Financially hard-pressed public universities, but also comparatively well-off private schools, are intensively recruiting foreign undergraduates who pay premium tuition fees. Some 1.13 million international students are enrolled in U.S. colleges, the Department of Homeland Security reported on Wednesday, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Some colleges even send emissaries abroad to recruit foreign students. The University of Colorado-Boulder has a foreign student population of 6.5 percent. Administrators want to boost the figure to 10 percent. Most of the school’s international students are from China, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait. These students pay $35,231 annually in tuition compared with $10,971 for in-state residents, according to the Journal.
The increasing flow of foreign students into U.S. colleges is facilitated by rising affluence in China and by the policies of oil-rich Arab countries that provide openhanded scholarships.
The highest number of foreign students, 331,371, is from China. Next is India with 146,336. South Korea comes in third with 87,384. Saudi Arabia is fourth with 81,000 students compared to about 5,000 at the time of the 9/11 attacks.
The five schools with the most foreigners are: the University of Southern California, Purdue (a public university), Columbia University, the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (also a public university), and New York University.
Some schools are starting to limit the number of out-of-state students. The University of California system plans to cap the percentage of non-Californians at the present 22 percent level. The state of Washington requires colleges to maintain a set ratio of in-state residents to ensure that locals are not turned away for lack of space.