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Students paying $15,000 to consultants to select college

By Jin Dan | | Updated: 2016-06-20 12:19

Students paying $15,000 to consultants to select college

A man hands out leaflets advertising consultation services to parents of candidates in Taiyuan, capital of North China's Shanxi province, June 7,2016. [Photo/IC]

If you think parents are spending too much on their children’s education, then this should surprise you. Some students are willing to pay as much as 100,000 yuan ($15,190) to consultants just for advice on which college they should select.

Many students in Beijing, along with their parents, are rushing to consultants for help on picking the university based on their gaokao results, which will be out on June 23, two days after which the application process starts, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Monday.

However, the service is not cheap as these institutes are charging anything from several thousands yuan to tens of thousands of yuan.

On the official website of an institute called Yingding Education, the fee is divided into three categories. "Service provided by professional consultants and by a team of experts on college application will be respectively charged 4,980 yuan and 19,800 yuan. Consulting with president Wang Haitao in person will cost 98,000 yuan."

An institute located near Renmin University of China bills consulting services by hours. A one-to-one service is priced at 500 yuan per hour.

Despite the high price, the consultants do not guarantee that colleges will accept the applicants and the fee is non-refundable.

However, the price has not deterred students and their parents from seeking the help of consultants. Thirty percent of them will seek the help of consultants, according to a survey reported by Legal Evening Post on June 14.

A staff member surnamed Pan at an institute called Shengdaxin Education said many parents registered for consultation service as early as the start of their children’s senior year in high school. And even though the institute charges 28,800 yuan per student, the dean is completely booked.

One parent of this year's gaokao candidate said they just follow the trend, adding that seeking consultants’ help brings them peace of mind.

The main reason students and parents flock to consultants is that the college application is as important as taking the exam itself.

It's even harder for those candidates who score high marks to make the decision. If they apply for a top university but lose out to other candidates then they risk settling for a second-tier university with their excellent result going to waste.

This is why 70 percent of the students who score above the minimum requirement of key universities will choose professional help of consultancies, according to Beijing Youth Daily.

As to the question whether consultancy really helps, a spokesman of a public school told Beijing Youth Daily that it might help those candidates who do have a clear future plan but don't know how to crack the application process.

But for those who do not have a well-defined goal, consultants' suggestions will not be of much help, he said.


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