Overseas Education Consultants or Independent Admission Counsellors?

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The number of students flying away from their home to pursue higher education abroad saw a consistent rise before observing a decline in the year 2019 is clear from the graph below, no thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Overseas Education Consultants

In order to mitigate the effects of the plague, nations across the globe observed complete lockdown. Some countries like Australia, Italy and the UK went into lockdown for 6 months while others invested their time and capital to invent a vaccine. It is because all nations independently worked to safeguard the interest of their citizens that today in 2021, the pandemic has resigned and things are finally going back to normal, no, the new normal. 

What’s the one thing in common between the old normal and the new one? The only commonality is that students all over the world still want to study abroad. Every year students who dream of studying overseas, live to see their dream come true because of two facilitators of abroad education. The first is independent education counsellors who work in your best interest and the second one is an overseas education consultant that does not charge a single penny to students. 

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Factors You Should  Consider While Choosing Overseas or Independent education counsellor

What Can You Afford? 

The first thing to consider is your financial resources. An independent education counsellor will work with you and help you secure admission into your choice of university or the university where you will be most valued. However, an independent counsellor will charge you a fee to help you improve your chances of getting admissions into the university of your choice. 

On the other hand, an overseas education consultant will advise you on the country you should study in and a list of universities from their partner portfolio that matches your profile. Overseas consultants do not charge students any consultation fee, it is free. 

Do You Have A Particular Goal In Mind? 

Another thing to consider is how hard are you willing to work on yourself before preparing your documents for admission. It is extremely beneficial to work with an independent education consultant if you wish to get into an elite university such as the Russell Group or the Ivy League. Independent counsellors know what type of candidates universities are seeking and will prepare you accordingly. More often than not, independent counsellors are alumni of elite universities or part of university administration such as admissions. Additionally, they also have thorough knowledge about scholarships and can help you prepare for the same. With an independent education counsellor, you can aim to obtain a scholarship covering 25%-100% of your tuition fees. Independent counsellors usually will not advise on other options of funding your education except scholarships. Moreover, they might not have any knowledge about applying for a visa and other ancillary procedures such as finding student accommodation

Overseas education consultants on the other hand have tie-ups with universities and receive a commission or a referral fee for each student that accepts admission into one of their partner universities. One may say that overseas education consultants have an ulterior motive to send you only to a limited number of universities. However, that’s not true. Overseas education consultants have a wide and massive network. This means that they often organise events, fairs and exhibitions where you can interact with university representatives and other students. Overseas counsellors have an excellent portfolio of partner universities that may include the Ivy League colleges, the Russell Group members, top 100 ranking universities in the QS world ranking universities and more. Study abroad consultants will assist with the visa procedure for the target country, university application procedure and may also assist you with finding student accommodation. 

A majority of overseas education consultants do not assist you with funding and you may have to find and apply for a scholarship on your own. 

What Is The Consultation Fee For Independent Counsellors? 

An Independent counsellor’s consultation fee highly depends on the things you need guidance on. This may include the application process, profile building, mentoring sessions for interviews, essay guidance, assessment tests and more. Your consultation charges may differ depending on the number of services you are relying on your education counsellor. 

Typically, in India, the education counsellors charge the following brackets. 

Guidance for undergraduate application may range between INR 80,000 and INR 5 lakhs for applying to 8 to 12 colleges. For postgraduate study or MBA, the fee is approximately 70,000 to 1 lakh per university you are applying to.  

Benefits Of Going To An Independent Education Counsellor 

  1. Independent counsellors on a majority have experience of studying abroad themselves. They may be alumni of elite colleges or might be closely related to the university.
  1. Once you are prepared for the top tier universities with an independent counsellor, you are ready to apply to almost any university of your choice. This means that you do not have to rely on your counsellor for more than university. Consider this, that if you are prepared for the best, you are also prepared for the rest. 
  1. They have good knowledge about college-specific scholarships and country-specific scholarships. 
  1. There is a healthy ROI if you are willing to invest in an overseas education counsellor if you manage to obtain a scholarship under their guidance.  

Benefits of Going To An Overseas Admission Consultant

  1. Overseas admission consultants will help you cross every hurdle in the journey of studying abroad. This starts from listing colleges to coming back home after your degree all for free. 
  1. You will get access to a massive portfolio that includes the eligibility criteria and other insider details of the university through your overseas counsellor. 
  1. You can network with the alumni of your desired university and learn about the university from the first-hand experience. 
  1. Since they are tied up with universities, you are eligible for an application fee waiver in almost all cases. 
  1. You will receive free guidance from an experienced professional on a one-to-one basis. 

Disadvantages Of Going To An Independent Counsellor 

  1. They charge heavy consultation fees. With every service of theirs, you leverage to improve your chances of getting accepted into a university of your choice, the charges are hardly discounted. 
  1. Unlike overseas education consultants, independent counsellors do not offer you advice on the visa application process, student accommodation or job prospects. 
  1. It is often difficult to check the credibility of an independent consultant if they are not selling their services as a business. It is often tough to differentiate between legit counsellors and those who are swindling others. 

Disadvantages Of Going To An Overseas Consultant

  1. The most common perceived disadvantage of going to an overseas consultant is that they may offer biased consultation. This is because they operate on a commission basis and are paid each time a student accepts admission into one of their partner universities. 
  1. Overseas consultants either have a massive portfolio of a single country such as the UK or Australia or Germany. In other cases, the consultant will have a humongous network around the world. This means you might not find many options in a single country if you seek the advice of an overseas consultant. 

Thanks for reading this blog on Overseas Education Counselors or Independent Admission Consultants? If you are interested in knowing about student life abroad, the following should interest you: 

  1. How To Plan A Road Trip To Australia Efficiently? 
  2. Top Online MBA Programmes In Australia
  3. Tips For International Students In Canada

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