- Eastern Michigan University will this fall charge international students the same tuition rate as their in-state classmates, part of an effort to buck the trend toward fewer students from abroad applying to U.S. colleges.
- The university had seen its international student enrollment slip from 872 to 800 last year, but it hopes this move and other initiatives will double that enrollment by 2022, according to Inside Higher Education.
- Eastern Michigan's president said the initiative is part of an effort to encourage applications from international students, which included the installation of banners with pictures of more than 100 foreign students around campus. The university has also been part of the national “You are Welcome Here” campaign aimed at encouraging international students to attend U.S. colleges.
Most international students pay out of state tuition levels and some schools charge them more beyond that. Inside Higher Education notes that it is unusual for a school to charge the same rate for in-state, out-of-state and international students, which at Eastern Michigan now does.
“Recruitment of international students is I think a challenge in today’s environment Eastern Michigan” says University President James Smith. “Many students think the United States is not as welcoming as it was four, five, six years ago.”
Eastern Michigan will now charge the flat $413 per credit hour tuition rate for international students, down from $970. At the other end of Michigan to the north, Lake Superior State University also recently announced that it would offer the same $485 per credit hour tuition rate for students throughout the U.S. and abroad. Previously those outside the country had to pay $727 per credit hour.
Minot Sate University in North Dakota and colleges in the Minnesota State College and University system recently have reduced the rates for international students. St. Cloud State in Minnesota automatically awards scholarships to international students with certain stipulations about involvement in the campus and community and maintaining grades, About 1,500, or 10% of its enrollment, are international students.
Meanwhile, other schools have increased charges for them. University of Wisconsin recently approved a $1,000 surcharge for international students at two campuses, and in the past few years Michigan State University and Pennsylvania State University both began charging an extra $500.
Forbes recently announced its top U.S. colleges for international students, and noted that while their numbers have risen recently, their enrollment may be leveling off dropping. Three small colleges and two elite research institutions, Carnegie Mellon University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are among the top five, according to the magazine, which ranked them based on the quality of the instruction for students from other countries, the size of the international student population and their graduation rates.