Rethink district strategy for international students

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Students from abroad face enough challenges; suffocating tuition should not be one.

When international students attend the Alamo Colleges, they bring with them the diversity this district’s administration loves to boast about.

But any international student who decides to attend this district may have to face obstacles they have no way of surmounting.

These students pay five times more per credit hour than students paying in-district tuition and, outside of campus jobs, are unable to work to support themselves during their years in college.

To satisfy the arbitrary criteria set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, these students are not allowed to take less than 12 credit hours per semester.

So they are forced to pay $5,436 per semester?

This rate seems to have been introduced by a district board that didn’t care enough to look into these students’ expenses, currency conversions or living conditions.

I doubt that’s a claim the trustees want to have levied at the district.

At best, the Alamo Colleges are a launching pad international students can use while they find institutes that won’t shake them down for their lunch money.

It’s amazing that this district complains about flat enrollment at the start of every semester, but doesn’t seem to have looked at lowering the tuition rate for international students to try improving enrollment.

These students do not migrate to the U.S. with their families. At best, they have members of their extended family living in the U.S.

If these students do not have extended family here, they have no support system upon arriving at the Alamo Colleges.

Environmental science freshman Caterina Beverati has to manage her expenses to the point where she subsists on rice and beans.

The limited money she has comes from her family and scholarships.

This district is failing Beverati.

A new pricing structure needs to be implemented for international students. The current model is not working.

The district needs to look at the plan language Chair Tom Cox is proposing and refine that so our international students can pay a fair price for a fine education and perhaps encourage more to enroll in the Alamo Colleges.

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