Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This section explains most of Seattle Central's policies related to working with educational advising agencies. We invite you to contact us if you have additional questions not addressed here.

BECOMING AN AGENT PARTNER

Below are the most commonly asked questions about becoming an agent partner of Seattle Central Community College.

-What is the Global Marketing Agreement?
The Global Marketing Agreement is a legal document that describes the elements necessary for an agency and Seattle Central to work together on an "advising for commission payment" basis.

-I have completed the Global Marketing Agreement Application and it has been accepted. When will I receive my Global Marketing Agreement?
You will receive the Global Marketing Agreement, signed by our President after your first Seattle Central client enrolls and has paid his/her non-refundable tuition and fees for the first quarter. You will also receive a Certificate of Partnership and commission upon the enrollment of your first client.

-Don't I need to sign a contract in order to begin working with Seattle Central as an agent?
No. You do not need to sign a contract until after your first client enrolls at Seattle Central. By having an accepted GMAA on file with us, and agreeing to abide by the terms set forth in the GMA and the agency section of the International Education Programs website, you will receive the 15% commission on tuition beginning with the first student from your agency who enrolls at Seattle Central.

ADMISSION DOCUMENTATION AND PROCESSING

Below are the most commonly asked questions about admission documentation and processing.

-What items must be submitted to Seattle Central when my client applies for admission?
In order to process an admission application, our admission office must be in receipt of a complete admission application. A complete admission application consists of all of the documents that are required in your client's case.

Note that faxed or scanned copies of bank statements are normally accepted, but that Seattle Central retains the right to require an original copy of the document if additional verification is required.

-What happens after I send in my application materials? How long will processing take?
Agents who submit admission applications can expect an email confirmation of receipt of materials within 2 to 3 business days. Acceptance materials will be prepared and sent by express mail (free of charge to all agent partners) within 3 to 5 business days from the date the application is complete. Partner agents will be notified by email once the application has been processed and acceptance materials sent, and provided a tracking number for the acceptance materials. Notification is sent to the email address noted on the cover letter. If there is no email address on the cover letter, the message is sent to the primary email address we have on file for your agency.

Agents who submit an incomplete application will receive an email notification of items that are still missing and are required for completion and processing. Agents will also receive an email notification when missing items are received.

-My client plans to enroll in a college program directly, but he won't be able to submit proof of English proficiency until after he applies for admission. Can he be admitted to a college program without proof of English proficiency? 
No. If your client wants to enroll directly in a college program, we will only be able to admit him and issue his I-20 after he is able to demonstrate English proficiency. If your client needs the I-20 right away in order to apply for his student visa, we can process his application for both the Intensive English and college program of his choice, and admit him to the Intensive English program. After receiving the required proof of English proficiency, we can update his record and reissue the I-20 for a college program, if desired.

Please note that a TOEFL score or other proof of English proficiency is not required for admission to Seattle Central. Students who do not submit proof of English proficiency high enough for direct placement in a college program take a placement test at orientation. The results of the placement test determine whether students enroll in Intensive English, College Bridge, or full-time college. 

-I understand that as an agent partner I can have acceptance materials sent by express mail at no charge. Do I get unlimited express mailings?
As an agent partner, you receive one free express mailing per student application. If your client defers enrollment and requires a second acceptance packet, we will charge $50 to cover the express mail fee for the second mailing. If you do not want to pay the express mail fee, we will send you the acceptance materials a second time by regular mail at no charge.

-Is there a limit to how many admission applications I can submit?
In most cases, there is no limit. However, there may be instances where Seattle Central does impose a limit. The most common example is when an agency is a new partner, and is sending student applications from countries where the student visa issuance rate is very low. In such cases, agents will be able to submit up to ten (10) new student applications. When at least one of the ten students successfully arrives and enrolls for classes, International Admissions will resume processing additional applications from the agency. If you have questions about current limits to application numbers, please contact the Director of International Admissions.

-I am not an agent partner. Will you still process an admission application for one of my clients, even if I do not want a commission?
We are unable to process admission applications from agent partners with whom we do not have a working relationship. If you do not wish to or cannot become a partner, we require students to submit the application materials themselves. Exceptions are made for official representatives of Education USA offices. Contact the Marketing Department for more information.

-Our agency has recently moved and we have also opened a new branch office. Will you send acceptance materials to our new address or branch office?

Agencies who move or who open branch offices are required to send Seattle Central an official notification of change of address or addition of branch office form. Official notification should include submission of new letterhead with the updated address, and a link to the specific page from your agency’s website, showing the addition of branch or change of address.

-My client plans to join another language program in the United States, then transfer to Seattle Central after finishing the program. Can my client apply for admission now?
You may help your client apply for admission to Seattle Central at any time. Seattle Central receives many transfer applications from students who are attending or who plan to attend other language programs. Your client may transfer from one of our partner schools, or from any other school.

Be sure to assist your client in completing all regular application requirements. In the application form, mention that the student will start at another language program, then transfer to Seattle Central after s/he graduates. The student will be able to join College Bridge / College as soon as s/he submits the desired proof of English proficiency, or any time prior if the student applies to our Intensive English program.

Once the student enrolls at Seattle Central, your agency will be entitled to the regular commission payments as outlined in our commission policy.

Note: if your client's preferred entry date is too far in the future to be a choice on our admission application, contact the Director of International Admissions for assistance.

-If my client plans to transfer from another program to Seattle Central, what should we do about the I-20 form?
Your client will enter the United States on the I-20 of the language program s/he is planning to attend before transferring to Seattle Central. Your client will receive a transfer I-20 form from Seattle Central after s/he finishes at the first school, and after Seattle Central receives the student's SEVIS record from the first school.

PRE-REGISTRATION; PAYMENT OF TUITION AND FEES

Below are the most commonly asked questions about pre-registration and payment of tuition and fees.

-Is it possible for my client to register in advance?
Students who will be attending a college program directly (without taking English classes) upon arrival at Seattle Central are eligible to register in advance. Information on pre-registration is provided in the admission acceptance packet. Students must have provided proof of English proficiency for direct entry into a college program in order to be eligible for pre-registration.

-Will my client receive an invoice to use when paying his/her tuition and fees?
Included in your client’s acceptance packet will be an estimate of tuition and fees. The final amounts charged are normally within $100 - $200 of the amount shown on the estimate. We provide a tuition estimate rather than an invoice because exact tuition and fee amounts are often not known until the student takes a placement exam and registers for classes.

-How can my clients pay their tuition and fees?
First quarter tuition and fees may be paid by one of the following methods:
1)  Credit card online
2)  In person at the Cashier’s Office
3)  Wire transfer (tuition and fees deposit)
Tuition and fee payments made for anything other than the first quarter must be paid by credit card online or in person at the Cashier’s Office. Wire transfers are not accepted for payment of tuition and fees after the first quarter. Details on all three methods of payment may be found in the Make Payments section.

-My client would like to pay for his tuition and fees from his home country, before he arrives in Seattle and registers for classes. Is that possible?
This depends on the program that the student is admitted to. Students who are eligible to enroll directly in a college program for their first quarter will be sent information on how to pre-register for classes and pay tuition in advance by credit card. These students will be able to make an online credit card tuition and fees payment well in advance of orientation. Making an online credit card tuition and fees payment in advance of orientation is highly recommended, as some classes may be full by orientation.
 
Students who are joining SCIE (Intensive English, College Bridge or Advanced English) are not able to pre-register and pay their tuition and fees from their home country. However, they can make a tuition and fees deposit by wire transfer. Students do not need to be registered for classes in order to make a tuition and fees deposit by wire transfer. We do not accept wire transfers for any other kinds of expenses, with the exception of on-campus housing at The Studios on Broadway.

Tuition and fees deposits are only possible for a student’s first quarter of enrollment. After the first quarter, students must make alternate plans, such as opening a personal bank account in Seattle and having their parents wire money directly into their bank account.

-My client arrived at Seattle Central and was not able to register for classes until it was too late. How did this happen?
This situation arises when the payment of tuition and fees has not been properly worked out between the agency and the student.

A very common example of this is that a new student arrives in Seattle, takes placement tests, and then tries to register for classes. The student is unable to register for classes because although the student has paid the agency for classes, the agency has forgotten to send the money to Seattle Central. In most cases, we are not able to receive payment from the agency for at least one week. The student attends the first week of classes without being registered, cannot get an ID card, cannot use the activities center,  library or computer lab, and cannot buy a bus pass.
 
As a general rule, please remember the following registration deadlines. Seattle Central must have appropriate payment by these deadlines:

  1. New ESL students: the week of orientation
  2. New college students: if not pre-registering, as soon as they arrive in the United States.
  3. Returning ESL students: on the last day of the quarter
  4. Returning college students: the fifth week of each quarter

Students who are responsible for making their own payments should plan on having at least $5000 available immediately upon arrival in the United States. This amount should cover tuition and fees, housing, books, and miscellaneous expenses.

Payments not received by the tuition due date may result in serious problems for the student, including the inability to attend classes or use campus facilities.

PREPARING FOR ARRIVAL IN THE U.S.

Below are the most commonly asked questions about how to best prepare your students for arrival in the United States.

-What orientation services should I provide to my clients to ensure the smoothest possible transition for them?
It is important that you provide your clients with the information they need for their arrival, as well as some sense of what to expect from their experiences at Seattle Central and in the United States. Agents should provide the following to their clients:

- an explanation of the student's Seattle Central orientation schedule (including both the actual schedule and a general explanation as to the purpose of orientation)

- information on the student's host family and homestay expectations, if applicable

- telephone numbers for the host family agency, if applicable

- the name of the person picking the student up at the airport, if applicable

- a general understanding of the logistical information about setting up life in Seattle (banking information, for example)

- some idea of our campus and the student’s relevant academic program(s) so that the students have appropriate expectations when they arrive 

It is also helpful for students to be provided with an introduction to American life, an idea of what to expect from American higher education or ESL classes, and information on the various stages of culture shock. Dealing with these issues before arrival increases students' chances of completing their intended program of study at Seattle Central, and helps them make the most of their experience in the United States. The United States Advising centers that are attached to the United States Embassies/Consulates often provide pre-departure orientations for students. Sessions often include information on American classroom expectations, housing, and college life. You may want to send your clients to these advising centers for orientation services if you do not provide similar services at your agency.

-Why is it important for my client to attend orientation?
Orientation offers students the opportunity to meet IEP staff and students, learn about the campus and how to use it, take placement tests, and register for classes. Orientation is mandatory for all students.

-Will you help my client find a place to live?
We only make housing arrangements for students who want to live in our on-campus apartments. For homestays, we recommend that you contact one of our partners who take great care in matching students to families, based on preferences and needs. Homestay agents may also assist in arranging apartment rentals; contact the agencies directly for the most up-to-date information on apartment rental assistance.

-What about airport pickup?
Most of our homestay agency partners provide airport pick-up service as part of their homestay placement service to students. Some agencies may offer airport pick-up service even if your client does not use the agency's homestay placement services. You will need to contact each homestay agency directly for more information on their airport pickup service and under what conditions it is provided.

-How soon should I make homestay arrangements for my client?
Arrangements for homestays should be made as soon as you know your client will be attending Seattle Central. If you plan to use one of our partner homestay agencies, we recommend that you contact the agency at least  6 weeks before your client begins classes. If that is not possible, contact the agency to determine whether or not there is enough time to make appropriate housing arrangements for your client.

-Does my client need to provide proof of having received a physical (medical) examination in order to attend classes?
No. Seattle Central College does not require proof of a physical examination as a condition of enrollment.

COMMISSIONS

Below are the most commonly asked questions about marketing commission payments.

-What conditions must be met in order for Seattle Central to pay a commission to my agency?
Seattle Central pays commissions to agencies in the amount of 15% of the net tuition per student, for three academic quarters of registration, provided all of the following conditions are met:

1. The agency assists the student in completing a Seattle Central application.

2. The agency provides reasonable orientation services (see PREPARING FOR ARRIVAL IN THE U.S. above).

3. The student duly registers and pays non-resident tuition and other required fees at Seattle Central. Net tuition means the non-resident tuition actually paid and received by Seattle Central, less any refunds or returns.

4. The student will not be attending Seattle Central as part of a group that contracts separately to attend specialized classes.

5. The student is not a United States citizen.

If the student attends for less than a full quarter, the fee will be pro-rated according to the portion of full-time tuition actually paid, minus any refunds or returns. Be sure to read the Global Marketing Agreement (GMA) in its entirety, as the statements above are a synopsis of the terms found in one section of the GMA.

-Do I need to submit an invoice for each student I place at Seattle Central?
No. Commission payments are processed automatically. Invoices submitted by agencies are not required by Seattle Central when making commission payments, but your agency is welcome to submit one if desired.

-What is Seattle Central's process and timeline for paying agent commissions?
First, Seattle Central collects full fees from each student for his/her enrollment at the beginning of each academic quarter. Seattle Central does not deduct any agency commissions from the fees. Seattle Central collects full fees from each student or from the student's account.
 
Second, Seattle Central waits until the time for refunds has passed. Students are entitled to make changes to their enrollments by increasing or decreasing the number of college classes/credits they take, and students who make such changes may be entitled to refunds within the first two weeks of the academic quarter.
 
Third, after the refund period has passed and all fees become non-refundable, Seattle Central begins processing agency commissions. Payments are made automatically, without submission of an invoice from the agency.
 
Processing begins after expiration of the period during which the student may obtain any refund of tuition or other fees. Agencies can expect to receive their commission payment approximately ten weeks from the beginning of the academic quarter.

-How are commission payments made?
Commission payments are made in U.S. dollars, either by check or wire. Agencies choose one of these two methods of payment on the Global Marketing Agreement Application. Payment by wire requires that your agency submit banking information for a bank account that matches the official name of your agency and into which a wire transfer can be made. Payment by check requires that the check be made payable to the official agency name, and mailed to the official agency address on file.

-Can Seattle Central send my commission payment to a personal bank account?
No. Washington State regulations prohibit payment of commissions to personal bank accounts.
Commissions are paid to the business that is named on the Global Marketing Agreement Application and Global Marketing Agreement.

-Do commissions vary depending on the number of students I place at Seattle Central?
Commissions may vary depending on the number of students an agency places at Seattle Central. Please contact the Director of Marketing for more information.

-My client is applying for a scholarship to Seattle Central College. If she is chosen to receive a scholarship, it will lower the tuition that she must pay. Does this mean that my commission payment will also be lower?
No. Agencies that assist students with scholarship applications will always receive a commission based on the full tuition amount, even if the student receives a scholarship.

-If I assist a student with an application to Seattle Central, and that student was previously working with another agency, will I receive a commission?
The first agency to assist a student with an admission application for a particular quarter at Seattle Central is considered the agency of record for the entire quarter; commissions will be paid to the agency of record if the student enrolls for that particular quarter. If another agency begins working with the student on an admission application for the same quarter, any commissions due will still be paid to the (first) agency of record. This policy provides a time frame during which an agency can be assured of our acknowledgement of its work with a particular student.
 
If, for any reason, the student does not enroll for the term noted on the admission application and the student decides to begin using the services of a different agency to apply to Seattle Central for a subsequent term, the relationship between the first agent and student may be terminated. In order to terminate the previous agency relationship, the student must send a signed letter to Seattle Central stating the name of the agency the student was formerly working with, the name of the new agency the student is working with, and the fact that the relationship with the first agency has been terminated. In addition, the new agency must submit an entirely new set of application materials to Seattle Central. Once these two conditions have been met, the new agent-client relationship is established for the purposes of paying commissions.