BALTIMORE -- Carleton College has 18 new students from China this year, and they are paying about half of their own expenses. A handful of them don't need any financial aid at all. While Chinese graduate students are no shock on university campuses, significant cohorts of undergraduate applications from China are a new phenomenon at most colleges. Just a few years ago, Carleton had only three or four students enrolling from China, and it never enrolled students who could afford to pay their own way.
Applications from outside the United States are up 7 percent in 2010 at American graduate schools, a healthy increase that will please many universities, according to a new survey released by the Council of Graduate Schools.
To a cash-strapped public university, the promise of hundreds of new international applicants each year, paying full out-of-state tuition and spreading the institution’s name around the world, might be too good to pass up.
The law of supply and demand drove SKEMA, a French business school, to open campuses in the emerging markets of China and Morocco, and to start planning for expansion into India, Brazil and possibly Russia.
But the decision to set up shop in the United States was driven by something a bit more emotional. “For European students, this is a dream; America is a dream for them,” says Alice Guilhon, the school’s dean. “And it is a dream for us, to be known in the U.S.”
In higher education, change rarely happens quickly. Not so when it comes to hiring overseas agencies -- paid by the college in the form of per-student commissions -- to recruit international students. Two years ago the topic was taboo, and few colleges would publicly admit to the practice, which is illegal under U.S. law when it comes to recruiting American students.