Nacac publishes agency guide for students

02 June, 2015

The National Association for College Admission Counselling (Nacac) in the USA has published a guide to using agents and other sources of information for students planning to study overseas.

Trusted Sources: Seeking Advice on Applying to Universities in Another Country, published by the National Association for College Admission Counselling

The Nacac publication, Trusted Sources: Seeking Advice on Applying to Universities in Another Country, is aimed at parents and students in the USA and overseas, as well as college counsellors and admission officers.

“This is a ‘must-have’ guide for any student and family seeking advice on applying to universities in another country,” said Jeff Fuller, Nacac President and Director of Student Recruitment at the University of Houston. “This guide raises important considerations families must think through when opting to work with an agent, but also informs students that admission officers, among others, can serve as a valuable resource to them.”

Nacac formally amended its Statement of Principles of Good Practice in September 2013 to officially endorse the usage of commission payments to agents after long-held opposition to the practice. The association subsequently published a guide for its member institutions on working with agents last year.

The new guide for students includes a list of sources of information on study abroad, including high school counsellors, embassies and government-sponsored websites, independent education consultants and agents.

The advisory goes on to list a set of guidelines questions that students can use to choose an agency and examples of high-quality and low-quality practices.

In terms of professional background, it urges students and parents to seek agencies with several years of experience and that adhere to principles of good practice or a code of conduct. In the previous guide for member institutions, Nacac highlighted the Federation of Education and Language Consultant Associations (Felca) as a body advancing professional ethics and standards in the industry and highlighted the national agency associations.

Nacac advises students to choose an agency with a comprehensive, varied and verifiable list of partner universities, but warns against using an agency that “relies excessively or entirely on rankings when advising you on university research and selection”, or one that guarantees admission to a university. 

Earlier this year, StudyTravel Magazine published a special feature on agency reactions to Nacac’s guidelines

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