The number of international student population is has been increasing rapidly, with close to a million in the US in 2015 (shown below). Though the benefits of having international students on your campus for cultural interaction are well-documented, the financial aspect of it is less covered.
International students contributed $30 billion to the US economy in 2015, but many debate whether this is a positive or negative thing for US schools. Particularly, many debate whether or not it is ethical for schools with public funding to accept international students. At Ojisu, we know that our international students bring not only cultural perspective to local schools, but benefit local economies and school budgets.
In states like Pennsylvania, where government education funding is stagnant or falling, public high schools and universities can charge international students full tuition with extra fees to make up costs. These students often come from affluent backgrounds and want to stay for short terms. Schools may need to enhance their English as a Second Language programs, but otherwise the services are essentially the same but for a higher price. While the resources these international students use are the same as those for domestic ones, the financial benefits they can bring to universities and their local economies is
Take the University of Pittsburgh, for example. As you can see in the chart below, they are able to charge an almost 15% higher price for virtually the same services. International students will also not pay this tuition with federal aid or scholarships, but instead accept the full cost. This tuition paid in full can help the university continue to keep domestic tuition low and expand programs at a time when funding is stagnant.
We at OJisu, however, we believe that the main value our international students bring universities is not financial. Having students from other countries integrated in your community allows for a more diverse set of ideas on campuses and cultural exchange. Due to these proven benefits, we expect the growing trend of studying internationally to continue for years to come.