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How International Students Can Begin a U.S. College Search

Dave_BerryDave_Berry CC Admissions Expert Posts: 2,314 Senior Member
"Chinese national Kexin Zhen says she first learned about U.S. liberal arts colleges during a meeting with her high school counselor.

From then on, Zhen focused her college search on this type of school, which offers a more general education for undergraduates in the humanities, sciences and social sciences, as opposed to having a professional or technical emphasis.

'I didn't really know my major and my career direction, so I preferred to go to a liberal arts college,' she says.

Now she's a rising junior at Wheaton College, a liberal arts school in Massachusetts.

Narrowing the scope of a college search is important because in 2015-2016, there were more than 4,500 colleges and universities in the U.S., according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That's a lot of schools to choose from.

Here are some steps prospective international students can take to begin an effective U.S. college search from anywhere in the world." ...


Replies to: How International Students Can Begin a U.S. College Search

  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,595 Senior Member
    Yup, Money is a very important factor for international students.
  • Studious99Studious99 Registered User Posts: 713 Member
    I'm just surprised when international students post on here seeking large amounts of financial aid. US colleges are extremely expensive. Why would domestic schools want to sponsor international students? What's in it for them?
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,595 Senior Member
    edited July 30
    The mission of US schools are unique in that they pursue for diversity, meaning they are willing to fund for international students that are talented and hard working AND will contribute to US society. It's not just because they want to be nice.

    However, many international students seem to forget or not know it.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,483 Senior Member
    edited July 30
    @studious99 : recruiting the best students worldwide means worldwide influence. Soft power is hugely powerful.

    Also, American students live on a continent-country that is also economically dominant. They may have no or little understanding of the world, its various cultures, worldviews, etc. In such a situation, it's easy to be insular without realizing you are.
    Sophisticated thinking such as the top colleges expect from their students requires all students to be able to automatically integrate multiple perspectives. International students provide this in spades and top colleges know that admitting only the children of foreign millionaires and princes will not suffice.

    Part of it is recognizing talent wherever it is: to get financial aid at a top college, a student has to be at least top1% in their country (more likely top 0.1%.) All internationals on scholarship are superstars.

    Finally, the world has become globalized. To function in the 21st century, college graduates need to be used to people from all over the world.
  • student30294student30294 Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    edited August 1
    @Studious99 Because many stay and work in the US after and donate to the school. Do you think they spend all of that money to just peace out back to China after four years?
  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,595 Senior Member
    Most of those Chinese students who come to US don't need scholarship as much because their parents are quite affluent. So they are not even part of international students who are being sponsored

    Also, many international students who need a lot of scholarhsips to get into US schools are already in the US, and plan to stay in US afterward. So it's not a loss for colleges.
  • EngPIIEngPII Registered User Posts: 246 Junior Member
    @paul2752 is correct: most of the Chinese students have parents who believe spending any and all savings on their (mostly) one child's education is a driving social value. Living in China for so long, I find the kids today applying for undergraduate education do so because it is easier on their relatively prosperous and highly competitive parents (compared to the previous generation) than the many years of hard work needed by parents at night and weekends to help the kids pass the Chinese gaokao, college entrance exam. Chinese parents, if they can, will spend any and all amounts for their one emperor child to have a good education. US, UK, Aus, NZ, Canada are loaded with full-fare Chinese students. Not many looking for or need aid, from what I see from China.

    And most of the fresh grads can't work in the US afterward as the H1-Bs aren't being sponsored by US employers anymore. So they go back to China. And they don't donate money to a school afterward. I'm contacted at least once a month by one of my employees or friends looking for job opportunities in China for their kids with international, mostly US, educations.

    In recent years, with 330k Chinese studying in the US, universities have further differentiated their tuition fees from the traditional OOS/International rate to a higher overall international tuition and fees. State flagships don't receive much contribution from state tax coffers anymore and they make up that revenue with tuition from high-paying foreign kids from Saudi Arabia, China, etc. It's most definitely about revenue, not diversity--even for the highly competitive privates who don't provide need-based aid to foreign applicants. Duke doesn't really NEED 30% of its freshman class from China to ensure global diversity. But the full fare from that 30% works just fine for revenue, all other things being equal.

  • paul2752paul2752 Registered User Posts: 4,595 Senior Member
    @EngPII Exactly. I have never seen a 'poor' chinese student. In fact, I have seen a lot, a lot of Chinese students driving a brand new Chrysler. Too bad they aren't so compliant when it comes to traffic speed lol...
  • EngPIIEngPII Registered User Posts: 246 Junior Member
    I love the kids who come to the US and see that they can buy a used late-model BMW 7-seres (not a kid's car, but a chauffeured car in China and which no kid in the US would ever buy) for like USD 15K of their parents' money. A dream come true and they can send photos home--high status!
  • homessdhomessd Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    I hear those cars are way more expensive in China, so the students come here for a few years, buy a used model, gain all that status, make a lot of friends, and find themselves a perma-gf. They eventually sell the car before they leave or keep it for utility if they've found a job. The ROI is decent for these vehicles and the economics work out.
  • baotrambellebaotrambelle Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    Domestic schools can invest in international students for a more diverse population. They can gain from a different perspective. I am a Vietnamese international student from Vietnam, I came to the States after graduating high school. A few international students I know maintain 3.7 or better GPA, involved as officers in 5 or 6 clubs and organizations. International students come from all over the world with different background. Personally, for me, it was for the freedom of knowledge that is widely advertised. Some Chinese students are rich, but they do not represent all international students. Some people crawled their way out for a better education, and eventually, a better life.
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