By Joe Guzzardi
November 20, 2015
Nearly one million foreign-born students are now enrolled in American colleges. The Institute of International Education recently released its annual “Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange” report which stated that 974,926 international students matriculate within the United States. The data that pleases globalists, and the institutions that collect the heftier out-of-state tuition fees, but troubles many American parents.
The number of international students in American colleges, led by Chinese, Indian and Middle Eastern youths, is literally soaring. During the academic year 2003/2004 about 572,510 students were enrolled. By 2014/2015, the total had nearly doubled. New York University led U.S. schools’ international enrollment with 13,178 students (total enrollment 49,274) who pay more than $66,000 all-in to attend.
Other universities with the highest percentages of foreign-born students include the University of Southern California, Columbia, Arizona State, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Overall, international students are attending graduate and undergraduate programs in about equal numbers, with the most popular majors including business, management and the STEM fields, science, technology, engineering and math.
While administrators tout their globalist approach to enrollment as beneficial to American students because of the diversity it offers them, many parents fear that their kids are getting unfairly shunned. And they make a good case. A Wall Street Journal exposé, for example, revealed that some American colleges pay agents in Asia to recruit Asian students even though the process has generated documented proof of fraud. Chinese parents have paid up to $30,000 to help secure their children places in upper-tier colleges.
In its investigative story about foreign-born students, The Atlantic reported that some colleges like Columbia have more students from Mainland China than from the Midwest, and others like the USC have twice as many international students as African-Americans.
NYU, Columbia, and USC are private institutions. But parents question whether their taxpayer dollars are appropriately spent when public universities reject their children in favor of international ones. Of the 20 colleges IIE lists as the favored destinations for international students, 13 are public schools that historically have given priority to educating middle-class high-school graduates who earned their diplomas within those states. Some schools like the University of California are land-grant colleges which Congress designated to receive Morrill Act funding to build universities so that its states’ middle-class could benefit from a higher education. Parents of California’s international students haven’t not paid into the communities’ infrastructure or the salaries that support the universities staffs and professors, a factor that should be advantageous to those who have.
Nevertheless, money rules. At Cal, residents pay $12, 192 in tuition compared to the out-of-state $35,070 fee. At another land-grant school, the University of Maine, non-residents pay nearly triple, $30,000 versus $10,606.
Another less acknowledged concern also should give pause. When international students graduate, they may be able to change their immigration status from student to resident, a relatively easy process that allows them to remain in the U.S. to compete for jobs with American kids in a tight labor market. This is especially true in the STEM field as Congress is constantly considering legislation to loosen the H-1B cap for foreign-born engineering graduates.
Encouragingly Cal announced that during 2016/2017, the university would accept more instate students at its main campus and at UCLA, a pattern that other universities nationwide should move quickly to adopt. Out of fairness, American kids should routinely get priority consideration over international students.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]