Should I Take Admission Counseling?

    Updated on: 11 Sep 2023


    “Should I go for admission counseling?”
    “Naa, it’s a waste of money. Studying abroad is already so expensive. Get a free session. It’s the same thing.” 

    How many times have we heard this conversation? As a study abroad marketplace, thousands of times! This advice is unwittingly given out by your friends, parents, and relatives. But today, we will tell you why free study abroad counseling sessions do more harm than good. 

    Several consultancies are running in India doling out free counseling services to naive students. For the sheer volume of students that go abroad to study, you’d believe admission counseling to be a big source to earn equally big bucks. So why give out free counseling to students? 

    Admissions Counseling - Paid vs Free 

    Abroad education has become a billion-dollar business with a countless number of international students and universities. Every international student brings enough business and contributes a huge percentage to the university, local economy, and overall country. As an example, international students contributed a whooping 45 billion dollars to the US economy in the year 2018. International students are charged more than domestic students, who often study at a subsidized rate. If a university charges a domestic student $ 32,278, then an international student is charged $48,555. This is just a rough estimate. Naturally, efforts are made to attract international students in terms of the program, faculty, location, internships, post-study work opportunities, etc.

    However, not every university is able to secure the number of students to have an impact on the budget. As international students prefer top universities to get their money’s worth, many average universities are neglected. These private universities lose out on the business of international students and often have to scratch certain courses because of less number of students enrolled. An easy way to get students enrolled in these universities is to tie-up with admission counseling agencies who would then push these universities to gullible students. The agencies in the name of free counseling sessions end up promoting universities that are not in the best interest of students. 

    Though free counseling sessions tempt the students to avail them but paid consulting services offer more value. If you are not paying for it, you end up being the product, which is what happens in free counseling services. 

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    What To Look For In An Admission Counselor? 

    Admission counseling services are, no doubt, needed to select the course and university that guides you to a better future. There are some common guidelines you should follow while looking for an admission counselor for your abroad studies. 

    A Good Counselor - 

    • should have at least a few years of experience and would know the in-and-out of the admission process. 
    • Should be up-to-date about the application and scholarship deadlines. 
    • Should be able to invest the time to study the profile of the students and assist in curating a list of courses and colleges.  
    • Should communicate and effectively in a timely manner. 
    • Should be able to help to build an impressive resume. 
    • Should also assist in application essays and scholarship essays. 

    There are also a few caution signs that you should look out for. 

    A Good Counselor - 

    • Will never guarantee admission to any university. 
    • Will never write the essay on behalf of the student. 
    • Will never fill out the application form for the student.
    • Will never encourage the student to make inaccurate claims in the resume. 

    There are many reasons why an admission counselor can make your abroad education journey a less bumpy ride. And choosing the right one should be priority number one. But why do you need a counselor? Is this a question that still springs to mind? 

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    Do You Need A Counselor For Your Study Abroad Journey?

    It is an exciting time when you first decide to study abroad. This excitement rises with each passing decision. But as exciting it is to search for colleges and courses, it is equally time-consuming and requires thorough work. It has been widely noted that the right course and college can make or break the foundation of your career. You wouldn’t want to spend lakhs of rupees on a college degree that takes you nowhere. Approaching an admission counselor will eliminate this risk of selecting the wrong college and course. Some other benefits of hiring an admission counselor are - 

    • Admission counselors are experienced and trained. They will have a deeper understanding of all aspects of the abroad admission process, and therefore, will be able to help you with any question you might face. 
    • They will help you find the right college and course. Often, students have an idea of the university they want to attend. However, the counselor may suggest some other universities with a better curriculum that fits your needs. 
    • A good university ranking should not be the only factor dictating your decision. Department funding, employability rate, recruiters that come to the university, subject ranking, living expenses are some of the factors that a student might miss but the counselor will take into consideration. They have the right knowledge to help you make your decision. 
    • The counselor will help you stay on top of all the deadlines, be it admission applications or scholarship applications. 
    • You will receive great tips to help you with your admission applications. Counselors deal with thousands of students with applications. As a result, they know how to shape your admission application in the best way possible. With an admission counselor, you will be confident about your application and the content in it. 
    • Admission counselors are your study abroad mentors. They help at every step of the journey and help you reach your dream university. 

    There are many other benefits of taking admission counseling to aid your abroad study journey. Therefore, it is equally important to select the right counselor. If you find the right counselor, you have won half the battle already. But how should you go about selecting the right counselor? Let’s find out. 

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    How To Select The Right Admission Counselor For Abroad Studies? 

    There are some questions that you must ask a counselor and only on receiving a satisfying answer, you should go ahead with them. 

    Q. Which is the preferred intake and why? 
    Ans. Most abroad universities have a Fall session and Winter session. Your counselor should be able to explain the pros and cons of both sessions. 

    Q. Which standardized exams should be given? 
    Ans. GRE, TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, ACT, GMAT, are all tests that students usually take for admission. But which test has to be taken for your preferred university? Can you apply to universities without them? 

    Q. What exactly is the admissions committee looking for in the LOR and the SOP? 
    Ans. Both LOR and SOP are important documents mandatory for admission abroad. Students are often confused about the right content, so your counselor should be able to give you a detailed understanding of them both. 

    Q. What are the different scholarships that are available to you? 
    Ans. Scholarships are offered by both the university and external organizations. Your counselor should be able to give a comprehensive list of scholarships according to eligibility criteria. 

    Q. Which documents are necessary before applying for admission? 
    Ans. College applications have a list of documents to be submitted such as your transcripts, standardized test scores, SOP, LOR, degree certificates, etc. 

    Q. What are the post-study work options in your target country? 
    Ans. Each country has a different set of rules for international students. Your counselor should be able to expand on them in detail to give you an idea of what you can expect after graduation. 

    There are several overseas education consultants in the market. It is, therefore, imperative to find the right mentor for your journey. Free study abroad counseling sessions will do more harm than good. It is better to spend a few bucks and avail yourself of paid study abroad consulting services. With paid overseas education consultants, there is a surety that you will get your money’s worth in terms of the right course and college that will in turn lead to a fulfilling career. 

    A paid study abroad consultant’s entire focus will be on you and to deliver the best service. If you are still unsure of career counseling for abroad studies,  just contact GyanDhan.

    How Can GyanDhan Help You With Admission Counseling? 

    GyanDhan has always strived to find the best services for our students. We did our thorough research to find the right study abroad consultants and partnered with them to offer their services to you at a nominal fee. These consultants are best in their respective fields and offer genuine advice to students. If you wish to know more about admission counseling, you can contact us and avail yourself of the best services available in the market. 

    First published date: 30 Sep 2020


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About author

Aman Jain
Aman Jain graduated from IIT Kanpur, and currently functions as the VP of Marketing & Operations. He is deeply passionate about creating equality in higher education and has directly interacted with 2000+ students in his year-long journey.

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