The number of Chinese students at U.S. universities jumped 75 percent in three years to almost 275,000 in the last academic year, according to a report.
Students from China made up the largest contingent among the 886,052 foreign students last year, with 31 percent, the Institute of International Education, a New York-based nonprofit group, said today. India is second with 12 percent of the total, followed by South Korea with 7.7 percent.
In 2013-2014, the number of Chinese students in the U.S. rose 8.1 percent from a year earlier, while those from India swelled by 17 percent, the IIE said. Foreigners are attractive to colleges because they bring diversity to campuses and many pay full freight. That’s a boon to schools, which doled out about $48 billion in grant aid in the form of discounts in 2013-2014, almost double the rate of a decade earlier when adjusted for inflation, according to the New York-based College Board.
“There’s room in American higher education for more foreign students,” said Allan Goodman, president of the institute.
International students represent about 4.2 percent of total enrollments at U.S. institutions, according to the report. The schools with the most foreign students are New York University, the University of Southern California and University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
More than half of U.S. students who go abroad head to Europe, with the U.K., Italy, Spain and France as the most popular destinations, according to data from the 2012-2013 academic year. China has held fifth place since 2006-2007, according to the group.