Colleges are bringing in more students to create a diverse cultural environment as well as helping them in achieving their bottom line.
One aspiring international student was Fahad Alharthi who traveled from Saudi to southern California in April of 2015 at the age of 20 years old, he didn’t know to speak English. But he did had a guaranteed scholarship provided by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission, to use to learn English and pursue higher studies at the American Universities.
For 18 months, he lived with American host families and friends, he studied English at a language school, and California State University, Long Beach, he took the International English Language Testing System exam, On a scale of 0 to 9, he scored 5 which wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great either. He was accepted at three colleges.
He chose Tennessee State University in Nashville, a University with a majority coming from different minorities and other Arabian countries. His classmates were black, Americans, Egyptians, Kurds, and Somalis including other Saudi Students as well.
In 2008-09, Tennessee State University had 77 international undergraduate students. By the fall of 2016, universities had 8% international students in their total of 7000 undergraduate students, and it has been increasing for the same reasons.
International students are a major source of revenue for universities and a way to develop a culturally rich environment where local students get to experience different cultures rather than going abroad.
In addition to the tuition money, these international students bring some students who often pay full sticker price with the support of their home government, which is exceedingly important for the Universities.
The increase in the number of international students is also observed at Morgan State, Baltimore, and Howard University in Washington D.C. Among HBCUs with 10 or more students in the academic year of the 2017-18 academic year.
Morgen State had the most, with a total of 945 international students; Howard University was second with 920 students; and Tennessee State University on the third number with 584 international students.
The campuses are similar in student population and size, at least 70 percent of students are from African American and about half of them receive federal Pell grants which are given to the undergraduate students whose household income is less than 40,000$ annually.
As demographics change, most students in black universities argue that the culture of their institute is changing and others happily accept diverse cultures and norms of different international students.
Students find it an amazing opportunity to interact with foreigners which is extremely important because when they will go out and work, the work environment will be very diverse.
International students who came to study aboard on government-funded scholarships are the best-case scenario for any university, as they tend to pay full, out of state tuition fees.
According to Marybeth Gasman, the director of the Rutgers (formerly Penn) Center for Minority Serving Institutions said, majority of students come from Saudi Arabia, as people there want to acquire more western knowledge, he later added that more students come when the university is recommended by former students in the home country, eventually bringing in more international students.