U.S. colleges are no longer looking quite so great for foreign students. American colleges are too expensive, and apparently not clearly providing a superior education.
According to an article by Mary Beth Marklein in USA Today:
Cost, distance and lingering fears about visa denials in the post-9/11 era have helped make the USA less attractive to foreign students, threatening a lucrative market that is a source of brain power and diversity for U.S. colleges.
As more countries seek to cash in on the growing market for international students, the USA is losing ground. From 2000 to 2008, the number of students enrolled in a college outside their home country soared 85% to 3.3 million. During that time the U.S. share shrank, from 24% to 19%, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operative Development.
This is not just unfortunate for cultural reasons (America loses respect); this has very real financial implications for colleges, which often use affluent foreign students to plug financial holes that come from state budget cuts or declining local demand.