Signed into law in June 2020, stakeholders said an unintended consequence of the THRIVE Act meant that the payment of commissions to agents was banned if institutions received funding from a GI Bill.

International education organisations such as the American Council on Education, NAFSA and American International Recruitment Council pressed for amendments to the bill to ensure institutions would still be permitted to collaborate with commission-based agents to recruit students.

Bills to “fix” the ban were introduced in October, before passing into the Senate in early December.

Stakeholders had pressed for similar language to the 1965 Higher Education Act, which permits the use incentive compensation to recruit international students, to be added to the THRIVE Act. The relevant wording has now been added, after President Biden signed the technical corrections bill in late December.

“The REMOTE Act allows institutions that receive GI Bill funding to compensate educational agencies for international student recruitment by using commission-based payments,” said AIRC’s Brian Whalen.

“This restores an important recruitment tool to institutions”

“This restores an important recruitment tool to institutions at a time when the US seeks to attract and enrol greater numbers of international students.”

AIRC member institutions and agencies had helped to modify the law “in a relatively short period of time”, he added.

“As we turn the corner toward 2022, let’s be thankful for our progress and hopeful for much brighter days ahead.”

Agents had been concerned about the issue, with managing director of India-based Career Mosaic Abhijit Zaveri stating in September that, “Without agents – recruiting can’t work any more for international students”.

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