The sight of groups of foreign students walking on campuses is no longer an unusual sight for most campuses. According to a statistic released by the Wall Street Journal, the number of foreign student rose 7.2% from the previous year to 819,644, stimulated by the increase in Chinese undergraduates.
Unlike domestic students, international students must pay out-of-state rate tuition and often cannot waive out of their expensive health insurance plans due their status limitations. However, just because international cannot legally work in the U.S., doesn’t mean they can avoid paying the federal income tax, since they are paying the same amount of tax as their fellow domestic classmates.
One of the biggest groups of international students comes from China. According to “Foreign Students At Record Level,” there were 235,597 Chinese students in the U.S. last year. At the same time, there was also a high inflow of students from Brazil and Saudi Arabia, mostly under scholarship programs offered by their governments. Right now, international students take up 3.9% of the overall student population, and schools are more hyped than ever when it comes to recruitment.
Some of the universities that attract the most international students are: the University of Southern California, the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Purdue University and New York University. Each school has more than 9,000 foreign students and the number is only increasing. When asked why universities in the U.S. seem so much more attractive than the universities in her hometown, one European student said, “In the U.S. you can have more time to figure out what to study, and I needed that because I wasn’t sure.”
The international student population is not only making the U.S. campuses more diverse, it also making it more affluent than ever. The amount of money that international students contribute way exceeds their domestic peers. Some people even argue that international students have become the “cash cows” during the period of our stagnant economy. If the role of international students is becoming ever so important, maybe the next concern that universities should have is how to make sure the international students can receive the same level of benefits as their domestic contemporaries.
Resource: Foreign Students At Record Level by Caroline Porter and Douglas Belkin on The Wall Street Journal.