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NACAC Agent Debate

Use of agents by universities in the United States is a topic of controversy with admissions offices and enrollment managers.  While the practice is widely adopted and highly regulated in most parts of the world, the United States has regulations against the practice for domestic students.  US regulations exempt foreign activity so the practice of using agents is legal in the United States, but several of the professional associations (NACAC, AACRAO) advise against the practice.  NACAC has taken the issue through a series of discussions and committees and currently has assembled a commission to review the issue of agents in a broader context of effective international recruiting practice.

The commission's first formal meeting was a public forum that received widespread media coverage, including:
NACAC Group Hears Pros and Cons on Use of Paid Recruiting Agents
Reframing the Agent Debate

Perception vs. Reality discussion for NACAC

On Monday March 5, 2012, Internet Carbon's lead consultant Mark Shay addressed NACAC's Commission on International Student Recruitment during the public comments segment of the commission's first day of meetings.  His prepared statement follows:

I appreciate the opportunity to address the commission and am here to voice support for the agents and the families they represent.  I am an independent businessman with many years of experience in the field of international education.  Currently I work in three capacities, I represent a Chinese student recruiting firm called EduGlobal who was in the first group of AIRC certified agencies, I am also part of a new venture called US University Tours designed to bring students to visit campuses before they apply and I have an independent consulting practice that helps universities develop successful agent strategies.  Having previously worked for a large, multi-national student recruiting firm, as well as serving on the AIRC Board of Directors, I've been in the middle of the agent debate for years.  My comments today will take some of the uninformed stereotypes about agents and address these as perceptions versus reality.

Perception: There are independent consultants and then there are agents.

Reality: Everyone overseas is an agent. The market doesn't differentiate, an agent is an agent whether an agent of the student, or an agent of the school; and agent is an agent. It is a generic term for any counselor or advisor who provides guidance.

Lead Consultant

Mark Shay

The driving force behind InternetCarbon is Mark Shay, a serial entrepreneur who has created, built and in several cases sold Internet-based and educationally related businesses. Read more for just a sampling of enterprises Shay brought to life...

In the News...

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Memberships and Organizations

Mark has just completed his term on the Board of Directors of AIRC - the American International Recruitment Council - an organization he is still very active with.  Mark is  a member of AIEA's Fund Raising Task Force.

He is an individual member or participant in the efforts of AIEA, NAGAP, NAFSA, Council of Graduate Schools, NACAC, AACRAO and UPCEA.

Read what our clients have to say about InternetCarbon.

"All six of the projet's milestones were achieved and new student enrollments for Spring 2009 did exceed those of Fall 2008." more...