Repairs to US THRIVE Act’s Agent Ban Signed Into Law

The proposed repair to the Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) Act’s education agent ban has been signed into law in the United States. With this, U.S. higher education institutions that were previously prohibited from utilizing commission-based agents to recruit international students are now able to do so following an adjustment to the law.

 

When the THRIVE Act was signed into law in June 2020, international education advocates in the United States claimed that its unforeseen effect was that the payment of commissions to education agents was prohibited if institutions received funds under the GI Bill.

 

Particularly, one amendment limits “providing a commission, bonus or other incentive payment based directly or indirectly on success in securing enrollments or financial aid to any persons or entities engaged in any student recruiting or admission activities or in making decisions regarding the award of financial assistance.”

 

International education organizations such as the NAFSA: Association of International Educators, American Council on Education (ACE), and the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) lobbied for bill modifications to ensure that institutions may continue to work with commission-based agents to recruit students.    

 

They worked together to advocate for a Technical Corrections bill that would modify the THRIVE Act so that it does not adversely impact institutional to agency partnerships and the recruitment of international students. The bill aimed to repair the agent ban provision was formally introduced in October, and the Senate passed them in early December 2021.

 

Stakeholders pushed for similar stipulations to the 1965 Higher Education Act, which allows for the use of incentives or compensation to agents to recruit overseas students, to be included in the THRIVE Act. After President Biden signed the technical corrections bill in late December, the required phrase was inserted.

 

According to NAFSA, at a time when foreign student enrollment in the United States is already declining and other nations are making gains in drawing global talent, the United States cannot afford to limit the instruments available to higher education institutions for recruiting international students.

 

The organization was thankful to its advocates and coalition partners for joining them in this effort. It also applauded the House and Senate for taking immediate action to ensure that U.S. colleges and universities can compete for international student talent on an equal footing with their global competitors.

 

The amendment to the law allowed the restoration of a key recruitment tool to universities at a time when the United States aims to attract and enroll more overseas students. (SUNEETHA QURESHI)

MSM VP Global Suneetha Qureshi

MSM President-Global Marketing Office (GMO)

Suneetha has more than 10 years of experience in the international education sector. As president of MSM GMO, she fortifies its business development outreach globally, particularly in the face of MSM’s foray in edtech-based recruitment via MSM Unify. She preserves the premium, value-adding services provided to each GMO partner institution, including dedicated teams on the ground, agent management, lead generation and inquiry management, application pre-screening, and student and parent support through pioneering pre-departure briefing sessions.

 

She has an impeccable track record of successfully launching the representative offices in Asia and Africa of many North American and European higher education institutions. Her key strengths include hiring, training, and developing teams as evidenced by the successful results of the dedicated in-country college and university client teams.

Suneetha also has taken the lead in developing several initiatives at MSM, including building robust standard operating procedures, the Rise ‘n Shine team engagement platform, and the organization’s data analytics and audit segments.

References:

Marte, C. (2021, October 7). What you should know about the thrive act 2021. AIRC. Retrieved January 11, 2022, from https://www.airc-education.org/news-and-updates/what-you-should-know-about-the-thrive-act-2021

 

Thrive act “fix” signed into law in US. The PIE News. Retrieved January 11, 2022, from https://thepienews.com/news/thrive-act-fix-signed-into-law-in-us/

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