The U.S. Is Experiencing a Boom in Foreign Students

Foreign students are arriving in the United States in droves. The total number of foreign students actively enrolled in the United States has increased by more than 14 percent since February 2014, according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security.

A majority of the roughly 1.13 million foreign students residing in the United States hail from Asia, including more than 300,000 students from China, according to the report. The top majors foreign students choose are business, engineering, and computer sciences, and the number of students pursuing degrees in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — is substantially increasing. Since 2010, the report notes, the number of foreign female students studying in STEM fields has increased by more than 68 percent, and the number of such students pursuing master’s degrees has increased by 114 percent.

DHS’s report that the number of foreign students in the U.S. is booming comes on the heels of a departmental crackdown on major immigration fraud in Southern California involving foreign students. Homeland Security investigators discovered four Los Angeles schools ran “pay-to-stay” scams, which collected $6 million in tuition payments. Before the latest numbers were revealed, just 200 Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers were assigned to the Student Exchange and Visitor Program that serves many foreign students. If the number of foreign students arriving in the U.S. continues to increase, it seems likely it’ll become even more difficult for the federal government to effectively monitor foreign students residing in the U.S.

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