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US Universities are Eager to Enroll International Students


US Universities are Eager to Enroll International Students

In the past five years, American universities have increased their enrollment of foreign students by almost 50%, according to the Department of Homeland Security.  Why?  Many public universities are having a hard time coming up with the funds they need for their programs, and international students — who pay tuition at a higher rate than their in-state classmates — are an attractive way to not only find those monetary resources but also to add diversity and talent to the student body.  According to Daniel Obst of the Institute of International Education, “The internationalization of the college campus has become very important.  presidents and board of trustee members are looking at for the kind of benefit it can provide their students, since not every student is going to get to study abroad."

Many top universities recruit students overseas using foreign consultants or sending their own staff members to scout out the best candidates for their degree programs.  Students from China (approx. 330,000) and Saudi Arabia (approx. 81,000) comprise the largest percentage of international students currently enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities.

Another prime motivation for American universities’ recruitment of foreign students is the improvement of U.S. relations with other nations.  Daniel Benjamin, a scholar of international relations from Dartmouth College, explains that, for example, Saudis educated in the U.S. “help direct country toward more openness, broader political freedom, and inclusion,” allowing for greater understanding between the two countries and cultures.  Some schools even offer full-ride scholarships to students from specific nations or backgrounds, in their efforts to create positive dialogue between American students and their international counterparts.

Given the large number of American schools that are seeking international students, candidates have the opportunity to find an institution that truly matches their desired field of study, location, and even the overall “feel” of the campus and student population.  

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