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Study Abroad Counseling & TOEFL-SAT Tutoring in China

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Joined: 03 Feb 2013
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 5:40 am    Post subject: Study Abroad Counseling & TOEFL-SAT Tutoring in China Reply with quote

This post has been moderated UJ


The reason I decided to start counseling young Chinese students about study abroad and passing the difficult TOEFL & SAT tests is because two kids on the Little League Team I coached in Beijing got ripped off by big name companies (Names removed) which charged them huge fees and then did something very despicable IMO.

Both companies promised placement in one of the top 10 "Dream Universities" but deliberately pushed the students to pick 2 or 3 schools they never heard of but where the study abroad companies had great relationships, and where they collected a 12% and 15% commission on the tuition fees. One of the students had his heart set on Rutgers but since Rutgers does not pay any such commission (none of the top 50 schools pay any fees to agents), the "BIG" study abroad company simply told him, "we will apply you there but your 85 TOEFL score is simply not good enough". In reality, they never submitted his application to Rutgers, but told my student that they did. (I checked with Rutgers personally)

Furthermore, after I talked with some new friends at China Scam Patrol, I learned that the first "acceptance letters" will always come from one of the three universities, the student is persuaded to add to his/her dream list, and when it arrives they celebrate with the student and tell him/her how lucky they are. In reality, it is Names removed, and the others who are celebratingbecause now they get to collect money at both ends - from the student, and the university!

I was then invited to work for the third largest study abroad company in China owned by a Chinese-Australian and after two rounds of interviews I learned that they also knew how to manipulate the placements of the Chinese students in ways that could not be proven because of the "confidentiality and privacy agreement" they make their clients sign. I turn down the job that came with a a 40,000 monthly salary because I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror every day and be proud of what I do and don't do. I really detest cheaters, especially when the victims are young and gullible kids.

I then spoke with an old friend of mine from Princeton where I once worked as an admissions counselor over 16 tears ago, screening Spanish speaking applicants. He became a dean of admissions at less famous university now ranked at 127-130. I learned from him that his pay is directly linked to the quota of international students recruited, whose tuitions are almost double those of domestic U.S. students. He admitted to me that they did, in fact, pay referral fees to over a dozen such agents in China and when parents occasionally found out and protested, "they had a sure-fire way to calm the waters, and found the student a scholarship" that no recruiter will ever mention. Why? Because recruiters do not collect commissions on scholarships - only tuition moneys! They actually want the students to pay as much as possible so they can earn higher fees.

I then noticed how the kids were being taught TOEFL and it was simply rote memorization that was marginally effective. I wondered why TOEFL students I taught had an 88% success rate and why the huge companies were only getting 65%-70% of their students passed. It didn't take me very long to discover that it was all about limiting the teacher hours and giving the student as many on-line automated software classes as possible - again, it all came down to money and not the student.

Anyway, since this was all affecting kids I personally knew and cared about, I decided to educate the parents with a ppt. Now I have an honest thriving business earning three times more than I did as a Business English Teacher, even charging the kids half of what they pay the big agency companies and getting them better results. I also teach them how to get scholarships that pay from 10% to 100% of the tuition costs. There are actually over 40 scholarships available to Chinese students, yet the huge agencies never mention them.

I urge more of you to start doing the same to give yourself and a few dozen Chinese students a better future and a chance to excel in this world of mediocrity.

Note: The two names removed are available from the author and are huge companies with dozens of locations all over China. The author is cooperating with a CCTV News investigation at this time.
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