Paid college application consulting services hugely popular in China

As results of Gaokao, China’s annual national college entrance exam, come out, students and parents put together a strong application form to make the right choice for university.

It’s a huge task with life-changing consequences, and has allowed a special consulting business to flourish. The profession, known as “Gaokao Planners” in Chinese, are paid to help match a student’s scores with suitable colleges and majors.

According to iiMedia Research, over 28 percent of applicants got application information via such services in the first half of 2020, and the proportion exceeded 30 percent in the same period of 2021. At a consulting center in Beijing, some students voiced concerns when making big decisions.

A student who claimed to have an interest in finance and economy said she hadn’t got a detailed understanding of relevant college majors and hoped she can deepen this after having a conversation with a Gaokao planner.


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