Date of Award

Fall 2023




Doctor of Education

Degree Type

Curriculum and Leadership

First Advisor

Robert Waller, Ed. D.

Second Advisor

Thomas J. McCormack, Ed. D.

Third Advisor

Aaron "Chip" Reese, Ed. D.


Many colleges and universities view international student recruitment as the solution to their financial pressures, but they lack the ability to effectively reach international markets. While many students desire to study internationally, they lack the knowledge and resources to explore their options. Paid agents bridge the information and opportunity gaps between institutions and prospective international students. However, the use of paid agents is fraught with many dangers. Paid agent contracts govern the relationships between these entities in the absence of regulations. This study explored the paid agent contracts employed by colleges and universities within the University System of Georgia to recruit international students. Content analysis and discourse analysis were utilized to answer to determine who was protected by the paid agent contracts and how policy should be informed by the contracts. The analyses determined that there was an asymmetrical relationship exists between institutions, paid agents, and students within the contracts, and that policies were insufficient to provide adequate protections for international students. The findings concurred with extant literature on the topic.