CUCAS: Large Cost, Reasonable Results

A long while back I went on a bit of a rant over the China University and College Admission System (CUCAS), as I felt that I had been mislead by their representation of the service that they offered. I have since moved on from those feelings, and will now acknowledge that if you are in the market to apply at a Chinese university, the online application provided by CUCAS is probably your best bet.

The alternative to applying through this system is to apply directly to the university. Although this is typically a cheaper method (CUCAS requires that you pay a service fee of their own in addition to the school application fee), it is significantly more work, and in some cases it can be difficult to determine whether you are sending your money and paperwork to the proper office, or in some cases, just a random address. Should you send it to the wrong place, chances are slim to none that you will receive any answer.

Paying the CUCAS fee provides processing for six applications of your choice, greatly reducing the odds that your money will be directed to the wrong or even fraudulent location. In addition, they can greatly expedite the process of communication between the applicant and the university. I have also heard that they can provide assistance once you are within the country, though I have yet to test this out. I have applied several different universities through them, and have received my acceptance paperwork much faster and with significantly less hassle than on the occasions when I tried to do so on my own. I also slept a little better not having to worry that I might be mailing a stack of Benjamins to a crafty individual somewhere in Beijing.

I have sent out a request for application once more, this time to Beihang university, and will hopefully hear back from them in the next month or so.  The program is a summer language course, which would be great as my contract ends here in mid June.  Here’s to hoping for the best.

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5 Responses to CUCAS: Large Cost, Reasonable Results

  1. Albert says:

    I fail to understand the working of this CUCAS application/six programs thing. So I pay the CUCAS application fee and I get to apply for six programs for free? Or is it something else? What is the purpose of this CUCAS application fee?

    Thank you. 🙂

  2. Fabrizio says:

    This is the same question and confusion that I had. Your cucas fee covers the service that they provide for delivering your application to the university. The cost covers help applying to up to six programs. This is great, except that most universities charge you an application fee, and the CUCAS cost does nOt cover this additional cost.

  3. athar says:

    how much we will have to pay for cucas???
    and in how much time we wil get reply from university????

  4. Fabrizio says:

    I don’t completely remember the initial cost, but I think it was around $100 American. Once you have payed this fee, you are also responsible for paying an additional application fee to any of the six schools you apply with. This fee is usually another $65. Once your application is submitted, you typically hear back within three weeks to a month, and, if accepted, can expect to receive your paperwork within another month. Long process, but much more effective than trying to do it on your own.

  5. PETER says:


    1. The only officially recognized online application service for international students planning to study in China.

    2. With extensive online data bases, students can conveniently search for an appropriate school and academic program.

    3. CUCAS provides a comprehensive online application submission and results tracking system.

    4. CUCAS also have created scholarships for students to come study abroad in China.

    All this for only 30 USD, which cover 6 applications to different universities. The payment is for CUCAS providing information services and the use of online application system.

    The university application fee ranges from 30 – 100 USD, each school has its own application fee. The universities will not process applications until the application fee has been received. When the application fee is submitted to CUCAS, CUCAS simply accept and transfer the application fee on behalf of the school.

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