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Record number of Chinese studying in the US

Voice of America blog

According to the Sluzker Center for International Services, the number of Chinese students entering Syracuse University as undergraduates has been rising rapidly in recent years. In 2004, SU accepted 37 Chinese students as undergraduates. This number increased to 68 in 2008, the year I entered SU, and continued climbing to nearly 150 in 2011.

This phenomenon has not only occurred at SU, but also in colleges all across the country. A report from the Institute of International Education showed that the number of Chinese students enrolled in U.S. institutions of higher education in 2010-11 was 157,558, 23% more than the previous year, and over 1/5 of all international students in the U.S.

Is It About Being Multi-cultural, or Is It About Money?

In some ways, it’s a win-win situation. With China’s economic boom, more families are willing to send their children to the U.S. for a “better education.” Meanwhile, American universities like to pursue a diverse and multicultural student body, and having more Chinese students on campus contributes to that environment.

But there’s another factor driving the desire to attract Chinese students as well. Facing budget cuts in recent years, U.S. universities, particularly public universities, have started enrolling record numbers of international students as a way to bolster finances. At public universities, international students pay the out-of-state tuition rate, which can be about double the rate for in-state American students. And among Chinese students in particular, wealthy families are able to pay full tuition without receiving financial aid from the university.

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