Scholarships and Financial Aid for International Students
Mr. Patriek Karayil, President, American Colleges
In conversation with prisila, Correspondent, Asia Business Outlook Magazine. Patriek offers his insights on how the internet and technology can influence the accessibility of dependable information for students exploring education choices.
Patriek Karayil, with degrees from Arizona State and MIT, he initially worked at NASA, and later at Motorola and Dell. His journey inspired a passion for education, leading to AC's founding, and prioritizing student interests. Through collaborations with 50+ U.S. universities and advocacy for transparent, affordable guidance, Patriek's empathetic leadership shapes AC's vision.
Unbiased information plays in helping students make informed decisions about their education.
Unbiased information plays a crucial role in helping students make informed decisions about their education. Here is how -
1. Navigating Complexity with Clarity - International education involves intricate layers of decision-making – from choosing the right country and institution to understanding the nuances of courses and career outcomes. Unbiased information acts as a compass, guiding students through this complexity with clarity and confidence. It ensures that choices are made based on accurate, up-to-date, and relevant data, rather than on misleading or incomplete insights.
2. Mitigating Risks of Misinformation - In the digital age, misinformation or biassed advice can lead students astray, potentially impacting their education and career trajectories. Unbiased information acts as a safeguard, protecting students from predatory practices, such as biassed counselling driven by hidden incentives or fraudulent schemes.
3. Enhancing Access to Opportunities - For many students, especially from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, access to reliable information is a gateway to opportunities that might otherwise remain out of reach. Unbiased information democratises access, ensuring that all students, regardless of their background, have an equal chance to learn about and seize opportunities that align with their academic and professional aspirations.
4. Empowered Decision-Making - Empowerment in decision-making is critical for students stepping into new educational and cultural environments. Unbiased information empowers students by providing them with a clear understanding of their options, helping them make decisions that are best suited to their personal, academic, and financial circumstances.
5. Building Realistic Expectations - Unrealistic expectations can lead to disappointment and challenges during and after the educational journey. Unbiased information helps in setting realistic expectations about academic life, cultural adjustments, career prospects, and financial commitments, enabling students to prepare adequately for their overseas education journey.
Internet and technology impact the availability of reliable information for students seeking education options.
The internet and technology have significantly impacted the availability of reliable information for students seeking education options.
1. Expanding Access to Information The internet has made vast amounts of information readily accessible to students worldwide. It allows them to explore educational options across the globe without geographical constraints, offering insights into universities, courses, cultures, visa processes, and more with just a few clicks.
2. Real-Time Updates and Insights - Technological platforms can provide real-time updates about educational institutions, application deadlines, scholarship opportunities, and policy changes. This immediacy ensures that students can make decisions based on the most current information available.
3. Virtual Tours and Experiences - Through virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), students can take virtual tours of campuses, engage with current students, and attend classes remotely. These immersive experiences can provide a more concrete sense of the educational environment before making a commitment.
4. Social Proof and Peer Reviews - The internet enables students to access testimonials, reviews, and forums where they can hear directly from peers and alumni. This social proof can often provide a more transparent and candid perspective on educational institutions and student experiences.
5. Limitations and Challenges - However, it's essential to acknowledge that the internet also poses the risk of misinformation. Students must navigate a plethora of sources, some of which may be unreliable or biassed. Critical thinking, digital literacy, and the ability to discern credible sources are essential skills in effectively utilising the internet for educational planning.
"Empowerment in decision-making is critical for students stepping into new educational and cultural environments."
Tools and Resources to Help Students Evaluate Information Reliability in Their Education Search
For reliable information during their education search, students can employ a variety of resources and tools, such as the following
1. Official University Websites Always the first source of authoritative information regarding courses, faculty, accreditation, and campus life.
2. Government Bodies - For checking the accreditation of institutions and the recognition of courses.
3. Educational Ranking Websites: Like QS World University Rankings and U.S News, which provide researched and analysed data.
4. School Counsellors: Often have resources and connections to reliable information sources.
5. Virtual Campus Tours and Webinars - Provided by universities or third-party services, they offer a glimpse into campus life.
6. Peer Reviews and Student Forums - Places like Reddit, and Quora where current or past students share experiences.
"Independent rating agencies and review websites can play a valuable role in providing clear and unbiased information about educational institutions."
The Role of independent rating agencies and review websites in delivering unbiased information about educational institutions.
Independent rating agencies and review websites can play a valuable role in providing clear and unbiased information about educational institutions.
● Objectivity and Expertise:- Rating agencies often employ experts who can assess educational institutions on various parameters such as faculty quality, research output, campus facilities, student satisfaction, and employment outcomes. Their evaluations can offer a level of detail and expertise that individual students might not be able to access otherwise.
● Standardised Comparisons: - These agencies usually apply standardised criteria for evaluating institutions, which can help students compare schools on a like-for-like basis. This standardisation can be particularly helpful for international students who may not be familiar with the nuances of another country's education system.
● Demystifying Marketing: - Universities and colleges invest significantly in marketing to attract students. Independent ratings can serve as a counterbalance to promotional content, helping students look past glossy brochures and well-crafted websites to understand the actual quality and reputation of an institution.
● BIG CAVEAT - Important - Rankings often fail to account for the individual goals, needs, and circumstances of students. For example, a university that is ranked lower but offers an exceptional program in a student's field of interest might be a better fit than a higher-ranked institution with a less robust offering in that area. A higher-ranked institution may not necessarily offer the best financial aid package or may be located in an area where the cost of living is high. Socially and culturally, some students may prefer a campus with a strong sense of community or particular extracurricular opportunities, which might not correlate with ranking positions.