Lure of Chinese Tuition Squeezes Out Asian-American Students

Oliver Staley, Bloomberg, December 28, 2011

Kwanhyun Park, the 18-year-old son of Korean immigrants, spent four years at Beverly Hills High School earning the straight As and high test scores he thought would get him into the University of California, San Diego. They weren’t enough.

The sought-after school, half a mile from the Pacific Ocean, admitted 1,460 fewer California residents this year to accept higher-paying students from out-of-state, many from China.

“I was shocked,” said Park, who also was rejected from four other UC schools, including the top-ranked campuses in Berkeley and Los Angeles, even with a 4.0 grade-point average and an SAT score above the UC San Diego average. “I took it terribly. I felt like I was doing well and I failed.”

The University of California system, rocked by budget cuts, is enrolling record numbers of out-of-state and international students, who pay almost twice that of in-state residents. Among those being squeezed out: high-achieving Asian-Americans, many of them children of immigrants, who for decades flocked to the state’s elite public colleges to move up the economic ladder.

In 2009, University of California administrators told the San Diego campus to reduce its number of in-state freshmen by 500 to about 3,400 and fill the spots with out-of-state and international students, said Mae Brown, the school’s admissions director. California residents pay $13,234 in annual tuition while nonresidents pay $22,878.


As a result, almost 200 freshmen from China enrolled in 2011, up from 16 in 2009, a 12-fold increase. At the same time, the number of Asian-American Californians enrolled fell 29 percent to 1,230, from 1,723 in 2009. {snip}


Asian-American students fighting to distinguish themselves to college admissions officers now have to go up against Asians from overseas, said Casey Chang, a Chinese-American senior at Claremont High School in Claremont, California, east of Los Angeles. He said he has a 4.7 grade-point average and is applying to the San Diego campus for a joint undergraduate/medical-school program.


One in five international students nationwide, or 57,000 undergraduates, came from China in 2010-11, a 43 percent increase over the previous year, according to the Institute of International Education in Washington. Colleges are more frequently tapping this pool as the surge in middle-class incomes in China coincides with steep budget cuts at U.S. state universities.


Asian-Americans already are being displaced by University of California admissions policies that give preference to first- generation college students. The guidelines benefit low-income Latino and African-American students over middle-income Asian- Americans whose parents went to college, said Mitchell Chang, an education professor at UCLA.



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  • Anonymous

    Whites, of course, are the big losers in all this, since we have nothing that targets our race for a benefit.

    Who is talking about this? Who is our advocate? When the native sons and daughters of the country are displaced and removed to make room for Chinese, Mexicans, Africans, and Pakistanis, who can we go to?

  • Question Diversity

    Far be it from me to suggest that even more than Asian Americans, that White Americans in California are being displaced by foreign Asian “full pay” students at an even greater rate. For me to say that would mean that white people are somehow human or something like that.

    Remember that several Republican Presidential candidates, Jon Huntsman most vociferously and frequently, want to staple green cards to the diplomas of foreign students in certain fields.

  • Ziwtra

    I bet that nearly all of the international students from China will do everything in their power to attempt to stay in the United States after graduating. They will seek employment through H1B-visas, which is their backdoor to a long-term residence in the US. For employers, even the costs of issuing H1B visas do not deter them from hiring recent international graduates, since they are willing to work for less than Americans.

    In essence, the multinational companies who don’t care about their loyalty to the US betray Americans twofold: They outsource jobs to cheap and almost unregulated Asian countires under the banner of “Free Trade”, which deprives Americans of employment opportunities and depresses their wages, and they import cheap labor from those same countries into the United States. It’s money that drives their businesses, and as I said, they don’t give a damn about national security, demographics or the well-being of white Americans.

    Economic journals praise relentlessly the “Chinese Tiger” for her economic growth (which is largely attributed to their trade surplus and our worlds-highest trade deficit), but the students from China, India and the Middle East do not shy away from stealing a chunk of the sweet “American (economic) Pie”.

  • Anonymous

    “In 2009, University of California administrators told the San Diego campus to reduce its number of in-state freshmen by 500 to about 3,400 and fill the spots with out-of-state and international students, said Mae Brown, the school’s admissions director.”

    Totally unacceptable. California taxpayers fund UC, so that California kids can go there. The tuition hikes are already obscene and unwarranted, and now this. Those “administrators” need jail time.

  • Anonymous

    Australian and Canadian learning institutions are also falling all over themselves to ride the Asian gravy train. A controversy erupted in Canada last year when a national publication repeated a quote that the University of British Columbia was “too Asian”.

    The Asians are paying big dollars to send their children to Western colleges and universities. It’s not that they can’t get an education in their homelands – in many cases they are angling for future citizenship, and/or doing some low-level industrial espionage hoping to win favors from the Chinese Communist Party.

  • Anonymous

    I believe that the time has come to seriously explore non-University alternatives to higher education. Despite that fact that there are almost none at the present, and all of our brightest (and borderline-above average) students have been told since birth that university degrees are the only way to middle-class success.

    We need something like MIT’s (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but you knew that) Open CourseWare Program that is coupled with a testing/certification program that lets young people study on their own, learn as much as they can, demonstrate proficiency through passing rigorous exams, and obtain degrees without enrolling in traditional and land-grant colleges and universities.

    It would be an answer to the crushing student debt problem and the affirmative-action-based limited enrollment problems of our present university system.

  • underdog

    This is going on all over America in the post-secondary educatoin industry. And one only need analyze it from a “follow the money trail” perspective to understand it on its base level. The simple fact of the matter is that real Americans in ever increasing numbers are figuring out the realities of the new global economy and have concluded that any “investment” (be it four years worth of in-state tuition or out of state tuition at public institutions or retail at private colleges) in most contemporary majors simply fails miserably at cocktail napkin ROI mathematical analysis.

    Thus, the institutional survival game plan at colleges and universities across America is to recruit warm student bodies from abroad and even set up satellite campuses abroad. (Duke Univ. and UNC-CH are setting up campuses in China) Never mind that what remains on the carcass of this nation’s intellectual and technological capital (most of which was derived from pure research funded by we the taxpayers and our indebted grandchildren) will be sucked away by the proverbial Perot Deluxe Model Vacuum Cleaner under this game plan. So when you see all of that “Education From A Global Citizen Perspective” tripe on the brochures and campus signage, remember my words.

    And on the lower level Community College scene, take note that dispossession of our nation is occurring via a new twist. The Huskins Concurrent Enrollment Legislation allows illegal aliens who are enrolled in a public high school to take college credit courses for “free” in the local community colleges. Thus, a young illegal alien can complete two years general college course work for “free” and then finish his major at retail private/out-of-state tuition and net out with in state tuition for four years worth of college loaded on the back end. Sounds like a plan to me.

  • Anonymous

    So why don’t historically black colleges get on this gravy train and recruit Asian students, both foreign and domestic? It seems to me that this would solve their funding problem and expose ‘African-American’ ‘students’ to the riches of Asia, the factory of the world!

    [Not to mention, some much-needed diversity. — Moderator]

  • Anonymous

    Wait a minute. I thought California was offering in-state or even tuition breaks to illegal Mexicans. So in order to make up for the money lost on illegal Mexicans, they import kids from China who pay a double fare? What a depraved situation.

  • Anonymous

    Since California public universities are passing up perfectly qualified in-state students for out-of-state because the latter pay more, California taxpayers should no longer be on the hook for funding California public universities. The in-state tuition rate is the benefit that California taxpayers receive in exchange for funding California universities. If they’re not going to have the former, universities shouldn’t have the latter.

    Anon #6 above is right on the money. The University Industry for the majority of people results in minimal increased marketability, a waste of the best young years of a person’s life, and a ton of debt afterwards. Restoring our manufacturing base by placing revenue tariffs on foreign products, and using the money to fund tax exemptions on domestic manufacturing will help many people find decent work without needing to take overpriced and overrated college courses. We also need to look more into finding ways to learn and prove knowledge without needing to prop up these unpatriotic and largely anti-white universities.

  • john

    Let’s face it, at this juncture in history every part, every institution, just about everything is for sale in this country so why not the hire education? of course this is an open discrimination against native born people but I don’t see ACLU complaining.

  • Anonymous

    UC Berkeley is the top school in California. It used to be the number 1 rated university in the world, but because of massive illegal immigration into California and the resulting economic decline of that State, the UC system has plummeted in quality.

    It is interesting that 5-7 years ago, about 1/2 of UC students were Asian, 18% Jewish, and about 15% hispanic or Black (who largely were admitted b/c of affirmative action). Now, do the math — what percentage of UC Berkeley students were of European orign? That’s right, only 17%, even though European-Americans built that university and even though California is still almost 50% European-American. Talk about discrimination!

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Kwanhyun Park, I invite you to enroll at Hillsdale college.

  • Eric

    I’ve said before that 90% of colleges should be shuttered and turned into parking lots. Look at who is employed in the higher education scam. Largely it’s the same people who march in lockstep for the destruction of anything white and middle class.

  • rjp

    Let’s think for a minute …..

    I am going to assume that Beverly Hills High School provides a quality education without too much grade inflation, but …..

    But remember, just a week ago, the story was that one-third of all California public school graduates who were accepted and entered the Cal State University system required remedial education before progressing to college level courses.

    Who Park should be mad at though is the black “African studies” major in his spot.

  • cpascal

    Sooner or later, this will lead to lot of trouble on the UC campuses. The universities want a student body that consists of blacks and Hispanics, combined with what must be serious Chinese students. If they can master English well enough to study in it, and their native language is Chinese, they must have a high IQ. It will be interesting to see how things turn out when the Chinese see that they’ve paid $22,000 to live and study near a bunch of dangerous rowdies, and to have rap music pounding through the dorms at all hours of the day and night.

  • Sheila

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of people. Seriously. What phenomenal schadenfreude.

  • Lauren

    GRADE GRUBBING doesn’t always pay:

    So what’s this guy kvetching about, anyway? There are plenty of value-priced schools that will take him, and he will eventually be successful in displacing an American.

  • Anonymous

    “The universities want a student body that consists of blacks and Hispanics, combined with what must be serious Chinese students. If they can master English well enough to study in it, and their native language is Chinese, they must have a high IQ.”

    No, this is totally inaccurate. In fact, the vast majority of Chinese immigrant students are completely illiterate in English — they simply don’t care, have no shame, and will stop at nothing. This includes rampant cheating as well as a growing system of private “tutoring” companies, often set up just down the streets from schools, and often funded by the Chinese government.

  • sedonaman

    The University of California is cutting back on many things, but not useless diversity programs.


    California’s budget crisis has reduced the University of California to near-penury, claim its spokesmen. “Our campuses and the UC Office of the President already have cut to the bone,” the university system’s vice president for budget and capital resources warned earlier this month, in advance of this week’s meeting of the university’s regents. Well, not exactly to the bone. Even as UC campuses jettison entire degree programs and lose faculty to competing universities, one fiefdom has remained virtually sacrosanct: the diversity machine.

    Not only have diversity sinecures been protected from budget cuts, their numbers are actually growing. The University of California at San Diego, for example, is creating a new full-time “vice chancellor for equity, diversity, and inclusion.” This position would augment UC San Diego’s already massive diversity apparatus, which includes the Chancellor’s Diversity Office, the associate vice chancellor for faculty equity, the assistant vice chancellor for diversity, the faculty equity advisers, the graduate diversity coordinators, the staff diversity liaison, the undergraduate student diversity liaison, the graduate student diversity liaison, the chief diversity officer, the director of development for diversity initiatives, the Office of Academic Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Committee on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Issues, the Committee on the Status of Women, the Campus Council on Climate, Culture and Inclusion, the Diversity Council, and the directors of the Cross-Cultural Center, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Resource Center, and the Women’s Center.


    “Less Academics, More Narcissism”

    by Heather Mac Donald

    14 July 2011