Refunds And Terms

All fees are non-refundable, non-transferable and non-adjustable, in whole or part. All payments are made for a particular application cycle (see definition below)/mentorship programme, for particular services and a particular applicant. Payments are not refundable nor are they transferable to other services, to future cycles or to other family members.

The Basics:

The applicant/client understands that The Red Pen is an independent organization providing education advisory services, and is not affiliated with any educational institution, and does not guarantee admission to any such institution. Accordingly, The Red Pen will not be liable if an applicant is unable to secure admission to any specific educational institution at all.

Services & Fees

1. Scope of Services and Fees: The Red Pen’s list of services and associated fees are detailed on the website. All rates & fees mentioned on the website are exclusive of applicable taxes. Payment must be made in full before the commencement of services.

  • Scholarships, Financial Aid and Fundraising: While The Red Pen can answer general questions regarding scholarships and financial aid, the scope of our services does not include assistance with financial aid documentation (forms, bank letters, etc), nor does it include ongoing support to identify sources of funding for further studies.
  • Visa Assistance: While The Red Pen can direct applicants to consulates and government study abroad centers, we do not offer advice or offer assistance with the procurement of a visa to study in any country.
  • Test Preparation: The Red Pen does not offer any standardized test or general test preparation or support. The applicant is responsible for studying, researching test dates, and managing registration and score reporting to>
  • School/Employee Materials: Our service includes help strategizing letters of recommendation from the school/employees. However, the applicant is responsible for coordinating with their recommender to ensure the documentation is uploaded on time.

2. Payments: The Red Pen appreciates prompt, full payment via online banking, credit card and debit card against system-generated invoices. Our work will commence once the payment receipt is confirmed. The Red Pen will not be responsible for any additional costs associated with other application fees, suggested service partners, paid workshops etc.

3. Fees are non-refundable, non-transferable and non-adjustable, in whole or part: All payments are made for a particular application cycle / mentorship program for specific services and applicants. Payments are not refundable or transferable to other services, future application cycles, or family members. The client understands that The Red Pen is a guidance consultant/counselor

4. The client understands that The Red Pen is a guidance consultant/counselor and does not guarantee or assure interviews, admissions, and/or results. Any liability that may arise out of deficiency of services or fulfillment of obligations outlined here shall be limited to the fees received from the client and shall not be more than that in any case. In particular, while The Red Pen may provide certain assistance with respect to facilitating interviews, but the responsibility of making adequate checks on the timing, location and other details rests solely with the client.

Schedule & Working Hours

Please note: All dates and time given in the schedule below is as per Indian Standard Time.

1. Business Hours: The Red Pen’s business hours are Monday to Friday from 10 am to 6 pm Indian Standard Time. Saturday availability varies, depending on the timeframe in the application cycle.

2. Scheduling Meetings: The Red Pen team will be able to schedule appointments with you within 72 business hours.

3. Public Holidays: The Red Pen consultants will have limited availability during the holiday season (specifically Diwali and Christmas).

4. Application Cycles & Holiday Availability:

A. MBA Admissions:

  • Applications to universities outside India are typically submitted between August and January. Admissions decisions are rendered between December and the following April. University sessions begin in August/September or even January in some cases. At The Red Pen, preparation & support for the MBA application cycle begins approximately April 1 in a given year and continues until approximately March 31 of the following year.
  • December: The Red Pen will complete current cycle application-related work for the calendar year.. We will resume the current cycle of application-related work in the first week of January..

B. Postgraduate Admissions:

  • Applications to universities outside India are typically submitted between August and January (for the fall intake); admissions decisions are rendered between December and the following April; university sessions then begin in August/September. At The Red Pen, support for the postgraduate application cycle begins approximately April and continues until approximately March 31 of the following year.
  • December: The Red Pen will complete the current cycle of application-related work for the calendar year.

The Red Pen’s Obligations

  1. Guidance, Not Creation: The Red Pen assists applicants in developing application materials including, but not limited to, essays, resumes, form inputs and letters of recommendation (if applicable). All required materials must be drafted and/or procured (in the case of letters of recommendation) by the applicant. The Red Pen will provide strategic inputs that the applicant can implement.
  2. Work Plans: The Red Pen will work with each applicant to devise a customized work plan for materials/profile development and submission. The Red Pen sets internal finalization deadlines, usually 7 to 10 days before the actual submission deadline, by which time all application components must be submitted for final review by The Red Pen. The Red Pen will not review any application components within 72 hours of the actual submission deadline.
  3. Communication Response Time: The Red Pen uses email and an application management platform as the primary mode of communication. The Red Pen will acknowledge phone, email or text communications as soon as possible and endeavor to provide detailed responses, if required, within 48 business hours.
  4. Material Turnaround Time: The Red Pen works on a Monday to Thursday schedule. That is, materials that you submit to us by Monday morning will be reviewed and returned at the latest by close of business on Thursday. Though we always endeavor to return materials as soon as possible, especially as submission deadlines approach, unforeseen circumstances may lead to delays.
  5. Client Confidentiality: Materials shared with The Red Pen will not be shared outside the organization. Furthermore, we do not disclose our client list or use names without permission.
  6. Collaborative Team Approach: The Red Pen employs a team of highly qualified specialists who will support you in the process. You will be assigned a lead consultant who will be your primary point of contact for the duration of this service. Please ensure that you communicate effectively with him/her/them.
  7. Finalising Materials: Throughout your application journey, many people might want to help by providing inputs. This is great and we encourage you to solicit their advice early in the process. Once we have finalized your application materials, it is advisable not to re-open them. To ensure the highest quality, our finalization process is collaborative and always involves a minimum of two readers. If an applicant makes changes to materials after the finalization, TRP will not re-evaluate this material.

The Client’s/Applicant’s Obligations

  1. Original Work: The applicant must draft/create materials such as resumes, institutional-specific essays, and other supplemental documents for application submissions. The Red Pen is not liable or responsible if any material submitted to an educational institution has been plagiarised in part or whole.
  2. Make the Most of The Red Pen’s Feedback: Applicants are expected to thoroughly review The Red Pen’s feedback on application materials, including suggestions, questions, proposed language changes, and potential deletions. If any of our feedback is unclear, please ask for clarification.
  3. Communicate Regularly: The Red Pen understands that applicants face a myriad of competing demands on their time. In order for us to help you, please stay in touch regularly by email, even with short updates or status reports.
  4. Inform The Red Pen of Your Schedule, Including Exams (if applicable) and Travel Plans: Each applicant’s schedule and obligations vary. Please ensure that you update The Red Pen with any scheduling constraints or opportunities that you may have. For example, if you have a family obligation or work/project/school deadline, please inform us. The Red Pen will not be responsible for any delays owing to the action, inaction, or lack of communication on the part of the applicant.
  5. Have Reasonable Expectations: Much of the work involved in preparing quality application materials/roadmaps involves deep, considered thought that requires time, space and distance. So, applicants are requested to take this into account when reviewing TRP feedback and when requesting or expecting urgent feedback or inputs. Workshops/sessions offered (if any), will happen once or twice a year. Workshops/sessions missed will not be compensated for. The Red Pen is not responsible for any further engagement that happens between the student and the service partner post workshops/events/sessions hosted by us.
  6. Email: When sending emails, please ensure to ”Reply All” or “CC” all relevant, involved parties – the applicant, guardian and The Red Pen consultants.
  7. Social Media and Professional Networks: It is advisable that an applicant follows The Red Pen’s accounts on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to access updated information pertaining to profile building, the admissions process, upcoming events, scholarships, and other relevant topics.
  8. Provide PDF Copies of All Final Application Materials: Once you submit an application to an educational institution, please upload a final PDF of all relevant application materials to your shared file folder. These materials enable the team to help you prepare for interviews and future submissions and assess the material that can be reused. These materials are not shared outside The Red Pen and are stored securely within our internal systems
  9. Satisfaction Survey and Testimonials: Upon completion of the engagement, The Red Pen will request feedback through an online customer survey and/or by email to help improve service offerings. The Red Pen may also request testimonials, which will be used anonymously and only upon the final approval of the applicant. Finally, The Red Pen may also request that you serve as a reference for prospective clients.
  10. Maintain Confidentiality of The Red Pen Materials: The Red Pen develops and shares its proprietary materials for the exclusive use of applicants who have engaged the firm for profile building, application, advisory, and related services. These materials should not be shared with anyone.

Technology and Communication Tools:

  1. Use of Web-based Technology Platforms: The Red Pen’s provision of services involves the use of technology including, but not limited to Google Drive and Meet, Zoom, Skype, the Application Management Platform, and more. Therefore, it is important that the applicant have regular and consistent access to a computer and the internet. A smartphone with internet access is not required but is helpful. If an applicant does not have access to such technology, please let The Red Pen know as soon as possible.
  2. Application Management Platform: The Red Pen will create folders/sub-folders to organize files within the online file-sharing platform. Please use these appropriately and refrain from creating your own folders. The Red Pen will onboard the applicant onto this system to track progress on application-related material such as, but not limited to, essays, resumes, etc. Applicants must update all documents on this platform using our naming convention. The college list and profile will also be maintained on this platform.

From time to time, other guidelines may be communicated and implemented to improve workflow and efficiency.