Frequently Asked Questions About AIRC Certification

What Are the Benefits of AIRC Certification?

What does AIRC Certification Cost?

Who is eligible to apply for Certification?

Will information I provide be Confidential?

New agencies: read how to establish eligibility here.


What Are the Benefits of AIRC Certification?
  • AIRC Certification provides a "Seal of Approval” recognized by U.S. Institutions and state agencies.  AIRC Certified Agencies may display both the AIRC Certificate and the AIRC Certified Logo. AIRC Certification provides continuous improvement feedback on agency operations and is the U.S. Quality Standard for recruitment agencies.
  • AIRC Certified Agencies are listed in the AIRC Certified Agency Finder where they can be identified by students, parents, and institutions.
  • AIRC Certified Agencies become members of AIRC and gain a voice in a rapidly growing community concerned with professionalism in international student recruitment.  Agency representatives sit on the AIRC Board of Directors
  • AIRC Agency and Institutional Members share a password protected Directory of Contacts and online Forums through which they can exchange information and ideas.
  • AIRC Agencies have access to AIRC Institutional members and other global educators and may attend the AIRC Conference, exhibit and also participate in the AIRC booth at the NAFSA national conference.

What does AIRC Certification Cost?

The fee for the AIRC Certification Process is U.S. $10,000*, with payments at different points as follows:
1) Payment at Application – U.S. $2,000 non-refundable and paid upon submission of Application.

2) Payment at Approval to Undergo Certification – U.S. $5,000 non-refundable and paid PRIOR to Certification upon acceptance of the application to continue with the certification process. 
(*In addition, Agencies pay the cost of the external review-including airfare for the reviewer, hotel, and meals. AIRC reserves the right to send an additional external reviewer at the agency’s expense for agencies with multiple offices worldwide.)

3) Payment Upon Certification – Upon notice of Certification, new members pay a first year membership fee of U.S. $3,000.

After the first year of membership, Certified agencies pay the annual membership fee. The membership fee is based on the number of students placed globally annually: 

Certified Agencies – Annual Membership Fee
U.S. $2,000 - Small Agencies(Placing fewer than 500 students globally annually – based on 
the previous calendar year – January through December)

U.S. $4,000 - Large Agencies(Placing 500 or more students globally annually - based on 
the previous calendar year – January through December)

AIRC Certification is intended for agencies (including organizations and companies), located both inside and outside of the U.S., which recruit international students to colleges, universities and other post secondary educational institutions, located both inside and outside the U.S., which are accredited by institutional accreditors recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

For the purposes of AIRC membership and certification, an agency is defined as an organization, company or association that recruits and places students into accredited colleges, universities and other educational institutions on a commercial 'fee for service' basis. The term 'fee for services' refers to any payment made by an institution or an individual student applicant to an agency for services related to the counseling advice, application process and acceptance into a course or program in an educational institution. Individuals that provide placement services but have not established a company or individuals within an agency, including but not limited to shareholders, owners, directors, counselors and other staff are not eligible for AIRC certification or membership.

At the time of application for AIRC Certification, agencies are required to demonstrate activity in the field of student recruitment for at least two years as a registered business entity and agencies must have placed at least 25 students in total before applying for AIRC Certification. 

An applicant agency is ineligible for certification if it or any principal or material owner thereof has been convicted of fraud or has pleaded no contest or guilty in a criminal proceeding or has been adjudged to have committed fraud in a civil proceeding within the last seven (7) years.

All information provided to AIRC remains confidential within the Certification process. All External reviewers, staff, and members of the Board of Directors and Certification Board are required to sign non disclosure agreements prohibiting the sharing of any information about an agency applicant, correspondence, or deliberations regarding Certification.