A good number of students looking to study abroad think of saving on application costs by applying on their own instead of going through an Admissions Consultant. Since all details about applying to colleges are available on the websites of colleges and since all of them accept applications online now-a-days, it seems easy enough for such students to apply on their own. However, it is a fact that only a fraction of such direct applicants actually manage to get through and earn admissions in colleges of their choice while the vast majority ends up disappointed.
Students do not realise the importance of applying for admission through an educational consultant. At the outset, it must be said that it is a lengthy procedure involving selecting appropriate colleges to apply, preparing an SOP, answering a variety of college-specific questions, creating essays wherever required, arranging required documentation, submitting applications on time, obtaining necessary paperwork, applying for scholarships, applying for Visa, applying for Educational Loan, making financial arrangements, making travel arrangements.
There are several benefits of applying through an admissions consultant:
The consultants have a much better grasp of latest educational trends, insights into various colleges and their courses, current recruitment trends, new avenues of education, current economic situations in various industrial sectors in various countries, and a lot more.
For students to do it on their own is not only a time-consuming affair, it might not even give them accurate details or complete information.
Managing various deadlines for applications, document submissions, tracking application status, managing visa procedures, etc. can be managed easily with a consultant present to manage everything for a student allowing a student to focus more on his studies and preparations. And, it will ensure that no deadline is missed and there is no confusion about any paperwork.
University and Course Selection
A consultant can provide a highly realistic and logical assessment of a student's profile and help the student choose an appropriate college and course for application. Sometimes, a student might not even be aware of a college or course or something special about a course in a college not available in any other college. A consultant will have such knowledge owing to its special relationship with various colleges as well as its own internal research.
A lot of students decide upon a college based on suggestions from friends, relatives, family, and even general acquaintances. Some basic internet research leads students to choose from a handful of commonly known universities/colleges. Such short-sighted measures lead students to either apply to colleges or courses that might not be an appropriate fit for them or simply miss out on finding out about colleges or course that might be a better fit for them. Hiring a consultant allows a student to make a better informed decision.
Assistance with materials
SOPs, Admission Essays, LORs, CVs, etc. are materials that are of a paramount importance and form the primary basis of acceptance of a student into a university.
There are expectations of format, structure, and language from such materials. Suggestions for the same are available online in plenty but students have to prepare them on their own at the end of the day. Therefore, students applying directly might not be able to put forward the best possible materials in absence of proper guidance and assistance.
However, students need to be aware of the fact that a lot of people/independent contractors charge considerable sums for providing help with preparing such materials but either provide second-grade quality or scripted content or merely perform cursory editing thereby not providing the quality that helps a student's profile.
A good consultant gets you proper mentoring for preparing the materials and arranges for best editing services.
There is a lot of paperwork required in the pre-application as well as post-approval phases. The amount gets multiplied with the number of colleges that a student decides to apply to and managing all of it becomes extremely cumbersome for a student to manage on his own. A consultant is able to manage the same easily because of extensive experience as well as available resources.
A consultant can also make arrangements for interview with admission committee of a college if required by the college as part of the application process or if required by a student to decide upon a college or course.
It is not easy to find details about all the scholarships available to students in a country or a university or a college or for a particular course. Further, there are scholarships available for things like housing, equipment, research, study material, and a lot more in addition to scholarships for tuition fee. Going with a good consultant ensures that a student not only gets details about such scholarships, he gets assistance in applying for the same.
Filing for Visa is a complicated process especially for countries like US, UK, and Canada. There is a high likelihood of missing out on some key information resulting in Visa rejection, which is the last thing a student would want. A consultant would know about latest updates and provide additional scrutiny of application and documents and provide invaluable assistance in preparing for the interview at the embassy.
The application procedure is quite expensive considering the application fee that a student has to pay to each college. Every student applies to 5-6 shortlisted colleges hoping to get into one of them and paying application fee every time is a big burden. A consultant can try and get a waiver on such fees from some of the colleges for deserving students with financial limitations.
Tie-ups - Educational Loans, Travel, Housing
Another major step in the process is getting an Educational Loan if required by a student to finance his studies. Finding best institution for the same and completing all necessary formalities becomes a breeze when going through a consultant. Procedures vary from bank to bank and guidance from a consultant smoothens the whole process.
Finally, when its time to leave, travel and housing arrangements through a consultant's tie-ups becomes quite beneficial in terms of saving money and managing bookings.
As is evident, assistance from a consultant improves chances of landing an admission offer drastically and helps a student make informed decisions.