Because many Chinese students have trouble making sense of the American admissions process, a huge industry of education agents has arisen in China to help guide them – and, in some cases, to do whatever it takes to get them accepted, writes Justin Bergman for Time.
This autumn, David Zhu will join an exodus of Chinese students boarding planes for the leafy, beer-soaked campuses of American colleges and universities, a dream his parents have had since they started saving a $157,000 nest egg for his education. The 21-year-old hired an education agent in China to clean up and ‘elaborate’ on the essay he submitted as part of his application.
Stories like Zhu’s are becoming increasingly common, and this has created a thorny ethical dilemma in the US. According to a 2010 report by the consultancy Zinch China, eight out of every 10 Chinese undergraduate students use an agent to file their applications. And with such intense competition among agents, cheating is rampant, the group says.
Full report on the Time site
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