Financial Aid and Funding for Term Paper

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S. Because educational options have increased more competition is coming from other countries in this market. Costs associated with the international student attending a U.S. school may often be too great for many international students to afford. Depending upon the outlook for work in the U.S., the international student may or may not attend college in the U.S. Costs for a college education in the United States is however, not the primary barrier.

Anderson relates that Robert Gelfond, CEO of MagiQ Technologies in New York is reported as stating that "We've seen foreign scientists try to get here to do research and can't get in who not only go elsewhere but are so upset they say they will not come to the U.S. now under any circumstances...Clearly we are losing our ability to attack talented people, since the word has spread about the difficulties of getting into the United States. Individuals have to plan their lives and can't afford to spend months and months putting everything on hold only to discover they won't be able t come to America after all." (Andersen, 2007) the international student's contribution has been noted by the National Academy of Sciences in the May 2005 report entitled: "Policy Implications of International Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars in the United States" which stated conclusions that: "International students contribute to U.S. society not only academically and economically, but also by fostering the global and cultural knowledge and understanding necessary for effective U.S. leadership, competitiveness and security." (Anderson, 2007) Additionally stated was that should the United States "maintain overall leadership in science and engineering, visa and immigrations policies should provide clear procedures that do not unnecessarily hinder the flow of international graduate students and postdoctoral scholars." (Anderson, 2007)

In a 'Symposium Overview" entitled: "In America's Interest: Welcoming International Students - the Role of Higher Education" it is stated that: "Educational systems are developing rapidly in many parts of the world, and worldwide competition for international students has increased and become much more aggressive. These and numerous other factors have created a complex new environment for the U.S. higher education and have contributed substantially to recent decline in the U.S. share of the worldwide flow of international students." (in America's Interest: Welcoming International Students - the Role of Higher Education, 2007) the symposium was attended by "more than seventy respected leaders in higher education." (in America's Interest: Welcoming International Students - the Role of Higher Education, 2007) Recommendations which arose from the symposium are stated to be geared toward a reversal in the decline of international students in the United States. The main points that were stated include those as follows:

1) Best practices exist for recruitment of students "can be found by looking abroad to competitor institutions, looking to domestic colleagues at other institutions and looking within the campus administration itself. Novel and proven approaches in the areas of recruitment, admissions, retention, and enrollment should be examined and possibly adapted to new contexts." (in America's Interest: Welcoming International Students - the Role of Higher Education, 2007)

2) Institutions were called upon to "proactively collect data on their international students to assist with the identification of issues and barriers to international student recruitment." (in America's Interest: Welcoming International Students - the Role of Higher Education, 2007) This information can be utilized in assisting universities in the refinement of the recruitment approaches and in the conveyance of messages to prospective international students in order to ensure the efficacy and accuracy as to the target population's context.

3) There must be a focal point on each campus that works in coordinating the efforts of institutions and to make sure that the effort does not become "too diffuse or disjointed."

4) Retention programs are stated to be just as critical as recruitment programs and requires that institutions work to be sure that these student's education experience is positive.

5) International recruitment efforts must be ongoing even when the numbers do not cause concern in order to ensure that the international students continue to seek education in the United States.

Efforts for reducing financial barriers that impede international student's access to college education in the United States are focused toward six common problems, which include the following:

The need for closer coordination with internal and external stakeholders that play a critical role in student financing;

Overcoming internal and external policy barriers that inhibit the development of sound financial solutions for international students;

Development of more effective communication strategies abroad;

Allocation of more resources and energy to international student marketing campaigns;

Surmounting the myriad political barriers that institutions face when looking to gain outside support for assistance programs; and Developing effective strategies for creatively utilizing alumni to support incoming international students.

The Symposium recommendations include those as follows:

1) Institutions should use "collective bargaining power with lenders to find ways to overcome the perception of risk that U.S. financial institutions have with respect to international students." (Ibid)

2) Colleges should give consideration to developing payment plans for international students in order to assist them in paying educational costs over time and without penalties.

3) Programs, to assist in the direction of the cost of higher education should be developed with a focus on international students. Examples are stated to include home-stay programs.

4) Sponsors are often associated with many efforts at a university however, in the past this venue has not been considered in connection with international students and could make the provision of diverse types of sponsorship to assist the international student.

6) Endowment fund development should be considered by college students in order to support international diversity. (Ibid, paraphrased)

The following chart illustrates the enrollment rates of international students in the United States during the years 1989 to 2004.

Enrollment Rates of International Students in the U.S. (1989-2004)

Source: In America's Interest: Welcoming International Students - the Role of Higher Education, 2007

The following table lists the international student by enrollment by program of study for the years 1999 through 2004.

Source: In America's Interest: Welcoming International Students - the Role of Higher Education, 2007

International student enrollment is stated to be highest in the countries of the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia, and Japan. The following table illustrates the enrollments in colleges in these countries of international students from 1999 to 2004 and the percentage change of enrollment during that time period in each of these countries.

International Student Enrollment in the Top Six Host Countries 1999-2004

Source: In America's Interest: Welcoming International Students - the Role of Higher Education, 2007

It is reported that international student enrollment has grown worldwide over the past five years and while the United States "continues to be the destination of choice for the largest group of students, the international student market is changing and a number of countries are now challenging U.S. dominance as the leading host country. The work of Anderson makes recommendations as to what should be changed in order to continue to attract international students to the United States. The objectives as set out by Anderson include the following:

Elimination of the visa requirement for those students intending to attain a master and Ph.D in the United States. Elimination of the 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and specifically changing the requirement of students to state intent to leave the U.S. upon graduation "would be a logical extension of the law..." (Anderson, 2007)

The U.S. should "streamline the process for international graduate students in science and engineering. International students earned approximately 60% of 2002 doctorates in the U.S. making it in the best interest of the U.S. that as many of these graduates as is possible and feasible "stay and work in the private sector." (Anderson, 2007) Anderson states that policy options exist that can be pursued in making it easier for the international students with advanced education degrees to remain in the U.S. under lawful permanent residence. Another visa category being created for international students is also an option according to Anderson (2007).

Policy and processing difficulties could be addressed through appointing a single Administration official for coordination of policy and the role of "Ombudsman" relating to international students issues." (Ibid) Anderson states that this: "...would lead to a logical setting of priorities to balance security and other interests." (Anderson, 2007)

United States universities have a need to increase marketing efforts in others countries in order to attract international students to universities and colleges in the U.S.

The U.S. government, businesses and universities need to work in collaboration on the strategy necessary in conveying the message that the U.S. is the best place for educational attainment. (Anderson, 2007; paraphrased)

Summary and Conclusion

It is clear that United States colleges and institutions must strategically plan for marketing recruitment and retention of international students. Policies are self-defeating in…

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