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Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF

Managing student payments from an agent’s perspective

This special feature is sponsored by Flywire.

There is a story, famous in some circles, of an international student who once sent US$53,000 to an Ivy League institution in the United States. But something went wrong: the university received the payment but it got lost in the financial system, or at least they didn’t have a way to connect the payment to the student who sent it. Can you imagine the extra stress and confusion (and work and delay) that followed? Because the transfer was not properly attributed to the student at time of payment – a failed “reconciliation”, as a financial specialist would say – the student spent a difficult few weeks trying to demonstrate that they had in fact paid their fees.

That is an admittedly extreme example, but multiply it out across the hundreds of thousands of foreign students in each of the major study destinations and you begin to get a sense of complexity and potential pitfalls for students as they try to pay their fees across borders and currencies and financial systems.

That point where a payment is made is the last step in the enrolment funnel, but it’s one that often doesn’t get enough attention. If you don’t have an easy and effective way for students and families to transfer fees to your institution and school, you may be missing an important lever for boosting recruitment and retention.

This lesson comes through loud and clear in the following video, in which Anna Thai, the global sales director for Australia-based Annalink OSHC Students, explains how important international payment systems are from the point of view of an agent or student service provider.

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