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EDUCATION REPORT - Some College Recruiters' Actions Raise Concerns

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This is the VOA Special English Education Report.

College students in U.S.
College students in U.S.

We started to talk last week about college recruiting companies. Their business is to connect students and schools. Who pays them? It depends. The college might, if the recruiter was working for the college. Or the student might, if the recruiter was working for the student.

Sometimes, recruiters get paid by both sides. They help a student get into a college that was also paying the recruiter.

Such relationships between colleges and recruiters worry some people who work in international education. They question how well the interests of students are being served in finding a college that is best for them. These critics say taking money from colleges limits the information that recruiters provide.

One company that says it only accepts money from students is the American Universities Admission Program. AUAP is based in Florida and has been in business since nineteen ninety-five. President Jean Prade says it has helped almost three thousand foreign students attend American colleges.

The company charges two thousand five hundred dollars. It suggests four schools where a student is likely to be accepted. Students receive help with the admissions process, and a guarantee that they will be accepted by at least one of the four. If not, Jean Prade says, AUAP returns eighty percent of the money.

Two years ago, the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers took AUAP to court. The company was an association member. But it was accused of trademark violations over unapproved use of the association's name on its Web site. The association lost the case.

Free information about American colleges and universities can be found at EducationUSA centers. The State Department has about four hundred fifty of them around the world. Advisers work with students in their search for a school. The centers also have information about financial aid, admissions tests and visa requirements. And some have information programs for students who are preparing to leave for the United States.

The EducationUSA Web site is educationusa.state.gov. For a link, go to www.unsv.com. You can also find other information about getting into an American college or university. Click on the Foreign Student Series link at the bottom of the front page.

And that's the VOA Special English Education Report, written by Nancy Steinbach. I'm Steve Ember.

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