Part ii Free overseas education counselling: The bait to capture the fish so you can be shipped off to a can

June27 Business. Comments : 0

Well, you read the title absolutely right. There are no free lunches in the world and the so-called free education counselling actually comes at a huge cost for you. Initially, no student realizes that and the words - ‘no-cost’ and ‘FREE’ in itself seems to be very attractive and motivating to them but the indirect costs can become the true burden for you in the near future. International students are like the cash cows for several average ranking foreign Universities. The Universities tend to charge 400-500% extra fee from international students due to which they offer hefty commissions to the agents for sending the students to their University. Since the Universities are majorly just average, you don't really get the desired benefits.  The cost over here for the students is that they forego the top-ranking college where they might have got the admission and they also have to forego part of their scholarships. The scholarships that are being provided by the college to the students are reduced from the commission of the agents because of which they mainly refrain from helping the students get the best scholarships. In the true sense the agents don’t really help the students. The agents get some scholarship for very bright and intelligent students but it is mostly lower than what they could have got if they would have applied in the correct manner. At this point of time, you should also consider that only a few of the average, below average and bottom tiered Universities appoint the agents to fill up their applications. The Good ones work in a transparent network and provide an equal opportunity for everyone to apply and study in them. A top-level University like Harvard, MIT, Stanford etc. already have thousands of student applications from all over the world and they have the opportunity to select the best students from across the world. They don’t really need to work through the agents. So, if any agent even offers to get you through the top-tier University, then you should know that these are just false promises and he cannot get into the system. There are only a few handfuls of good Universities which work through the agent model. The majority of them don’t prefer to have recruitment agents, commission partners etc. to fill up the seats. This practice is done by those private institutions which struggle to fill the seats and fill up their pockets from the hard-earned money of Indian students. India is quite a good market for the foreign Universities and therefore a lot of foreign Universities have tied up with the agents to provide the students in their Universities. The agents are attracted towards them because of the lucrative revenues being provided and they often don't care about ruining the career opportunities for the students. So in the name of free education counselling, they indirectly just refer to the partnered Universities and secure their share through them.

You can never get something for free in this materialistic world so someone has to pay the price of the free counselling sessions organised by the private agencies every day. And here the burden of the entire cost comes on the life of the student. It’s like the exclusive web companies like Google and Facebook which attract the audience through their free services and exclusive benefits however the cost is passed on through the abundant advertisements to the customers only. It’s like the tech giants are inviting you for a free lunch where you will have to buy a minimum of two drinks to enjoy it otherwise the lunch will be taken away or delayed!


The education agents who work on a commission basis always try to send the students to the Universities from where they can make the most profit instead of even giving a thought to what is best for the overall growth of the child. For their own personal interests, they blindly make the students forego the top Universities which could have helped them enlighten their career. They even advocate fewer scholarships for them to make maximum possible earnings from the students. Thus, in no way, they are helping you! Rather they are misguiding you and taking you in the wrong direction for their own personal benefits. And what is sadder is that the students and parents are blindly adding fuel to fire by paying these agents and counsellors whatever they are demanding.


It is high time now. The students and parents need to be highly vigilant and they should make an informed decision about such an important aspect of life. Parents tend to spend a fortune of their money and at times even their entire savings to educate their child and there is nothing worse if the child cannot get what he actually deserves just because of the greed of a few people who are ready to go to any heights to earn money! However, that doesn’t mean that every consulting agency is corrupt. There are a few genuine consultancy firms who have been working in this industry for a long time and offering genuine support to the students along with all the necessary counselling for each and every aspect of their abroad journey. There are people who are well versed with the policies, procedures and techniques of applying to different colleges, securing admission in the best possible colleges and even securing the maximum amount of scholarship. Such consultancies also charge fees for their services; however, the entire process is completely transparent where the students are themselves motivated to fill the applications of the colleges and make necessary arrangements with the support of the team. The fees are paid directly which ensures that the middle man is not taking anything for helping the child. At the end of the day, education is the noblest thing in this world and promoting it in the right way and in a no -profit-making manner is the need of the hour for the development of the entire nation. So with the right approach and the correct knowledge and judgement, you should seek out and take the support from the right consultants who will prove to be better than your relatives and friends in providing the right support. 

Agents Vs Consultants




Agents work closely with universities. Their job is to make admission to their partner universities easier for the student and get a commission from the fee paid of the given student  

The consultants also almost do the same task of simplifying the admission process but their scope is broader than the agents. They provide specialized services and career guidance.

The Agents do not charge any fee from the students. They are paid directly by the college for every successful admission. THEY have a UNIV-First Approach

The consultants charge fees for each and every service. They do not get any commission from the Universities and they earn from the services provided to students directly. They have a STUDENT-First approach 

Their profit is directly proportional to the number of admissions. Therefore they focus on getting as many admissions as possible to the University which provides them with the maximum profit margin.

Their income depends on the fees charged from the students for each service. They focus on guiding the students helping them elevate their profile

The agents don’t recommend the Universities which do not pay them the commission. Instead of recommending the University that is ideal for you, they only go for the Universities for which they are paid.

Consultants provide honest and unbiased recommendations because they are not paid by any University. Their existence doesn't depend on any particular University.

Their focus is just to fill the seats to earn the commissions.

Their focus is to provide student satisfaction. Client satisfaction is their main objective.


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