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International Students Credential Evaluation

What is a Credential Evaluation For An International Student?

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A crucial part of the application process for international students who wish to study in the United States is credential evaluation/report.

  • This is not to be confused with a profile evaluation.
  • Basically, the purpose of a credential evaluation is to help the admissions office of your prospective institution understand your academic scores and qualification from your home country in order to help them understand your qualifications and fit for their program(s).
  • A credential evaluation or report provides the United States institution you are applying to, the United States equivalent of the education you have already completed in a different country.
  • The tricky aspect to credential evaluations, however, is that there is no United States government office or agency that provides them.
  • Some institutions do them in-house, while others send theirs to third party organizations.
  • For higher education purposes, such as graduate programs, some schools may recommend that you find a service yourself to provide your evaluation.

What to Look For

  • Like any other service industry, there are important qualities to look for when choosing a service to provide your credential evaluation.
  • One of the most important aspects to look for is a course-by-course analysis so that the evaluation can provide the equivalency of your education from an international institution.
  • For example, if you received a bachelor’s degree in India, a course-by-course analysis would determine what the United States equivalent of that is.
  • Another important aspect to look for is the provision of a grade point average (GPA) equivalency.
  • Most international universities do not provide this, so finding a service that does is key.
  • For example, if you received a 9.0 school level percentage at an Indian institution, an evaluation service would translate it to reflect what your United States GPA equivalent would be.

Some Credible Providers

Listed below you will find a handful of credential evaluation services:

  • National Association of Credential Evaluation Services: NACES does not provide evaluations itself, but instead hosts a number of credible evaluators so that you can find the best one for your needs. This organization is focused on expertise and ethics, and do not accept just anyone to be a member evaluator. They serve those who have completed either all or almost all of their education outside of the United States. NACES does this since as stated above, there is not a United States government agency that provides evaluation services.
  • World Education Services: WES is a non profit that seeks to aid international students who wish to study in the United States and Canada. Overall, WES has provided over one million people across the globe with evaluations. Their goal is to see international students succeed and make sure that their international education is properly recognized. For more information on WES, visit our previous Nomad blog.
  • Foreign Academic Credential Service: FACS started out by providing international equivalencies for state boards of accounting. They now provide equivalencies of all types, especially for higher education institutions. They offer both course-by-course options and document-by-document options. Their services range from around $100 to $200.
  • Spantran: Spantran has provided reliable, accurate evaluations for over thirty years. They provide a wide variety of evaluations with options for a quicker turnaround. Prices range from $85 to $550 depending on the analysis requested and the speed of the turnaround. Spantran will also verify your documents and translate them for an additional fee.
  • International Education Research Foundation: IERF is the oldest evaluation service in the United States. IERF analyzes how education systems around the world best fit into United States academic programs. Their evaluators speak over twenty different languages, and IERF has countless strong relationships with education institutions across the United States.

These are just a few of the many credential evaluation services available for prospective international students looking to study in the United States. We recommend that you do your own research when evaluating if a credential evaluation is right for you.

Additionally, if you have any questions about scholarships or other international student loan options for finding funding to study in the U.S. please visit us at We’d be happy to help you search and compare options for education loans or study loans, too. Please send us an email at if you have any questions! We are happy to help.




John Romanucci

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