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What is the landscape for education agents and their commissions?

July 23, 2018

It's no secret that education agents are increasingly prominent players on the international study scene. But what's the deal with their commissions and how many students enlist the help of these professionals?

The value of education agents

Agents have truly become the trusted advisors of international students across the globe.

Universities and students know know just how much value agents can add to the recruitment process. They have truly become the trusted advisors of international students across the globe, helping them navigate their way to life-changing experiences in exciting new countries.

Commissions schemes provide us with an effective way to lift good agents up while improving the recruitment capabilities and student service capacities of universities everywhere. These incentives push agents to be better and do better for the sake of the international education community - a true win-win for everyone involved.

"Our job is not to sell them a degree, our job is to enable them to start here and go anywhere" - @gusbalbontin #IETSummit2018 #intled

— Cohort (@_cohort) June 28, 2018

What does the commissions landscape look like?

Commissions-based remuneration means that institutions can expect more accountability from agents and demand more transparency as well as higher standards for ongoing student support. When your structure is based around, say, a per-student model, agents are even more invested in the interests of both the institution and the students.

Why? Because if the agent is not capable of finding suitable matches for the student based on their preferences then this problem will become noticeable to everyone invested in the placement. This then places the agent's connection to the educational institution and their commission at risk.

Education agents help students across the world achieve their international study dreams.

At the same time, if students generally report that an agent isn't providing quality service or successful placements, this will quickly become apparent to all concerned as well – including both the receiving institution and prospective students – and the agent's ability to continue to generate referral commissions will be at risk.

It's clear from the scenario above that commissions structures aren't just about money, they provide a level of quality assurance, reinforcing a shared focus on student welfare and success.

So what do the going rates for service look like? According to a study World Education Services:

  • Overall, 45 per cent of respondents paid under $500 for agents' services
  • A further 16 per cent paid between $501-$1,000.
  • Almost one in five (19 per cent) respondents using a commission-based agent paid more than USD$1,000 for their services.

The bottom line: The landscape for education agent commission is good and commissions structures are important. But why do students rely on agents and how many are going forward with this kind of support?

How many students enlist the help of these agents - and why?

Studying overseas is a big decision, so it's natural for students and their parents to want as much professional help as they can get. Sure, the internet provides a platform for research but people want a personal touch when making such a big investment.

Choosing to study in a new country is no small decision.

Education agents are used in the application stage by 79 per cent of international students, according to WES. Monitor ICEF estimates that more than half of all new international enrolments to Australian universities now come through agents.

For students and their parents, agents are important local advisors who provide support for the often intricate decisions associated with studying overseas. For institutions, agents represent a cost-effective way to recruit internationally and to establish a local presence in markets overseas.

Where does Cohort Go fit into the picture?

We love our agents. And we know just how much value you add to each international study experience. That's why we work to make your lives a bit easier - especially when it comes to commissions. Our platform allows agents to automatically calculate all provider commissions due in seconds to reduce payment delays.

We love our agents and we know how much value you add to each international study experience.

More than that, you can save time and money by pooling your commissions into a dedicated Cohort Go account where you'll pay lower foreign exchange rates and fees on withdrawals.

We help you streamline commissions (among other things) so you can save time and spend it on creating strong student relationships.

In late 2017, our payment portal was selected by IDP Education; the global leaders in international education student recruitment. With over 100 offices in 33 countries, this partnership has enabled us to work with a larger volume of international students; empowering them to save money on their tuition fees, by allowing them to pay in their local currency at highly competitive foreign exchange rates. Interested in learning more? We're keen to show you! Find out how Cohort Go Payments can help you GO further by talking to your local Cohort Go specialist today.