We have been covering the role of consultancies (aka agents) in U.S. College admission process. So, far we have seen a couple of experiences from readers (who were in India) about admission consultancies. But, wouldn’t it be good to hear from student’s who are studying in the U.S. (Or graduated) about their point of view? Now, they have been in the U.S., experienced life and education, they would have a perspective as well.
What better way to get answers, when there’s a massive community of F1 Visa and OPT students who are ready to help and share their opinions. So, I posted the following question in the Facebook Community:
What is your opinion about using Admission consultancies for U.S. College Admission? Good or Bad? If you have used them, what was the reason? After coming to the USA, does your opinion still the same? I like to hear from those who used them and those who self-applied.
I will let you read the answers first. Then at the end, I have penned down my thoughts and comments about the readers’ response.
1. Karthik: The U.S. College Admission Process is Simple
Carter has to say the following about the use of the Consultancies:
The admission process in US is simple and transparent. If someone from outside the US wants to come to the U.S. In studies, he should be good enough read at least and know the process and handle it with minimal help. This is the first step in handling bigger challenges in the US, also this will help to decide on their own best choice for themselves.
There may be genuine reasons for going with a consultant but the majority should do it on their own for their best. My personal thoughts and also based on the experience of students in college where I studied.
I asked Karthik if he knew anyone recently used agents for U.S. College Admission. Here’s his response:
The students who were with me at college were young kids who seem to be carried away by the consultants and only feel that many of them are exploited in India. I wish they didn’t end up with issues. That’s the reason I appreciate your article and people should take it seriously.
The crux of the issue is the mentality of Indian parents and students also to an extent. Somehow people want to come to US without bothering which university and also about their own credentials.
With the improper information, they get into trouble. The realization sometimes happens after things are already in bad shape. That’s worrisome
In fact, my opinion while in India was to go with consultants due to personal constraints. After coming to the US my opinion changed to bad seeing how they exploit the system and also the students.
2. Shaeed: Use EducationUSA
Shaeed said that, The US embassies have their own consultancy called EducationUSA.
I used them and they are very effective. They bring Visa officers to speak to prospective students on their expectations and how to effectively find schools and ensure we appear as bonafide students. I still keep a close relationship with them.
3. Ajinkya – Consultancies Know the Right Way
Ajinkya had a different view about using Consultancies for U.S. College Admission:
It was good experience for me considering the small time we get after passing GRE, TOEFL till the admission process is done till we land in USA and a lot of traps of paperwork for international studies from selection university till visa interview is a really complicated process. Having someone who knows a right way is really helpful.
4. Tanya: Good Guidance
So, does Tanya, who was in favor of using Consultancies:
I used the help of a consultancy while in India, I found it helpful because they help you in giving a direction to your university research, paperwork, evaluating the essays, etc. Being in India, just the massive list of US universities can be overwhelming, especially deciding which will be a good fit for you. Going to a consultancy helps in streamlining the process. Also guiding with the whole visa application process is a great help.
5. Vignesh: Self Application Gives Confidence
But, Vignesh opted not to apply for colleges via Consultancies for two reasons:
- I don’t want to spend money for the information what I get exactly from online.
- One of my brother suggested I do all process by myself. The reason why he said that is because when I do all process by myself, I get confidence in attending visa interview. That’s 100% true.
Since I did everything by myself, it’s easy to attend an interview. I was member in EducationUSA. Whenever I have questions which I can’t able to find in online, I would set an appointment with them and talked with them they are really helpful.
I personally feel building a self confidence is more important before you plan to study in US. You will get that self-confidence if you do all process by yourself.
My personal suggestion, don’t go with consultancy either in applying for colleges or in getting a job. I know getting a job is not that easy, but at the same time it’s not that hard.
6. Samyuktha: I can Handle Applications with Maturity
Samyuktha used consultancy for Bachelors Degree admission, but prefers to apply for Masters by herself.
I have used the a consultancy service back in 2013, when I first applied for Undergrad admissions in California. It was very helpful because I was simultaneously preparing for the SAT and 12th ICSE board exams. This enabled me to fully focus on studying and just writing the essays.
Fast forward to 2017, I feel I can handle my applications myself now, just a matter of maturity and how seriously you can make a good application.
I would rather recommend consultancies for VISA more than college applications.
7. Consultants are a Waste of Money
Another member said that, you would end up studying in a place where you really don’t to study:
I never used consultancy help to get admission in us. Well is it is that hard to fill out a college admission form after all studying till bachelors? Consultancy would make you feel insecure and you come into stress and end up in a place where you don’t want your study.
Proper home work on colleges and getting suggestions from one who is studying in the USA will absolutely do the job.
Going consultancy = wasting time and money.
That’s 7 different viewpoints from students who are in the U.S.A. Let me conclude this article with the following thoughts.
The richness of your study abroad experience is greatly determined by the choice and higher degree challenging tasks you chose to be part of.
I personally feel that agents are shortcuts. One shouldn’t shy away from the talk of selecting 10 universities to apply from a list of 100’s of universities. That’s a perfect example of problem solving. Every problem will look bigger and challenging until its divided into smaller chunks to solve. Please strive to solve challenging problems in life to get ready to tackle bigger problems that awaits in your life ahead.