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Top 10 Admissions Advisor Certifications

This article will provide an overview of the top certifications available for admissions advisors to help them become more knowledgeable and successful in their field.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 18 min read

Certifications are important for an admissions advisor in the job market because they demonstrate a level of expertise in their field that employers look for when hiring. Certifications provide proof that an admissions advisor has the necessary knowledge and skills to do their job effectively, as well as a commitment to continuing education. Having certifications also gives an admissions advisor an edge over other applicants who may lack them, and can make them more attractive to potential employers. Additionally, certifications can help an admissions advisor stand out from the competition, giving them a professional edge and helping them secure higher salaries and better positions.

The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of certifications available to Admissions Advisors and to demonstrate how they can help advance their career.

What are Admissions Advisor Certifications?

Admissions advisor certification is a professional credential that recognizes individuals who have met specific standards for knowledge and expertise in college admissions counseling. It is designed to ensure that students receive quality advice and assistance when planning their college applications. Certification also helps demonstrate the professionalism of those providing this important service.

Admissions advisors with certification are knowledgeable about the entire college admissions process, from researching colleges and universities to developing a working plan for application completion. They understand what it takes to create an effective application, including navigating deadlines, writing essays, and understanding the overall requirements for admission. They can provide guidance when it comes to selecting appropriate courses, taking standardized tests, and managing stress during the application process. Certified advisors are also familiar with scholarship opportunities, financial aid options, and other resources available to students applying to college.

Certified admissions advisors understand how important it is for students to present themselves in the best possible light when applying to college or university programs. With their expertise in the admissions process, they can help applicants maximize their chances of getting accepted into their desired school by providing personalized guidance tailored to each individual’s needs and circumstances. Additionally, certified advisors can provide support throughout the entire application journey – from start to finish – helping students stay organized as they prepare all necessary materials for submission.

Pro Tip: Make sure to research the certifications and qualifications of an admissions advisor before you hire them. Look for certification from a recognized organization, such as the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), to ensure that your advisor is qualified and has up-to-date knowledge on college admissions processes.

Related: What does an Admissions Advisor do?

Top 10 Admissions Advisor Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Admissions Advisors today.

1. Certified Admissions Advisor (CAA)

Certified Admissions Advisor (CAA) is a professional certification program designed to help admissions professionals develop the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively counsel students on college admissions. The program was created by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

The CAA certification requires applicants to complete a series of courses and exams that cover topics such as college selection, financial aid, college admissions processes, and student development. Applicants must also have at least two years of experience in college admissions or related fields. The certification process typically takes between six months and one year to complete.

In order to become certified, applicants must first submit an application to NACAC along with proof of their qualifications. Once approved, applicants will be required to pay a fee for the certification exam and any associated course materials. After passing the exam, applicants will receive their CAA certificate from NACAC.

The cost of becoming a Certified Admissions Advisor varies depending on the number of courses taken and exams passed. Generally speaking, the total cost can range from $200-$1,000 USD depending on the individual’s circumstances.

2. Certified College Admissions Counselor (CCAC)

Certified College Admissions Counselor (CCAC) is a professional credential that is earned after completing a rigorous training program in college admissions counseling. The program is offered by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and requires a minimum of 60 hours of instruction, including both in-person and online courses. The curriculum covers topics such as college selection, financial aid, student success strategies, and ethical standards.

It typically takes six to nine months to complete the CCAC program. During this time, students must attend all required classes and complete assignments. Upon completion of the program, students receive their certification from NACAC and become eligible to work as a college admissions counselor.

To get certified as a CCAC, applicants must first meet certain eligibility requirements set by NACAC. These include having a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited institution and at least two years of experience working in college admissions counseling or related fields. Additionally, applicants must pass an exam administered by NACAC that tests their knowledge of college admissions counseling topics.

The cost of becoming certified as a CCAC depends on several factors such as the type of coursework taken and whether or not it is taken online or in person. Generally speaking, the total cost can range anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000 USD depending on these factors.

3. Certified Educational Planner (CEP)

A Certified Educational Planner (CEP) is a professional who has been trained to help students and families plan for postsecondary education. The CEP credential is awarded by the American Institute of Certified Educational Planners (AICEP), which is the only organization in the United States that awards this certification.

The CEP credential requires applicants to have a minimum of three years of experience in educational planning, as well as a Master's degree in an applicable field such as counseling, higher education administration, or educational psychology. Applicants must also pass a comprehensive written examination that covers topics such as college admissions, financial aid, career development, and student success strategies.

It typically takes between six months and one year to complete the process of becoming a Certified Educational Planner. This includes submitting an application with required documents and fees, completing the written examination, and submitting additional materials for review.

The cost of becoming a CEP varies based on the applicant’s experience level and other factors. Generally speaking, it costs around $500-$1,000 to apply for the CEP credential. This includes application fees, exam fees, and any additional materials needed for review.

4. National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Certification

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) Certification is a voluntary credential that recognizes individuals who have met the highest standards of professional practice in college admissions counseling. The certification process includes a comprehensive review of an individual’s knowledge, skills, and experience in the field.

The certification process typically takes six to nine months to complete. During this time, applicants must submit a portfolio that demonstrates their expertise and competency as a college admissions counselor. This portfolio should include evidence of professional development activities, such as attending conferences or workshops, as well as examples of successful college admissions counseling work.

To be eligible for NACAC Certification, applicants must meet certain criteria including having at least three years of full-time experience in the field, holding a master’s degree or higher from an accredited institution, and passing the NACAC Certification Exam with a score of 80 percent or higher. Applicants also need to provide references from current or former employers attesting to their experience and expertise in the field.

The cost for NACAC Certification is $500 for members and $750 for non-members. This fee covers the cost of processing applications and administering the exam.

5. American College Testing (ACT) Certification

American College Testing (ACT) Certification is an assessment program that measures college readiness and provides students with a score that can be used for college admissions. The ACT exam consists of four sections: English, Math, Reading, and Science. Each section has a maximum score of 36 points.

It typically takes 2-3 hours to complete the entire ACT test. The cost of the exam varies depending on where you take it and if you are taking it with the optional writing portion. The standard cost is around $50-$55 without the writing portion, or $68 with it included.

To get your ACT certification, you must first register for the exam online or by mail at least one month before your desired test date. After registering, you will receive an admission ticket in the mail which will include information about where and when to take the exam. On test day, bring your admission ticket and a valid form of identification to the testing center. Once you have completed the exam, your score will be available online within two weeks after taking it.

The cost of getting your ACT certification depends on how many times you take it and whether or not you choose to add additional services such as rush scoring or score reports sent directly to colleges or universities. Generally speaking, each time you retake the exam will cost around $50-$55 without writing or $68 with writing included. Additionally, there are fees associated with having scores sent directly to colleges/universities ($13 per school) and rush scoring ($31).

6. College Board Certification

College Board Certification is a program designed to recognize and reward educators who have demonstrated mastery of the College Board's rigorous standards for teaching and learning. It is an intensive, multi-year professional development process that requires educators to demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and abilities in the areas of student assessment, curriculum design, instructional strategies, and data analysis.

The certification process typically takes two years to complete. During this time, educators must complete a series of courses and assessments related to the College Board’s standards. These courses are offered both online and in-person through various educational institutions. Upon completion of the courses, educators must pass a comprehensive exam that covers all aspects of the College Board’s standards. Once certified, educators are eligible to receive special recognition from the College Board as well as access to exclusive resources and opportunities.

In order to get started on the certification process, educators must first register with the College Board. This can be done online or by mail. Educators will then need to select which course(s) they would like to take in order to meet the requirements for certification. After completing all required courses and assessments, they will need to submit their application for certification along with any additional documentation required by the College Board (e.g., transcripts).

The cost of obtaining College Board Certification varies depending on which courses are taken and where they are taken from; however, most programs cost between $500-$2000 USD per year plus any additional fees associated with taking exams or submitting applications/documentation.

7. Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) Certification

The Association of International Credential Evaluators (AICE) is a global network of credential evaluation professionals. It provides certification to those who have met the highest standards for evaluating international academic credentials. AICE Certification is awarded to individuals who demonstrate expertise in the field and have completed a rigorous training program.

AICE Certification is designed for professionals who evaluate foreign educational credentials for admission, employment, or other purposes. It requires applicants to demonstrate their knowledge and skills in the field by passing an online exam and completing an extensive application process. The certification is valid for five years and can be renewed by taking additional courses or exams.

To get AICE Certification, applicants must first pass an online exam that covers topics such as admission requirements, credential evaluation processes, and international education systems. After passing the exam, applicants must submit an application which includes a resume, references, and a statement of purpose outlining their qualifications for the position. Once accepted into the program, applicants must complete an intensive three-day training course which covers topics such as cultural competency, ethical considerations in credential evaluation, and best practices in the field.

The cost of AICE Certification varies depending on the applicant's country of residence but typically ranges from $750-$1,500 USD. This fee covers all course materials and fees associated with obtaining AICE Certification.

8. Certified Enrollment Management Professional (CEMP)

Certified Enrollment Management Professional (CEMP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize individuals who have demonstrated expertise in the field of enrollment management. The CEMP credential is awarded by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

The CEMP certification requires applicants to have a minimum of five years of experience in enrollment management, as well as a master's degree or higher from an accredited college or university. In addition, applicants must pass an exam and submit a portfolio demonstrating their knowledge and experience in the field.

It typically takes six months to one year to complete the CEMP certification process. To get started, applicants must first submit an application and fee to NACAC. Once accepted, they will be required to take an online assessment and submit their portfolio for review. After successful completion of both requirements, they will receive their CEMP certificate.

The cost of obtaining the CEMP certification varies depending on whether you are a member or non-member of NACAC. For members, the cost is $395; for non-members, it is $595.

9. Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) Certification

The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC) is a global association of leading graduate business schools. It provides certification for its members in the areas of admissions, curriculum, and assessment. The GMAC Certification is designed to recognize and promote excellence in the graduate management education profession by providing a standardized credential for professionals who work with graduate management programs.

The GMAC Certification process takes approximately six months to complete. It involves an online application, an assessment exam, and a professional development program. Applicants must pass the exam before they can be certified.

To get GMAC Certified, applicants must have at least three years of experience working with graduate management education programs or related fields. They must also demonstrate knowledge and proficiency in the areas of admissions, curriculum, and assessment.

The cost of the GMAC Certification varies depending on the applicant’s location and other factors such as their level of experience. Generally, it costs around $1,000 to become certified.

10. National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Certification

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) Certification is a professional credential that recognizes the highest standards of school leadership. It is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated strong leadership skills and have made significant contributions to their school or district.

To get NASSP certification, applicants must meet certain requirements, including:

  • A minimum of three years of successful experience as a principal or assistant principal in a public or private secondary school
  • A master’s degree in educational administration or a related field from an accredited institution
  • Completion of the NASSP's Leadership Development Program (LDP), which consists of five courses designed to develop effective principals
  • Participation in professional development activities related to the role of the principal
  • Demonstrated knowledge and application of best practices in school leadership.

The process for obtaining NASSP certification typically takes two to three years. During this time, applicants must complete the LDP and demonstrate their proficiency in areas such as curriculum design, instructional leadership, personnel management, budgeting, and communication. They must also submit letters of recommendation from colleagues and supervisors attesting to their success as a leader. Once all requirements are met, applicants will be notified if they have been granted certification.

The cost for obtaining NASSP certification varies depending on the number of courses taken and other factors. Generally speaking, it costs around $2,000-$3,000 for the entire process.

Do You Really Need a Admissions Advisor Certificate?

The answer to this question depends on your individual circumstances. If you are looking for a career in admissions advising, then it would be beneficial to obtain an admissions advisor certificate as this may give you a competitive edge over other applicants. Additionally, the certificate will demonstrate that you have knowledge of admissions procedures and protocols, as well as provide evidence of your commitment to the profession.

On the other hand, if you already have experience in admissions advising or feel confident in your ability to do the job without additional certification, then obtaining an admissions advisor certificate may not be necessary. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide whether or not an admissions advisor certificate is worth pursuing.

Related: Admissions Advisor Resume Examples

FAQs About Admissions Advisor Certifications

1. What is an Admissions Advisor Certification?

Answer: An Admissions Advisor Certification is a professional credential that demonstrates a person’s expertise in advising prospective college students on the admissions process. It is designed to help advisors better serve their clients and provide them with the knowledge and skills needed to guide them through all aspects of the admissions process.

2. How do I become certified as an Admissions Advisor?

Answer: To become certified as an Admissions Advisor, you must complete a program that includes coursework in college admissions counseling, college application assistance, and other related topics. Once you have completed the program and passed any required exams, you can apply for certification from a recognized organization such as the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

3. What are the benefits of becoming certified as an Admissions Advisor?

Answer: Becoming certified as an Admissions Advisor provides many benefits including increased credibility among your peers and clients, more job opportunities in the field of college admissions counseling, access to resources provided by certifying organizations such as NACAC, and increased earning potential due to higher rates of pay for those with certifications.

4. Are there continuing education requirements for maintaining my certification?

Answer: Yes, most certifying organizations require continuing education credits to maintain your certification status. This may include attending conferences or workshops related to college admissions counseling or taking additional courses in relevant areas such as financial aid applications or test prep services.

5. What type of jobs can I get with an Admissions Advisor Certification?

Answer: With an Admissions Advisor Certification, you can pursue a variety of jobs related to college admissions counseling including positions at colleges and universities, independent educational consulting firms, high schools or other academic institutions, testing companies or research centers. You may also work directly with students helping them navigate the entire college application process from start to finish.