Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Chinese Crowding College Campuses

High school seniors eagerly watched their mailboxes in April, hoping for the “fat envelope” indicating acceptance by the college of their choice. Unfortunately, more American students are receiving the “thin envelope” because college acceptance rates are continuing their decade-long decline. The most selective public colleges, such as UCLA and Michigan, now take only one out of six applicants, compared to one out of three a decade ago. Top private colleges, such as Stanford and Harvard, admit only one out of 20 applicants, compared to one out of 10 a decade ago.

What explains the steady decline in college admission rates for America’s best high-school students? Is it really true that the percentage of high-school graduates who are prepared for college keeps getting smaller? One reason for this trend is the huge increase of students from foreign countries, especially China, who are admitted to study in America. The numbers of Chinese and other foreign students who go to U.S. colleges is truly mind-boggling.

The University of Illinois has 5,000 Chinese students on its Champaign-Urbana campus, compared with less than 100 a decade ago. Students from Communist China made up 10% of last year’s freshman class. California has more U.S.-born Chinese students than any other state, but its public colleges nevertheless admit huge numbers of students from mainland China, including 1,200 at UC Berkeley and 2,200 at UC San Diego. Of the nearly 1 million people living in the United States on F-1 student visas, about 360,000 are from China.

Why did U.S. universities decide to open their doors to foreign students? Follow the money. Foreign students usually pay full tuition rates, which could be two or three times more than American students pay.

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