The Institute of International Education issued its annual “Open Doors”report this week which showed a 5.7 percent increase in foreign-born students enrolled in American colleges. Some interpret this as good news. I’m not one of them.

For university administrators,international students are a bonanza. Out of state students pay full freight tuition—often as much as three times what an instate resident pays. At the University of Washington,for example,residents pay $10,575 in annual tuition and fees while non-residents pay $28,059. Foreign enrollment has been on the rise since the academic year 2006-2007 and has increased 32 percent over the past decade. That’s plenty of extra cash flowing into the university tills.

The State Department loves having foreign students on American campuses. Assistant Secretary of State Ann Stock says that young people who study abroad “gain the global skills necessary to create solutions to 21st-century challenges.”The State Department underscored that it gives student visa applications “special priority.”

Maybe the foreign students “gain global skills”and maybe they spend billions once they reach the United States. But what about the American kids they displace? They’d learn 21st-century skills and spend money,too. There are only a fixed number of incoming freshman seats. Once one is assigned,it’s gone.


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