Saturday, May 31, 2008

Foreign Students Living High On Our Hog

WASHINGTON (May 2008) – "Lobbying groups frequently claim that foreign students are a benefit to America’s balance of payments, comparable to a booming export sector. For instance, the Institute for International Education (IIE) asserts that foreign students contributed a net $14.5 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2006-07 school year by paying for tuition and living expenses with resources from abroad, representing a net inflow of nearly $25,000 per year, every year, from the average foreign student.

To assess these claims, the Center for Immigration Studies has published a new Backgrounder, “Who Pays? Foreign Students Do Not Help with Balance of Payments,” written by immigration researcher David North. Acknowledging other, non-financial reasons the United States might benefit from admitting foreign students, North examines the most recent IIE report on foreign students’ monetary contributions and compares it to two other studies on the subject. His report finds that the balance-of-payments claim is totally without merit.

The complete report is available online at and includes the following findings:

# The IIE assumes that the only cost to the domestic sources is tuition. However, partially hidden subsidies from U.S. sources, such as endowments and taxpayer contributions to state schools, are not taken into consideration.

# The IIE report relies on questionable data collection techniques, using foreign student advisers as a primary source for determining whether students’ funding originated overseas or domestically. In the most recent year, little more than half of the foreign student advisers surveyed even responded to the survey’s question on the origin of students’ resources.

# While the IEE claims that two-thirds or more of foreign students’ funding comes from abroad – i.e., money pumped into the U.S. economy from abroad – other, more rigorous studies that surveyed the students themselves have produced very different results. In prior research, the author found that only 10.4 percent of the foreign students’ incomes came from overseas, the rest coming from U.S. sources. A multi-agency survey of doctoral students found that only 9.7 percent of foreign students’ resources came from overseas."

From "US sources" means of course you and me. Government grants. Billions flushed down the Hillary. Click the included link to read the whole thing.

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