Zeroing in on a credential evaluation company can be a stressful and demanding experience since each company has its own criteria and methodologies. With so many companies out there, many international students are both confused and overwhelmed with one main question in mind, “how can I make sure that I am choosing a credential evaluation company that meets my needs?” Questions arise such as, will the evaluation by one credential evaluator be recognized by all the various universities the student will apply to? Which association makes the credential evaluator more credible? Will all the documents one has be accepted by the evaluator?
Many universities and students I spoke to recommend starting with the members of NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services) or AICE (Association of International Credentials Evaluators), two private associations that have stringent membership requirements, codes of ethics, and very high standards. These associations are widely recognized and accepted by most institutions and universities making the process a lot easier by relatively narrowing options down to a select few. The feedback students get from these organizations can be trusted.
Institutions and students using these affiliated credentials evaluation companies can be sure that the agency they select is a trust worthy, reliable and recognized company with good training and experience in the field.
So you may be reading this, asking yourself, how did this happen – how did the field become dominated by many credential evaluation companies with varying standards?
On December 28, 1973, the US Government declared it was shutting down its foreign educational credential evaluation services and the private sector was asked to step in. The government however, did not authorize, designate or nominate any specific group as a replacement, as a result several private U.S. international education individuals and organizations generously applied themselves in establishing guidelines for applied research and the credential evaluation of international educational credentials, while at the same time outlining the professional ethics and principles for the profession.
It is important to realize though, that some private companies choose not to become a member of one of the above agencies for their own reasons, not because of any lack of quality or expertise on the part of the agency. It is important to contact your schools to see what credential evaluation companies they recommend since they will be the ultimate decision makers!