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December 8th, 2010 by Keith Clausen

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    Open Doors 2010: Chinese Student Enrollment Soars

    November 29th, 2010 by Keith Clausen

    On November 15, the Institute of International Education released its annual Open Doors Report on international students in the US, showing the total number of international students in the US at 690,923, an all-time high and 3% more than last year.  However the most dramatic figure was the 30% growth in the number of Chinese students in the US, to a total of almost 128,000, leapfrogging India to claim the top spot.  China has recently been second to India in the number of international students studying in the US, but no longer, as the number of Indian students grew modestly to about 105,000.

    According to the report, the economy held back overall growth to a lower rate than in recent years, notwithstanding the growth in Chinese students as well as a surge in students from Saudi Arabia.  However, the number of students declined from about half of the top 25 sending countries.

    Here’s the top 10 sending countries with number of students this year and percent growth from last year:

    1    China               127,628      29.9%
    2    India                104,897        1.6%
    3    South Korea   72,153        -3.9%
    4    Canada            28,145        -5.2%
    5    Taiwan             26,685        -4.9%
    6    Japan               24,842      -15.1%
    7    Saudi Arabia  15,810        24.9%
    8    Mexico             13,450         -9.4%
    9    Vietnam           13,112          2.3%
    10    Turkey           12,397          2.0%

    The University of Southern California again hosted the most international students, with 7,987 international students on campus.  Next in line are the University of Illinois – Urbana – Champaign (7,287), New York University (7,276), Purdue University (6,903) and Columbia University (6,833).

    Read the press release from the Institute of International Education for more information, and you can review the data tables for complete details.

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    International Students in USA, US Students Abroad, both at all-time high

    November 30th, 2009 by Keith Clausen

    International Students in the USA

    The number of international students studying at colleges and universities in the USA (2008/2009 schoolyear) increased by 8% to 671,616, and the number of US students abroad (2007/2008 school year) increased by 8.5% to 262,416. Both the inbound and outbound totals, released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in its annual Open Doors Report on November 16, 2009, are all-time highs. The report stresses that any impact from the global economic downturn may not be reflected in these numbers, as the commitment to study overseas was made prior to last fall for most of these students.

    For international students in the USA, Canada overtook Japan for fourth place but otherwise the top five sending countries remain the same:

    India 103,260 +9.2%
    China 98,235 +21.1%
    South Korea 75,065 +8.6%
    Canada 29,697 +2.2%
    Japan 29,264 -13.9%

    India and China continue their dramatic growth, as enrollment by Chinese students in the US increased 21.1%, while Indian student enrollment grew by 9.2%.

    The University of Southern California remained the top single destination for international students, with 7,482 international students.

    For more information and data regarding international student enrollment in the USA, see the Open Doors press release and the international student data tables.

    US Students Abroad

    Although Western European destinations continue to be most popular for US students abroad, with England, Italy, Spain and France taking the top four spots, China, India and several other countries continue to grow in popularity. Shorter-term programs are very popular, and there are 23 US colleges that send 80% or more of their students abroad. IIE releases tons of information and statistics, so feel free to follow the links below to learn all you want about the enrollment of US students abroad.

    For more information and data regarding US students abroad, see the Open Doors Press Release and the study abroad data tables.

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    4th Annual InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest – $3500 Grand Prize!

    September 18th, 2009 by Keith Clausen

    InternationalStudent.com is excited to announce the launch of the fourth annual InternationalStudent.com Travel Video Contest! Prizes are bigger than ever – the Grand Prize is $3,500 and there will be other great prizes, like an iPod Touch and a video camera. Not to mention worldwide fame and fortune in the international education community with your very own blog on InternationalStudent.com.

    The contest is pretty simple. Simply make a video and submit it. Your video can be no longer than 5 minutes long; there is no minimum length. For those already studying outside of their home country, the video can describe any trip you’d like to take. For those who are not currently studying abroad, but who would like to, your video must describe your proposed study abroad. Click here for more information on how to enter.

    Entries will be judged by the judges panel on creativity, video production and editing quality, originality and interest level in the proposed trip or study abroad, and pure subjectivity. on our part.

    For more information and to enter, go to:
    http://www.InternationalStudent.com/contest/


    International Student Loans Now All School Certified

    August 11th, 2009 by Keith Clausen

    Over the past few years, there have been two main types of private loans, including those private loans available to international students. The first are called “school certified” (or school channel, in lender terms) and the second are called “direct to consumer” loans (DTC in lender terms).

    Direct to Consumer Loans

    With direct to consumer international student loans, the school is not really involved in the loan process at all. The student has to prove that he or she is enrolled in a school approved by the lender, typically by submitting a class schedule or letter of acceptance; however, the school itself does not need to do anything. The student can borrow the amount that the student decides is needed, up to a maximum set for that school by the lender, and the lender doesn’t care or know what other funds the student may have available. The upside is that these loans are very flexible, very fast in processing, and typically paid directly to the student. The downside is that they are easier to abuse and get in trouble by borrowing too much, as there is no school involved in determining exactly how much the student needs to borrow to afford his or her education. Often direct to consumer loans have higher interest rates and fees than school channel loans as well – the difference can be minor or major.

    School Certified Loans

    In school certified or school channel loans, the financial aid office is involved in determining exactly how much a student can borrow. The school looks at all of the student’s available funds, scholarships, other aid or loans, etc., and sets a maximum borrowing amount that could be far lower than the maximum total permitted for a school. For instance, as a very rough example, if a school had a total maximum annual cost of attendance of $30,000, then a student with no personal or family funds available and no other aid could borrow up to $30,000. However, if the school determined that the family should pay $5,000 per year and the student received a scholarship for $10,000 per year, then the student would only be approved to borrow $15,000 per year. For this reason, school channel loans are harder to abuse by borrowing too much, usually offer lower interest rates than DTC loans, but are less flexible and take longer. Funds are disbursed to the school, not the student.

    DTC Loans No Longer Available

    Over the past 18 months, as a result of the credit crunch and student loan legislation, most (if not all) direct to consumer private student loans have disappeared, and all direct to consumer international student loans have certainly disappeared. Only school channel international student loans are left, including on InternationalStudentLoan.com.

    This means that it is even more important to work through your school, plan carefully, and only budget to borrow the smallest possible amount you need – as that is all the school will certify you for anyway. ANd start your process earlier, as it takes time to process a school channel loan. The lender and school each have to do their part in evaluating your eligibility for a loan and the amount you can take, and this extends the process.

    Click here to learn about the international student loans available through InternationalStudentLoan.com.

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    Update for International Student Loans

    July 6th, 2009 by Keith Clausen

    As the fall semester approaches, and the level of inquiries that we receive about international student loans peaks, its a good time to review the state of play in the market for international student loans. Much has changed in the past year.

    The credit crunch and economic crisis continues to impact the availability of international student loans. There are many fewer lenders providing private loans to international students than there were a year ago. Underwriting and credit criteria have gotten tougher, and school lists have shrunk.

    InternationalStudentLoan.com continues to try to direct students to the best lender under current, admittedly less than ideal, market conditions. To find a lender that may be appropriate for you, visit the InternationalStudentLoan.com Apply page, submit basic information about your school and educational level and the school picker will direct you to the most appropriate lender that we are aware of.

    Remember, all regularly-available international student loans require a US co-signer.

    There are a few business schools (for instance, the business schools at Harvard, Yale, University of Chicago, University of Virginia, Duke University, Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, MIT, University of Michigan and University of California – Berkeley) that will provide no-cosigner loans to their own international MBA students. These prestigious business schools have the resources and ability to negotiate special arrangements with lenders for their international students, and students there should certainly take advantage of these programs.

    For everyone else, make sure you talk directly with your international student office and financial aid office. People in those offices are in the best position to know if your school has any special financing arrangements in place for international students, and simply to provide guidance in general.


    MBA Students Suffer as Custom Loan Programs Close

    January 27th, 2009 by Keith Clausen

    Reports continue about the problems caused by the lack of international student loans this year. Although international student loans have never been available to the general population of international students without a co-signer, a few prestigious schools had negotiated with Citibank and Sallie Mae for no-cosigner private student loan programs for their students in particular. We talked about the University of Chicago custom loan program in this blog last year.

    A new article in CIO Today addresses the problems students at these schools face now that CitiAssist and Sallie Mae have terminated many of those school-sponsored custom programs. From the article:

    “A number of leading business schools and graduate programs were dealt a serious blow this fall when big private lenders including CitiAssist and Sallie Mae suddenly terminated their popular “no co-signer” student loan programs. The canceled loan programs, which typically allowed applicants to obtain up to $150,000 without a co-signer to assume stewardship of the loan should the borrower default, were a financial lifeline for many international students, many of whom have no other way to finance their MBA educations. They were yet another victim of the credit crunch, which has decimated many private lenders and made those still in business more cautious than ever.”

    You can read the complete story on CIO Today.

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    International Student Financial Aid Update – 2009

    January 5th, 2009 by Keith Clausen

    From the perspective of an international student seeking funding for an education in the US, we begin 2009 much like we ended 2008 – with worldwide financial markets in turmoil and very limited options for international education financing. A quick update as we start the new year.

    For starters, both International Student Loan and Study Abroad Loans paused many of their loan programs late last year, and most programs remain paused. These market-leading programs offer loans to international students studying in the US and US students studying abroad, but because of the ongoing economic turmoil and the inability of lenders to sell their existing student loans, they cannot offer new loans at this time for most students. International Student Loan and Study Abroad Loans are working to replace and relaunch their loan programs, and we will keep you updated as that effort progresses. Visit International Student Loan and click the Apply Now button to submit your information to be contacted as soon as a loan program is available for you.

    Private student loans in general have been difficult to obtain. Almost all programs, even for US students, now require a co-signer and excellent credit for both parties, and require “school certification.” In fact, there do not appear to be any direct-to-consumer, non-school certified private student loans available to anyone. These loans – ones that did not need to be certified by your school, and therefore could process very quickly and let you borrow more than the total amount that your school permits – were very popular with international and US students. But because of perceived abuse, it is an open question as to whether such DTC (direct to consumer) student loans will come back at all.

    For international students, the basics of sound education financing become even more important. Those basics haven’t changed:

    1. Be very realistic about your budgeting and financial needs, and choosing a college that is within your budget. Visit these two posts to see more on being realistic about your choice of college and setting an accurate school budget.

    2. Consider a community college for the first two years of your education. Visit this post to learn how international students save money at community colleges.

    3. Get as much in scholarships as you can. Start with your school, your government, and look online on sites like International Scholarships and International Education Financial Aid.

    4. If you need loans, continue to check with International Student Loan, Study Abroad Loans and your school, which may have other lenders available.

    Best of luck as we begin 2009. From an international education financing perspective, let’s hope we have a much better year than last!

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    International Student Enrollment in the USA Soars

    November 17th, 2008 by Keith Clausen

    Open Doors Report 2008 released today by the Institute of International Education

    After several years of modest rises and even post-9/11 declines this decade, the number of international students studying in the USA soared this past year, to a record total of 623,805, a 7% increase over the previous year’s enrollment of 582,984. The 7% increase is the largest year over year increase since the 1969-1970 school year, and will be widely celebrated as the result of greater emphasis on attracting international students by the US State Department and US institutes of higher education.

    The Open Doors Report is compiled by the Institute of International Education, and released annually during International Education Week, which kicks off today. This year’s report shows strong growth from the top three sending countries, as the number of students in the US from India (94,563), China (81,127) and South Korea (69,124) increased 12.8%, 19.8% and 10.8%, respectively. In addition, Saudi Arabia moved to #9 on the list with a tremendous increase of 25.2% to a total of 9,873, as King Abdullah’s extremely generous scholarship program reached maturity.

    The Open Doors press release from this morning quoted Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education, “The steady increase in the number of international students in the United States reflects actions taken by the U.S. government and many individual colleges and universities to ensure that international students know they are welcome here, and that we appreciate how they contribute to the intellectual and cultural environment on campus and in the wider community. Furthering academic exchange – in both directions – is one of the best investments that we can make to strengthen U.S. higher education and research activities and foster cross-border collaboration on shared global problems such as fighting disease, protecting the environment, and countering terrorism.”

    The University of Southern California maintained its top position as the school with the most international students at 7,189, followed by New York University with 6,404 and Columbia University with 6,297. US students studying abroad also showed a sharp increase of 8.2%, from 223,534 in 2205/6 to 241,791 in 2006/7.

    Click here to read the Open Doors press release from IIE.

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    New Rules for International Students – British Home Office

    November 3rd, 2008 by Keith Clausen

    New Rules for International Students – British Home Office
    (from the UK Visa Bureau)

    Last week, the British Home Office announced the new Australian-style points-based system for international students in the UK, known as Tier 4 under Home Office rules.

    Under the new system for UK student visas, all universities and colleges wanting to educate nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) will need a licence to do so.

    As of March next year, only those licensed universities and colleges will be able to sponsor overseas non-EEA students to study in the UK.

    Further, before studying at a UK licensed educational facility, foreign students will have to supply fingerprints and meet new criteria to be allowed to study in the UK.

    The new system involves a ‘sponsor management system’, which includes a technology system that allows licensed sponsors to inform the UK Border Agency if students do not attend a required amount of classes.

    Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said, “International students contribute £2.5bn to the UK economy in tuition fees alone. The student tier of the points system means Britain can continue to recruit good students from outside Europe.

    “Those who come to Britain must play by the rules and benefit the country. This new route for students will ensure we know exactly who is coming here to study and stamp out bogus colleges which facilitate the lawbreakers.”

    Click here to read the full release from the UK Visa Bureau.

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