Self Application v/s Study Abroad Agency

Self Application v/s Study Abroad Agency

10 mins read62.1K Views 12 Comments
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jan 8, 2024 11:11 IST

A lot of study-abroad aspirants tend to save the consultancy charges by applying on their own and do not confuse themselves between self-apply or apply via study abroad agency. Yes, students can apply to study abroad on their own since everything is available over the internet nowadays. But, at the same time, they must remember that the efforts pay off in very few cases and students end up with disappointment in the maximum number of cases. 

Self Application v/s Study Abroad Agency

Since the study abroad application procedure requires a lot of time, patience and effort, the ideal time to start planning your application to abroad universities is anywhere between 8-10 months. Time consumed from the beginning of your research and making an application to getting admitted from the universities along with the VISA approval as well as getting the educational loan sanctioned takes almost a year of a candidate’s life. Therefore, proper planning and time management are mandatory. Below discussed are some perks of taking assistance from overseas educational agents over applying on your own:

Market Insights

The study abroad consultancies hire industrial experts who possess market insights. They remain updated with the latest industrial trends regarding the best education providers, countries with better industrial exposures, and even evolving application procedures. Self-application is more research-oriented than it seems, as you are required to follow these consultants to get access to their database. Getting updated with the latest emerging trends in your particular industry pertaining to the best education providers and the entire procedure of studying abroad becomes more challenging when you apply on your own.

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Follow-ups and Time Management

You can follow up with the consultants at every stage of your application and get an update on your previous step, which would help you know what your next step needs to be and that’s how you would end up saving time. Throughout the process of application, from choosing your dream college till getting your air tickets to the country, you can get an update on each and everything you have done or have to do. In the case of self-apply, there is nobody you can refer to for an update on your status even after filing the application.

Eligibility and Shortlisting

Eligibility plays an important role when choosing your course, college, or country. Hence, understanding your profile is a priority that comes before personal preferences, since it helps in university shortlisting. The consultants have tie-ups with a lot of good and recognised universities that consider your profile even if you are not meeting their eligibility criteria, which is required to maintain a healthy relationship in the market.


Even if you connect with people on your own, you are most likely to get misled by the references you have, such as your friends, relatives, seniors, etc. They would share their thoughts or experiences with you, but these references are limited to a particular area or field that they are familiar with. To get a broader aspect of the options available, you should consult industry experts rather than random external help. The consultants can help you get connected with a lot of students already studying in the country and college of your choice. They can further help you explore a vast array of good colleges that offer your choice of courses with fewer tuition fees and even better industrial exposure opportunities.

Editorial Services

As we all know, applying to universities abroad has to go through a procedure of explaining your profile and clarifying your objectives with the help of supporting documents such as SOPs, Admission Essays, LORs, CVs, etc. These documents have a proper format, which is easily available over the internet, but using them wisely is very important. If not paid proper attention, these may result in a rejection. The consultants help you properly draft these supporting documents with the motive of presenting your profile strongly.

The consultants, on the other hand, evaluate your profile and understand your requirements before providing you with the university shortlist. They accordingly get the editing done from their resources who are trained to help you. The best part, in this case, is that you can mould the services, both in terms of counselling and editing, as per your preferences if you are not satisfied. Additionally, you can get back to the consultants if you do not get heard from the universities you have applied to. You can further extend your contracts with the free consultants or get reimbursement from the paid consultants in case of rejection. Another thing to remember is that the chances of getting blacklisted from any university are equal to zero when you consult experts and thus it is always the safest option.

Did you know there are free consultants in the industry who do not charge even a single penny throughout their entire service even after you get selected by your dream university? Moreover, the chances of selection by your dream universities get much higher when you apply through consultants as compared to self-apply. Check out the difference between paid and free consultants.

Documentation and University Interviews

The entire work of documentation needs to be done carefully as your financial documents play a vital role in the application procedure. Consultants can help you with samples for your guidance and help you understand how to use your academic transcripts and scorecards. They further help you with cracking the university interviews in case you are applying to business colleges or MBA courses. To increase your chances of getting selected, they can also get students and university conferences arranged for you to build rapport with the colleges.

Scholarship and Assistantship

The chances of obtaining a scholarship and even an assistantship increase when you get help from the education consultants. Since they are aware of various kinds of scholarships provided by external organisations and within the colleges you apply, it becomes easier to apply to multiple scholarships. Moreover, they can help you understand the selection criteria of each scholarship along with helping you in drafting your scholarship essays. You may miss out on these in case of self-apply.

Check out: chances of receiving a scholarship for study abroad

VISA Filing

This is a crucial step of the application procedure. Missing out on any essential information may result in VISA rejection. Nobody wants to get rejected at this stage of application especially when they have gotten an offer letter from their dream university. The agents keep updated with the changes in the VISA filing and can help you with the same. Moreover, they help you prepare for the difficult VISA interviews. If you apply on your own, you have limited information over the internet to help you with cracking this interview. It is also worth paying attention that the interviewers sitting out there in the VISA office are smart enough to figure out that you have prepared everything through the internet with the kind of answers you give to their questions.


Studying abroad is expensive, and so is the application procedure. The application fees charged by the universities abroad are a lot, and you obviously do not apply to a single university or college. You are likely to make applications to at least 2-3 colleges to receive admission from one. When your application gets rejected fees are not reimbursed. However, the consultants can help you with getting some amount of your application fees waived so that you can easily make multiple applications. Moreover, they help you in sending the hard copies to the universities using the shipment services they have to offer, where you can save money. And this is not it, some consultants also support your expenses of the standardised admission tests such as GRE or GMAT for PG admissions, SAT or ACT for UG admissions and, IELTS / TOEFL / PTE for English language proof.

Loans and Travel Tie-ups

How would you feel if you had the offer letter from your dream university or college in one hand and a rejected loan document in the other? Nobody wants to give up on their dream when they have reached this far.

Financing your education is another crucial step that needs a lot of time, patience and awareness. The procedure of loan application and approval varies from country to country, college-to-college and bank to bank. Study abroad consultants are aware of everything in this regard. They understand the value of money and the importance of getting a loan approved to make your dream come true. Surprisingly, they have tie-ups with different banks that won’t let you down. Not only this, they even have tie-ups with the travel agencies, to help you get your travel tickets faster and even provide you with foreign currency exchange without any troubles.

Since it is an important step of the procedure, you would definitely not want to delay your loan application. Know when to start thinking about finances.

As we can see, taking expert assistance would help in almost every step of the application procedure. You may find the top overseas education consultants in every corner of India, so it is recommended to choose your consultant wisely.

Additional reads:

Visa Guide to the US

Visa Guide to the UK

Visa Guide to Canada

Visa Guide to Australia

Self Application v/s Study Abroad Agency FAQs

Q. I wish to apply to top universities in the US, should I apply on my own?

A. You must remember that top universities in the US or any other place have stringent and strict admissions criteria. You entire application process and interview can be very competitive. In such case, you might want to consider taking help of a study abroad expert. Though there is no problem in applying on your own but it is always better to seek expertise in such complicated cases before applying from experts. There are both free and paid counselling that applicants can avail for their admissions. 

Q. Which is the easiest country to apply for study abroad?

A. There is no such thing as an easy or difficult country. Even pro-immigration countries can reject your visa, and even universities with very high acceptance can reject your application. You must focus on doing your level best. Do not leave any stone unturned even if you are applying to universities with a high acceptance rate. Ultimaltely it is the effort that gets paid off based on the application process and how applicants have researched to submit a complete and compelling admission application. 

Q. How can I reduce my cost of application for applying to universities?

A. Certain universities provide a fee waiver on applications. Some of them might not charge any application fee at all. For such purposes, you need to check individual university and their application fee. However, this application is only a part of your overall application. For example, there are US universities without application fees, there may be other countries also which have universitie accept admission applications without an application fee which the applicant will have to check before applying. 

Q. How important are editorial services for SoP, essays, etc.?

A. Your resume, SoP, essays, letters of recommendation, etc. form a major part of your application. They might also help you fetch a scholarship. Do not ignore the importance of these application documents. In addition, your test score also matter to a great extent. Make sure to build a holistic profile. Editorial services can help you in writing these documents efficiently and as per the need of the university. Since there is a level of experience required here and a certain format is followed, it is always necessary to seek editoria services for such submissions. 

Q. Can I apply for a loan by myself?

A. Why not? However, loans for study abroad applications involve a lot of paperwork and formalities. It would be advisable if you take help of some expert so that your application does not get delayed. Applying for loans can be tedious and require a lot of calculations too, thus, it depends on the applicant how he/she plans out the entire process. This is a time taking exercise, hence must be taken up within the supervision of an elder in the family. 

About the Author
Written by
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

Aishwarya is a professional Writer currently working as a Study Abroad Expert in the Editorial Team at Shiksha. She has over 5 years of experience and is skilled at creating Online Content with leveraged knowledge i... Read Full Bio

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Lewis Meyeyin

9 months ago

Dr Lewis I am looking for the cheapest American school to study Masters in public (epidemiology) without ielt and GRA

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Lewis Meyeyin

9 months ago

Dr Lewis I am looking for the cheapest American school to study Masters in public (epidemiology) without ielt and GRA

Reply to Lewis Meyeyin


md sharif

a year ago

Hi I'm looking forward to pursue masters in USA in can i apply for universitys...

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Vedica bhardwaj

2 years ago

hi! i'm looking forward to pursue law in UK in 2023 as an undergraduate. PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO START MY PREPARATION?!!

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