which are submitted to IECA shall be confidential and shall become the property of IECA, and shall not be returned or made available to the applicant, under any circumstances, after it is submitted.

4) Applications are expected to reflect, in presentation and content, the high professional and ethical standards of IECA.

5) The Membership Committee reserves the right to interview the applicant and/or to contact any individual or institution regarding an application, and will defer or reject those applications that contain inappropriate references, that suggest a breach of ethics, or that lack sufficient data on which the committee can make a determination.

6) Upon acceptance: a letter of acceptance, a statement of pro-rated dues and fees, and the Principles of Good Practice will be sent to the applicant. Membership in the Association becomes effective upon receipt of dues and fees following the successful completion of the application process.