More Chinese students finding a home at the U of M


Chinese students are enrolling at colleges and universities in the United States at record numbers.

The same is holding true at the University of Minnesota. The university has seen a dramatic increase in Chinese students, who according to a report in the Minnesota Daily, now make up the largest percentage of international students at the school. Nearly 40 percent of all international students at the university come from China.

University admissions tries to reserve about two-thirds of every freshman class for in-state students and 5 percent for international students. While the university was close to that target this year, in-state enrollment at the University of Minnesota has declined over the last five years, while international enrollment has increased.

According to the Minnesota Daily report University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler said higher international enrollment is good for the university, because it adds diversity to the educational experience.

The University of Minnesota opened a recruiting office in Beijing in 2009, its only recruiting office outside of the country. Since that time, the university has added more than 1,000 Chinese students.

Businessweek reported last week that competition is so fierce for college in China, that families with means will "opt out" of their education system and pursue a degree abroad.

According to numbers from the Institute for International Education international students rarely receive federal grants or financial aid. Nearly 64 percent of international students in the U.S. relied primarily on personal and family funds to pay for college in 2011-2012.

According to the Minnesota Daily, Peggy Blumenthal, a senior counselor with the IIE believes there is a financial aspect to the recruiting growth overseas. She believes well-funded students from China are "very attractive" to state institutions.

Many of those schools have experienced a loss in state funding, including the University of Minnesota, which has seen a 23 percent reduction in state funding since 2008.

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