US Students Segments

Students Using College Admission Agents for USA are Academically Unprepared

Before you read the rest of the article, answer this question.

Do you think students who use admission agents to admission in USA are academically unprepared?

Now, you have an answer set in your mind, lets look at findings from a recent research report published by WES. Researchers at WES surveyed over 1,600 prospective international students from 115 countries, from October 2011 through March 2012. So, whats the outcome of the survey?

Not All International Students Are the Same

U.S.bound international students population were divided into two dimensions:

  • Academic preparedness
  • Financial resources

Information on English proficiency and other criteria was used to categorize high or low levels of academic preparedness.

Students with high and low financial resources were identified based on expected institutional financial aid to be available to them.

Then based on the survey data, U.S.-bound international students  were assigned to one of following 4 segments.

  • Strivers: High academic preparedness; low financial resources (30% of all respondents).
  • Strugglers: Low academic preparedness; low financial resources (21%).
  • Explorers: Low academic preparedness; high financial resources (25%).
  • Highfliers: High academic preparedness; high financial resources (24%).
US Students Segments

Image from WES Report

Report discuses about ways students get information about U.S. Schools. Here is an interesting section of the report – Use of Agents to get admission in USA.

  • Only  16% of all respondents reported to having used an agent.
  • Agents were found to assist applicants primarily with two tasks:  university shortlisting (75%) and application (77%)
  • “Strugglers” were found to be particularly likely to use services such as essay, resume or personal statement editing.
  • 72%  “Strugglers” had their agents edit their written material (compared to 45% of “Highfliers”)
  • 63% prepared for admissions interviews with the help of agents (only 34% of “Strivers” did so).

As you can see, students who are using agents fall under Strugglers category.

Question To You

Several folks reading HSB should be using agents to apply for college admission in USA.

Do you agree that you are Academically under prepared?

In general even if you are not using agents, what do you think about this research report? Which segment do you fall under?

Comment from Facebook

 I’ll say, approaching the agents is an attempt to “prepare” oneself. And, when thousands of dollars are meant to invest, its a natural bent to seek help considering the potential risks. – Shweta Jeevan

According to above report, only 16% of applicants used agents. When so many others students can get admission, visa successfully without agents and they do spend lot money and taking the same risk. So, the question  is why do you think that 16% are not willing to take that risk? What are they feeling insecure about this admission process?

Series of Articles About Admission Agents:

  1. Part 1: Truth About US College Admission Agents and Their Business Model (this article)
  2. Part 2: US College Admission Agents Intimidate Naive Students To Make a Quick Buck
  3. Part 3: True Story: Agent: Pay $5000 or You Can’t Study in the U.S.
  4. Part 4: Students Using Admission Agents In USA Are Academically Unprepared (Research)
  5. Part 5: The Role of Consultancies in the Admission Process