Let’s have a frank conversation about international student recruitment. Now, for the sake of discussion, let’s take off the table all fully-funded international students (the usual suspects, if you will) and let’s focus on international student recruitment from developing countries that all universities seem to want but can’t quite seem to attract.

#1. The Online Application and Shipping Fees

There is no more divisive tradition than the online application process, which can run from $40 to $250 or more for international applications. While most American administrators find this fee innocuous and necessary, typically covering processing costs and courier fees, international students from developing nations will specifically choose universities without application fees (in a heartbeat) over higher-rated and more prestigious institutions that charge exorbitant application processing fees.

Seriously, this is the biggest difference between one applicant and fifty applicants.

#2. The Online International Application

If your online international application portal was designed by an American programmer under the guidance of your admissions committee, I can already tell you that you’re in trouble. We spend hours on conference calls with US colleges and universities explaining that international phone numbers are not ten digits or international students do not have social security numbers or even addresses requiring zip codes (do you mean pincode?), which all just goes to reinforce in the minds of the international family that your institution is out of touch with the needs and desires of your intended international population.

#3. The Courier Fee

If your college or university cannot cover the cost of sending original acceptance documents to your accepted international students using FedEx or DHL then consider using USPS with tracking. It will take a little longer, but it’ll make it to the student in the same kind of courier document folder but at a third of the cost. Sometimes, the small things can improve international student recruitment.

#4. Scanned Documents

If your university policy is to review only original (not scanned documents from certified or licensed education agents), you are effectively eliminating hundreds or even thousands of potential applications each year. Ask the university down the street with the vibrant and diverse international population about how to process scanned documents; simply require accepted international students to submit original documents when they arrive at your doorstep.

#5. Processing Time

If your university cannot process an international bachelor application and issue an acceptance letter and I-20 within 7 business days, you have a huge problem. And while we’re on the subject, a graduate application, regardless of how archaic or non-centralized the process might be, must be completed within 14 days of the submission. Competing colleges and universities in the US as well as at other English speaking countries are regularly producing documents at this pace, which is the expected rate amongst the international community you are attempting to recruit. If international student recruitment is a priority then make the processes faster, easier, and better for the student.

#6. Transcript Evaluation

If you thought a $75 app fee was a deterrent, try asking a student from a developing nation to pay $230 or more for a NACES approved transcript evaluation. If you cannot interpret transcripts internally, your prospective student will be graduating from another US institution or at a Canadian university near you. If you cannot overcome this administrative challenge then call a specific NACES approved transcript evaluator and negotiate a discounted rate and then promote that specific company as your preferred transcript evaluator 0n your website.


Yes, I agree language acquisition is essential in the evaluation of a prospective international student; however, let us not confuse language acquisition with intelligence. And if your minimum IELTS or TOEFL score is the same as the Top 100 universities in the US, your tier 3 college is effectively attempting to compete head-to-head with academic institutions with better reputations, better rankings, and a much larger endowment, which is to say that your professors might be happy but your admissions office is not.

Consider accepting an alternative exam as an approved method of establishing language acquisition to increase international student recruitment.

#8. International Deadlines

While I fully concede that deadlines are crucial for admissions officers to complete the tedious task of evaluating thousands of applications, US application deadlines are typically not aligned with academic calendars in developing nations. If diversity and growth are important to your institution then either allow flexibility with international submissions or change your deadlines. International student recruitment must become the mantra repeated throughout each step of your application processes.

#9. Recommendation Letters

Who told US institutions that the same personal one-on-one relationships between students and professors in the US system exist outside our continent? Demanding an international student to ask three professors to write personal anecdotal recommendation letters and submit them into a portal with English instructions is futile. Most recommendation letters written outside the United States contain little more than attendance data and a general reference to the final academic score, which is laborious for the international student to obtain and worthless to the graduate admissions committee.

#10. International Education Agents

What sense does it make to fly your admissions staff to international cities to set up a booth in a conference room with a hundred other universities to compete for the attention of the same international students?

McGovern Education Group is a contractual partner with hundreds of US colleges and universities and we have hundreds of capable international applicants who remain unplaced at the end of each recruiting cycle simply because of US submission deadlines and antiquated admissions procedures.

Ask yourself: Do you want a vibrant international student population in those empty seats? If so, it’s time for someone on the administrative leadership team to contact McGovern Education Group, the leader in international student recruitment at

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8 Questions from [Students in India] about Studying Abroad in America

8 Most Common Study Abroad Questions from [Students in India] about the USA.

If you are an international students who wants to study abroad in the United States, we have created a list of the most common questions our American counselors receive from international students.

Question #1. Do I need an IELTS or TOEFL exam score to be accepted to a US university?

Yes. If you want direct admission to a US university for a bachelor’s or master’s degree then you will be required to submit an IELTS or TOEFL exam score report. In general, international students should attempt to earn at least an IELTS 6.5 or TOEFL 81 to study abroad. If you wish to spend a semester or more learning English in the USA, most universities offer pathway programs or you can enroll in an approved ESL school in the USA.

Counselor Advice: In India, students who wish to study abroad without an IELTS or TOEFL exam score have a higher visa denial rate than those with language scores, even if applying through a pathway or ESL program.

Question #2. Do I need a GRE exam score to be accepted to a master’s degree program at a US university?

Yes. A competitive US university or a competitive degree program like engineering or computer science will require a 145/155/3.0 overall GRE score or higher; however, smaller private US universities do not require a GRE score for graduate admission but have lower visa approval rates.

Counselor Advice: In recent months, visa officers in India have been asking to see GRE exam score reports from students during the interview, even if the US university issuing the I-20 does not require a GRE. Students from India without a GRE exam score have a significantly higher visa denial rate.

Question #3. Should I use a local education agency to apply to a US university?

No. A local education agent can provide adequate information about the application and visa process. However, we recommend international students choose an American education consultant with certification from AIRC, USATC, or PIER, which ensures the assistance you receive will be from an experienced professional who lives and works in the United States, which means your time and money will be well spent on a degree that will reward you ten fold in the future.

Counselor Advice: Most application deadlines run from February to May for the Fall (August) semester, March to April for the Summer (June) semester, and July to October for the Winter (January) semester.

Question #4. Can I apply for a master’s degree with a three-year bachelor’s degree?

No. Most NACES approved transcript evaluation companies will not certify that a three-year bachelor’s degree is equivalent to a four-year degree in the US. However, many US universities offer one-year bridge programs in which an international student can complete his or her undergraduate degree in two-semesters and often provisionally accept the student into a master’s degree program upon successful completion of the bridge program.

Counselor Advice: Some bridge programs issue a US bachelor’s degree diploma upon successfully completion of the program while other universities allow the student to enter the graduate program but do not issue a diploma.

Question #5. How much money does my financial sponsor have to show to the visa officer?

US universities issue international students a letter of acceptance as well as an I-20 form, which includes the exact amount in USD the student’s financial sponsor must show in a certified bank statement or educational loan letter to the US visa officer during the visa interview. The amount varies from university to university but includes the following: two semester’s of tuition, housing, food, books, health insurance, spending money, and general fees.

Counselor Advice: If possible, it is always a good idea to show the visa officer the ability to pay more money than required amount, especially if your degree is multiple years in length.

Question #6. Will my visa application be denied if I have an education loan?

No. If you present the visa officer with certified loan letter indicating you have been approved for the full amount of your education in the US then you will have provided adequate proof of financial support.

Counselor Advice: Most students in India who apply for an education loan do so for a master’s degree, particularly one-year graduate programs.

Question #7. Can I study in the USA with a scholarship?

Yes. However, an international scholarship is based on a student’s academic performance and exam scores. For example, international students will high course percentages and high IELTS/TOEFL/SAT/ACT/GRE exam scores tend to qualify for the majority of the merit scholarship monies available at a university. An international scholarship is not issued simply because you are an international student nor does a scholarship offer a free education in the USA. In general, an international scholarship will reduce the tuition burden but will not impact housing, food, books, and other expenditures.

Counselor Advice: The ACT and SAT exams are not required at most US universities for international students applying for a bachelor’s degree. However, ACT and SAT exam scores can be used to determine the amount of an international scholarship for a bachelor’s degree.

Question #8. What’s your best advice for international students applying for an F-1 visa?

Earn acceptances to at least three US universities. Be able to articulate why you chose one university over the other two. Be prepared to talk about your financial support (in detail). Bring certified bank statements or proof of an education loan. Bring your course grades as well as your IELTS or TOEFL score report and GRE or GMAT score report. Be prepared to prove why your degree program in the US is more beneficial to your academic or professional career than remaining in your home country (and be prepared to prove you plan to return to your home country after graduation). If you’re denied a visa on your first attempt, it is very difficult to overcome a 214b denial or 221g so hire a trained American education consultant so you’re not denied in the first place.

Counselor Advice: Most of the advice international students receive on social media about being approved for a F-1 visa is generally misleading and often completely false. Always speak to a professional first.

Contact McGovern Education Group at to speak with an experienced American education professional. Follow us on FACEBOOK and TWITTER.



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#1. How does an experienced American counselor improve your college admissions success?

Want college admissions in the USA? A experienced college counselor is an expert on the admissions process at US universities and provides international students with step-by-step information about earning college admissions to safe, affordable, and respected US institutions that meet the student’s academic and career goals, including assistance with scholarships, OPT, CPT, graduate assistantships, visa interview training, and even airport pickup upon arrival in the USA.

#2. How does McGovern Education Group improve visa approvals? 

While most international students can complete the DS-160 application, the visa interview itself can be stressful, confusing, and requires students to understand American connotations. If the student is not well-trained by an experienced American college counselor, international students often receive a 214b denial, which requires even more training to overcome. Also, the questions asked in a visa interview vary from country to country, so it’s important to be trained by an experienced American college counselor with an expertise in your country.

#3. Which USA colleges and universities do you represent?

Unlike a local agent, McGovern Education Group is a team of experienced American counselors in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA who provide one-on-one training with international students in 16 countries. We carefully select safe, affordable, and well-respected partner institutions, which include USNews nationally ranked universities. We have a high rate of visa approvals for private and public universities because we understand the F-1 visa approval process.

#4. Can I study in the USA without an IELTS exam score?

If you have low English language skills, a pathway program or English Language School might be a good choice for you. However, you will be required to submit an IELTS or TOEFL score for direct admission to a respected US university as well as a GRE 300+ exam score report for most graduate degree programs. In some countries, like India, students experience lower visa approval rates when applying to pathway or ESL programs. While there is no such thing as a university black list or white list, students should be well trained before applying for the DS-160 visa interview.

#5. How much does it cost to attend a US university?

It depends. There are more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the USA and each offers degree programs at differing tuition fees depending on ranking, popularity, location, and other factors. In general, tuition for a bachelor’s degree program in the USA runs $15,000 USD to $35,000 USD per year, while a master’s degree program is generally around $20,000 USD per year.

#6. Do you provide scholarships or financial assistance?

McGovern Education Group can help qualified international students apply for an academic scholarship or graduate assistantship; however, the process and availability of funds varies from institution to institution. In general, international students with an IELTS score above 6.5 and a GRE score above 300 or GMAT score above 600 are the most competitive for scholarships and assistantships; however, students must still pay for housing, food, health insurance, books, and spending money.

#7. Which documents do I need to apply to a USA university?

For a bachelor’s degree, international students will need to submit a university application, IELTS or TOEFL exam score report, certified bank statement, 2-3 letters of recommendation from former teachers or professors, a statement of purpose essay, a copy of a valid passport, evaluated transcript from high school or university, a certificate of graduation, and a GRE exam or GMAT exam score, if applying for a master’s degree. Some universities will require the student’s transcript (course grades) to be evaluated by NACES approved transcript evaluation service if the official transcript is not in English.

#8. Are you familiar with the SACM program?

Yes. Most of our colleges and universities are SACM approved. We have placed KSA students in bachelor’s and master’s degree programs throughout the USA. We do not place international students for doctorate, dental, veterinarian, or law degrees.

#9. Do you help international students transfer to another USA university?

Yes. The transfer process is similar to the standard application procedures; however, your GPA may be a factor in your choices of USA universities. We do not assist students who wish to transfer upon arrival.

#10. Can I apply for a master’s degree in the USA with a three-year bachelor’s degree?

NACES approved transcript evaluation services do not recognize an international three-year degree as equivalent to a USA four-year bachelor’s degree. We do have USA universities that offer one-year degree completion programs, which generally costs $25,000 USD, including housing and food.

If you are interested in attending a safe, affordable, and respected US university, contact McGovern Education Group at Find us on Facebook or Twitter.

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10 Lies International Students Believe about USA Universities [Study in USA]

10 Lies International Students Believe about USA Universities [Study in USA]

Lie #1. I should only apply to Top 50 ranked US universities to study in the USA.

Study in the USA? There are more than 4,000 universities in the United States and no one, including a magazine ranking system, can accurately determine which is the best school for you. Unless your academic profile is in the 95th percentile, your Top 50 university application will likely be denied. We recommend you find an international student placement provider [study in USA consultant] that can help you discover undergraduate merit scholarships for international students at universities that fit your academic profile. 

Lie #2. I should apply to the cheapest American universities for international students.

Many affordable universities with low acceptance requirements are not regionally accredited, which means you will likley have low university fees but a disappointing educational experience. Examine the curriculum guide on each university’s website to see if the degree program offered is a good match for you. Create a list of questions and schedule a video conference call with the international admissions department. For example, I want to study in USA after 12th Commerce, what’s the process? Can I study in USA without an IELTS score?

Lie #3. I need to apply to at least 10 universities.

In the end, you can only attend one university. If you are unable to determine the unique differences between ten universities then either your academic advisor is a fool or you have not taken enough time to research each university. And with each acceptance, you take a seat from a student who genuinely wishes to attend that particular university.

Lie #4. I should listen to the advice of a local agent/uncle/friend. 

If you were lost in an American city, would you call your uncle for directions or would you ask a local resident for help? A certified education counselor knows more about each university he or she represents (and the surrounding city) than your well-intentioned uncle ever will. Beware of the local agent who recommends the same handful of US universities to all his clients; these universities are likely unaccredited institutions with low academic standards and bad reputations with low visa approval rates.

Lie #5. American Counselors are expensive in the USA.

A good education consultant serves as a kind of trusted advisor who can help you choose from the thousands of US universities, avoid application mistakes, receive visa interview training, and significantly improve your chances of arriving on a USA campus. Do you know the monthly living cost in the USA? Do you know how to study in the USA with a scholarship?

Lie #6. The statement of purpose essay doesn’t matter.

The essay is your opportunity to write directly to the admissions committee, who will determine if you will be accepted or denied. If your statement of purpose essay contains errors or is plagiarized or is too vague, then you will likely be denied. If you are uncomfortable writing in English, a semester at a English Language Program in the USA might be helpful to your academic success

Lie #7I do not need training to successfully earn a visa to study in the USA.

F-1 visa approval rates vary widely from country to country and from embassy to embassy. An AIRC certified education agent can make the difference between a visa approval and a visa denial. Isn’t it worth your time to spend a few hours training with a qualified American education consultant before arriving for an interview that could change your life?  

Lie #8. Universities are better than colleges.

There is no significant difference between a college and a university in the United States. For example, Dartmouth College and Harvard University are both highly selective and are both Ivy League schools.

Lie #9. I can get a full scholarship for international students in the USA.

Most US colleges and universities do offer international merit scholarships for well-qualified applicants; however, scholarships for internationals students tend to reduce tuition but do not typically lower the cost of housing, food, health insurance, and books. In addition, qualified students will need to possess high scores on the IELTS or TOEFL exams as well as GRE or GMAT exams for graduate admission.

Lie #10. I can easily get accepted to a US medical school or law school.

Applying for either medical school or law school in the USA is not advised. Both applications are extremely unlikely to be approved. A law degree makes a student an expert in US law and is therefore not applicable to international students returning home. Most public institutions will not accept international students for medical school because of funding restraints and transcript credit issues.

McGovern Education Group represents more than 200 US universities and provides comprehensive university placement services for international students.

Learn more at or email us at Find us on Facebook or Twitter

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Ten Things I Wish I Could Tell My Younger Self about Teaching

When I first began teaching, I taught eighth-grade English at a small private school on the East Coast. I started each class with a speed-journal question in which students were asked to respond in writing to a question posed on the whiteboard before a set amount of time had expired.

Here’s a speed-journal question for the teacher.

Journal Entry #14: If you could speak to your younger self on your first day of teaching, what would you tell yourself?

1. The hardest part of teaching a group of students is recognizing that each group, each class, has its own group identity. Each class is its own complex ecosystem. You will not recognize how your least attentive student impacts your most gifted; you will instead see fires that need to be put out, inattention, and distraction. You will attend to each as a thousand unrelated actions, not understanding how to first identify the group as a whole, how it thinks, what interests it; and the group must be befriended, understood, and made a partner in its own education. Only then can you begin to understand the parts — the students — adjusting to how each relates to the group.

2. There are only two questions that matter: how and why. Everything else is just the stuff of quizzes and tests. There will be teachers who will applaud their favorite parrots and parade them around, believing borrowed insight is an education. But know that the highest-performing students can rarely think for themselves, trading their own voice for praise, left susceptible to failure later in life. You must always remember that you are not teaching them what to think but how to think. Stop listening for the right answer. Make them explain how they reached their conclusion. If you learn their tendencies and learn which steps preceded the next, you can teach them to find their own way out of the darkness. A real education means that a student no longer needs you after the conclusion of the course.

3. Stop talking so much. The more you speak, the less they learn. They must do. They must experiment. They must learn to fail and try again and again. Just giving them the right answer is selfishness, ego; it’s the easiest path for the popular instructor, but not for the great teacher. Their learned response to failure is the most important and necessary component to learning — and probably to life for that matter. Creating an environment in which the answer to failure is anxiety, or fear, or tears intended to pry the answer from your lips is failure on your part. If you do not commit yourself to impart enough confidence to your students to risk their own fear of failure, then you will spend the year combating aggression or indifference.

4. Forgive yourself. Ask the same of yourself that you ask of your students: be better than you were yesterday. Model this behavior. And when you do not, apologize, make amends to those you have failed (especially to your students), and then let it go. Dragging all that pain around will poison every relationship you have and will punish you more than those who have harmed you. Forgive others, not because they deserve it but because you are only punishing yourself.

5. Students learn by what you do, not by what you say.

6. There is comfort in consistency, which is not to say that everything must always be the same — by no means. Change things up, give lots of choice and options, but maintain a structure that allows students to expect a predictable outcome. Allow your expectations to be consistent so that your students will value your praise and accept your criticism. Watch your tone carefully. Students will translate frustration and annoyance as hate and condemnation, and you will lose them. Applaud the good, provide a way out of the bad, and don’t ever let them linger in self-loathing.

7. Let them see the passion that drew you to works of literature. Open up, and reconnect with your younger self, remembering what it was like to struggle with all that insecurity and self-doubt. Share those stories. Be a person. Be a fool for 18th century poets. Dance. Jump. Sing. Be unafraid. Be the hope for them that things will not always be like they are now.

8. When talking to a parent, realize that they would willingly give up their lives for their child, without pause, without question, and this dynamic is the undercurrent of all conversations, all fears, all hopes. Nothing you do is more important to them than what you do for their child. Reassure them that everything is going to be all right, and then do your damnedest to make that sentence true. Understand that a parent has agreed to share with you the growth and development of their most precious love; this is the unspoken covenant between teachers and parents. Honor that trust. When the years have passed, when you are just an anecdote over dinner, no one will be able to remember your clever lessons and units – college and time will blur that for them, but what will be remembered is how a student felt in your classroom, and whether you will be ultimately judged as excellent or poor, authentic or flawed, will be found in the experience of your classroom.

9. If your students don’t believe that you believe in them, they will not learn from you, they will not engage, they will be lost to you. And all the negative behavior that follows and the consequences issued in response to that behavior will poison your classroom and will ultimately steal an education from your students. And this will haunt you years later, not just for the education lost but for your complicity in it. You would handle things so much better now. But their names will not fade like the others; guilt and responsibility will make sure of that. And for this, too, you must find forgiveness and time for yourself, because tomorrow will come, and the bell will ring, and a new class will need you to be better than you were before.

10. Remember that you are not a high school student. You just work there. It seems simple enough, but you must remember that you spend more time with teenagers than you do with adults. And if you let them, homework, dances, and soccer games will consume your life until your friends no longer recognize you, until your life is not your own. I wish I could tell you that it was worth it, all those hours cheering students across this finish line or that; but the journey back, finding yourself again, and building a private life again, will be brutal. And all those hours spent volunteering, while well-intentioned, will be hours not spent with loved ones, not spent with friends, and not spent finding someone who will love you back. I guess, as hard as this is to imagine saying, I would tell you that you confused dedication with obsession, love with sacrifice. If I could go back, I would tell you that we got lost somewhere back there, and it took years to find our way back home again.

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