International Policy Digest

Sponsored Content /30 May 2018

Globalization Boom or Bust: The Future of Academic Consulting

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” A question put to sons and daughters no doubt beyond the confines of written history. In the modern era, with frenetic boons in connectivity, transparency, and accountability borne from globalization, many are now asking, “How will I get there if I’m not going to the right college or university”?

With greater emerging market integration into the American school system, compounded by unbridled access to personal information made available to the public domain by young applicants (in part due to perhaps bad decision making), the quest for academic success and conversion into career excellence has been made irreparably challenging. To navigate this new terrain, we turn to Vitaly Borishan of Solomon Admissions Consulting.

Data is widely available for millions of Facebook users across the United States. How important is safeguarding your social media personality from scrutiny in the academic admissions arena?

Extremely important – In a Kaplan Test Prep survey of more than 350 college admissions officers in the U.S., 35% reported having looked at applicants’ social media accounts during the auditing process.

For academic applicants to maintain advantage in an increasingly competitive environment, much like applying for a job, one must be vigilant in ensuring privacy protections are in place and one’s digital footprint is polished.

While the overall number of officers who review social media is markedly down 5 percentage points from last year, 47 percent of officers who do check social media profiles note that the practice positively affects how they view applicants.

It’s simply not worth the risk to ignore the impact of digitization to what is the booming industry of college admissions.

What is the U.S./China commercial dynamic at present as it pertains to education opportunity in the United States?

Between 2006 and 2016, the economic impact of international students in the U.S. more than doubled, to almost $37 billion dollars and support for 450,000 jobs. China long has been the number one source of international students in the U.S., almost 351,000 in 2016-17, close to a third of all international students here.

We rightly set up offices in China to cater to this market, addressing the challenges and opportunities in U.S. academic integration, understanding globalization’s reformative dynamic to the sector in the United States.

No question, Asian ‘Tiger Market’ integration into colleges and universities in the United States raises the stakes and limits the bandwidth with regard to admissions. There is real money at stake for higher education institutions and surrounding communities to ignore this trend.

So, a young American applicant needs to think three-dimensionally. Extracurricular activities, a positive social footprint, community outreach, a career roadmap, these are factors to be taken into consideration.

Is online accreditation (e.g. ‘e-university’) a viable alternative as compared to community colleges?

We are seeing an evolution in terms of the depth of services provided to ‘e-under-graduates,’ certainly, coupled with access to textbooks and materials online which would have in years past cost hundreds of dollars, beyond a large sect of applicants’ operating budgets.

Given your last question on the impact of globalization, I envision online accreditation maturing in both quality of service (decoration) and scale, in future, albeit with the caveat of proper oversight in ensuring e-identity, looking towards a tremendous opportunity for students at home and abroad.

Do you see the reach of Solomon Admissions expanding further internationally? If so, to where?

Over 26% of college applicants today use a private college admission consultant. This is in response to a natural evolution in terms of population growth and technological ramification. While a potential student can use alternative resources for general assistance and insight, most of these sources largely are unable to guarantee to an individual a strategy custom-tailored to each specific applicant.

We are looking towards office expansion in India – Indeed it’s safe to say that Solomon Admissions is not only scaling to facilitate supply to meet this rising demand but honing its resources and expertise to guide the new era of U.S. collegial applicants towards academic and subsequently, professional success.

On behalf of our growing and no doubt globalizing team, we look forward to the next steps here.

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