Bloombergrevealed today about US institutions hiring foreign agencies to recruit international students with a commission for each student enrolled. Paying agent commission based on number of admission was illegal in the US on US students. However, it's a fair game out of the boarder.
In the Bloomberg story blamed on predatory agents. Some Chinese students were lured to the US on false representation of the colleges they were attending. In one example, a student 'paid $47,000 a year to live in an almost empty country inn and attend classes five miles down the road' at 'a satellite campus comprising two buildings and 250 students'.
The problem is darer than what was portrait in the article. Many small US institutions has a designated person in charge of international admission. The person has unchecked ultimate authority in determining who can come and who can not. Often the same person or his friend will run a housing business. A precondition for any international student to get a chance would be agreeing to rent from this person for at least a year.
Not all Chinese are affluent. As a matter of fact, the per capital GDP of China ranked 127th in the world. However, because of China's base population and the ever deepening income gap, a big block of Chinese families are capable to send their children overseas for college. The value of one apartment in Beijing is more than enough to support a Harvard study and some, of course, if the family don't mind living on the street. Well, that's exactly what a Chinese family would do for their child's future. You can't blame sharks going after blood.