Beware of college offer letters
Published on: Monday, June 21, 2021
By: K Krishnan
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SPM results are out. About half a million students who sat for the SPM exam in early 2021 would have received their results by now. If you have not received yours, you should contact your school.

If you have done well, congratulations. If you have not done well, you can always re- sit. SPM is a very important examination and wherever you go, they will ask for your SPM certificate. So, if you are ambitious and feel that it is important to get a degree, I suggest you re-sit.

Those of you, who are wondering what to do next, should start planning your future.  Many of you would have received admission offer letters from various colleges and universities inviting you to enroll. 

Some offer letters would ask you to attend interviews. Some would be asking you to do a recording and submit to them.  If you are new in this game, you can easily be carried away by these offer letters. 

Example 1: Jane

Jane received an offer letter from a local institution. It states that the institution is offering a full scholarship to her to complete a foundation programme.  They are also offering accommodation and monthly allowance to study in the college.  Jane will even get a telephone call from the college encouraging her to submit her application form within seven days. Jane does not know what to do. Is it a genuine offer letter? Is there such a college? Are they so kind to offer her a scholarship to do Foundation programme? Is she so lucky? 

Example 2: Linda

Linda receives a phone call asking her to attend an interview. The caller says that she has been short-listed for admission into a university. She has to forward her SPM result slip, IC and her school certificate. If she is selected she can join the university for the coming intake. Linda is so happy. A university which she never applied for, is calling her for an interview. No one can be so luckier than Linda. How did the university get her name, house address and contact number? How did they know that she sat for the SPM? It is amazing, isn’t it?

Example 3: Ahmad

Ahmad gets an offer letter from a Singapore institution. It says that he has been selected for a “Work & Study “ program in Singapore.  It is a Diploma program in Hospitality. Ahmad needs to work three days and study for three days. He will be provided accommodation and food.  

He will also be provided travelling expenses to Singapore. On top of this he will be paid a pocket allowance of Sing 1000/= per month. To qualify, he must attend a three day workshop in town. They will provide him all the information and prepare him to go to Singapore.  Ahmad should be the luckiest person in town. He is not only given a job but also given an education. This is a “God sent gift “ for Ahmad, isn’t it? 

There are hundreds of students like Jane, Linda and Ahmad who get offer letters from institutions, colleges and universities, every day.  

These students are just 17 years and fresh from school. Their knowledge on the world around them is very limited.  They also cannot read between the lines. They do not know what is true and what is false.  

They can easily be carried away by all these gimmicks and marketing tactics. If they fall for these scams their whole life will go to waste. 

During this lockdown, many colleges and universities are badly affected. Some have even closed down. Imagine running a college without students! Where can they get students? How can they get students? How will they survive? All these private colleges do not get any money from the government. They have to find their own funds. They have to compete with more than 500 institutions throughout the country if they want to survive. Many have to come out with marketing plans to “hook” students. With the SPM results just out, this is the best time to go out and search for students.  The best bait to offer prospective students is “ Free scholarship, Free Tuition fee, Free transportation, Free Accommodation, Free pocket money” and the like.  

How do these colleges get 

the data of students?

It is a wonder how colleges and universities get the data of SPM students.  They can get accurate names, addresses, contact numbers, etc to enhance them to approach prospective students.  It is really a wonder. 

Colleges can use the data to harass students for the next one year.   Can you imagine if the students’ data is held by 100 colleges, the students are going to get “ call after call” from 100 over colleges, day in and day out. If the hand phones belong to the parents, I pity the parents.  

Career Tips

Do not fall for cheap marketing tricks.   If you get an offer letter or call from a college please verify with the Malaysian Qualification Authority (MQA).  Go online and check if there is such a college. You can even contact MQA and find out about the college. Be alert and “ BE SMART”. 

On the other hand you can also email the offer letter to [email protected] for verification. This will not only help you but also other students who are in similar situation.   

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