Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is WES?
A. WES is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing accurate and reliable evaluations of academic credentials earned outside the U.S. WES is the largest and one of the oldest credential evaluation services in the United States. Each year we prepare evaluations for approximately
50,000 individuals from all over the world, and provide reports to professional licensing and certification boards, government agencies and more than 2,000 colleges and universities throughout the U.S.
WES evaluations are nationally recognized for their accuracy and reliability. WES maintains a library of the most up-to-date research on comparative education, an archive of annotated documents for more than 300,000 completed evaluations, and an extensive database of information on foreign institutions, programs of study, credentials and grading scales. Because our evaluators are specialists with access to the best resources, WES makes the evaluation process fast, efficient and reliable.
As a charter member of the National Association of Credentials Evaluations Services (NACES), WES plays a key role in establishing and upholding professional practice standards.
Q. What is credential evaluation?
A. Credential evaluation is the process of assessing the academic record, course work and the educational degrees, certificates or diplomas obtained in one country and determining their equivalents in another country
Q. Who uses WES?
A. WES serves many clients, both individuals and institutions, who need clear and authoritative evaluations of academic credentials earned abroad.
- Professional Certification and Licensing Professionals
- College and university admissions professionals
- Immigrants and permanent residents educated outside the U.S. who are seeking to further their educational or career prospects
- Overseas Candidates applying for professional licensing / certification or university study in the U.S.
- Human resources professionals
- Immigration attorneys
Q. How do applicants perceive the credential evaluation process?
A. Applicants generally appreciate WES's specialized expertise, and they welcome the opportunity to have an objective and credible analysis done of their education. They see WES as an objective, neutral party, whose evaluation will enable them to receive fair consideration of their candidacy for professional licensing or certification. They further appreciate the fact that WES staff members are dedicated professionals who can quickly and easily respond to candidates' - or the professional board's - questions and concerns.
Q. Who pays for the evaluation?
A. The applicant pays WES directly for the evaluation in most cases. However, boards or agencies may choose to pay for their candidates' evaluations.
Q. How do applicants perceive the cost of an evaluation?
A. In our experience, the fee is rarely if ever an obstacle to seeking an evaluation of credentials. Relative to the increase in income that generally follows upon the validation of academic credentials , the cost of a WES evaluation is negligible.
Q. How long does an evaluation take?
A. Evaluations are completed in just 7 days, once all necessary documents and fees have been received. An evaluation can be expedited (using our Same-Day or 3-Day rush services) for an additional fee.
Q. Is my board abdicating its responsibility by asking WES to evaluate international credentials?
A. Absolutely not. A WES evaluation report makes international education credentials readily understood in U.S. terms, providing your board with a well-informed and objective assessment of the candidate's academic qualifications. The evaluation does not make a recommendation regarding the broader issue of a candidate's eligibility for licensing or certification; it is simply a tool that allows you to more quickly and confidently make that decision.
Q. Does WES translate foreign-language documents?
A. No. WES requires that applicants submit documents in their original language, together with a literal word-for-word translation by an external translation service. In the course of the evaluation, WES evaluators, who are multi-lingual, verify the translation. If your institution does not have a preferred translation service, WES can recommend one.
Q. What if our staff has questions about a WES evaluation?
A. WES is always happy to provide further information about a credential evaluation or to answer general questions about
international education systems or credentials. Our Academic Services department is always available to answer your questions. They will ensure that you receive a prompt and accurate response.
Q. What if a candidate is not satisfied with the evaluation?
A. WES has a very high satisfaction rate. However, we carefully review every query about an evaluation, and we provide a response to the applicant. (Each evaluation report explains how to contact the Director of Evaluations.) While we cannot guarantee that an applicant will always agree with an evaluation, WES will explain to an applicant the methods and procedures by which determinations were made.
Q. What if a student submits forged documents or credentials that are not genuine?
A. WES maintains the strictest documentation standards, which are posted on our web site at www.wes.org/required . If there is any question about a document's authenticity, WES issues a verification request to the issuing institution. We then hold the evaluation in abeyance until a reply has been received. If the institution notifies WES that the records are not genuine, we cancel the application and notify both the professional board and the applicant, explaining the reasons for the cancellation.
Q. Who receives the evaluation report?
A. Both the applicant and the licensing or certification board requesting the evaluation are sent copies of the report. Additional copies may also be requested.
Q. How do I refer a candidate to WES?
A. There are different ways of directing applicants to WES for evaluation of
international credentials: If your board requires evaluation of all
international credentials, you can enclose a WES application form in your application packet. Or you may choose simply to provide applicants with information about WES, leaving it to them to contact us directly. Many boards provide a link from their web site to the WES web site:
www.wes.org. We will make the evaluation process easy and efficient for them. If your board prefers that WES evaluate only specific credentials, you may want to send the WES application form only to those applicants who hold these credentials.
Q. How do I obtain WES applications?
A. WES regularly mails applications to professional boards that have requested them. You can also contact WES at any time to receive additional applications, order them through our online form or you can download an individual application form. You can also contact us at the number below. There is no charge for the applications.
Q. More Questions?
A. We would be glad to discuss our services with you in greater detail. You can contact us by calling our Academic Services Department at
212-219-7330. Or you can reach us by e-mail at [email protected]