By WES Staff
The great majority of students who travel to the United States to study do so at great expense. Their ambition is to further their education and earn the skills and qualifications necessary to help them succeed academically and professionally. But before they can begin their studies, they must submit their credentials for evaluation to ensure that they meet all the eligibility requirements for admission to their institution of choice.
In the WES White Paper How to Obtain Authentic International Academic Credentials we offer a guide designed to help institutions ensure that they have the best possible processes in place for obtaining the authentic academic credentials necessary to complete accurate international credential evaluations.
Among the hundreds of thousands of well-qualified applicants each year there is a small minority who will attempt to gain admission with fraudulent documents. Therefore, one of the most important steps in the process of evaluating foreign academic credentials is in ensuring that the documents received for evaluation are legitimate and an accurate reflection of the work completed by the applicant.
Instead of trying to detect false documents after they have been submitted, credential evaluators need to prevent them from being submitted in the first place by adopting and enforcing rigorous standards for receiving academic credentials. This way, institutions can select qualified candidates, minimize fraud, and protect the integrity of their admission process.
The guide includes tips on:
- How to recognize international education credentials
- How to ascertain the status of awarding institutions and programs of study
- How best to communicate with issuing institutions
- How to decide on acceptable verifications of authenticity
- How to verify documents not received directly from the issuing institution or organization
- How to handle documents received directly from the applicant
- How long it should take to verify documents
- How to handle translations
After outlining processes designed to ensure that authentic and credible documents are being received, the guide offers advice on how to set, communicate and enforce your department’s document requirements – both generically and also specific to particular countries and regions.
- A Look Back at 40 Years of WES with Executive Director Mariam Assefa 
- Best Practices: Strategies and Processes to Obtain Authentic International Educational Credentials 
- Five Rules for Translating Academic Transcripts