Back in 2013 the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) in the US changed the approach and language in its Statement of Principles of Good Practice to remove what to that point had been a prohibition on US educational institutions working with education agents on a commission basis to recruit international students. Since that time the number of US institutions working with agents has grown. A NACAC survey in 2018 found that 36% of institutions were working with education agents. By 2021 that figure had grown to 49%.
Now that trend may be in serious doubt.
On 8 June 2021 the Training in High-demand Roles to Improve Veteran Employment (THRIVE) Act was signed into law. It sets out the circumstances in which a higher education institution’s courses may be approved to receive US government funding under veterans benefits programs. A provision in the new law means that government funding may not be approved if it is determined that the school, “or any person with whom the institution has an agreement to provide educational programs, marketing, advertising, recruiting or admissions services… [p]rovides a commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based directly or indirectly on success in securing enrollments or financial aid to any persons or entities engaged in any student recruiting or admission activities or in making decisions regarding the award of student financial assistance.”
The AIRC is encouraging its members to advocate for an amendment to fix may what may be an unintended consequence of the legislation, and is lobbying to get an amendment as soon as possible. NAFSA is also on the case. Deputy Executive Director of Policy, said:
We are hopeful that Congress will remedy the situation soon and will continue to work in coalition with higher education associations and with the Hill to encourage them to do so.