International students often don’t understand the college admissions process in the US. This isn’t too surprising since many US families are confused by all of the considerations. The solution for many international students are agents.
Agents work for colleges by finding students to apply to the college. The agents get paid by the colleges for each student that is accepted. Many agents are also paid by the student. The problem with this approach is that agents often do everything possible to make sure that the student is accepted.
Make up a high school transcript that looks better than the actual transcript? No problem.
Write the recommendation letters for the students? Yep.
Write the college application essays? Can do.
Besides the obviously fraudulent nature of such actions, colleges report that the essays written by many of the agents are so poorly written that even if the student might be a good candidate for the college, the essay will disqualify them.
The other problem with agents is that they only direct students to those colleges that will pay them for students. So, the agent is not concerned about finding the right college for the student.
International students who seek to attend college in the US need to consider hiring an independent educational consultant. Independent consultants do not take money from colleges and focus on finding the best college for the student. The can also work to make the student the strongest possible candidate in an ethical manner.
And the final irony is that international students can often hire an independent educational consultant for less money than they are paying the agents. And often with a much better result.