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International student enrollment declines

September 30, 2014

 
KAILEE COURTS
Staff Reporter

 

 

While freshman enrollment numbers increased greatly, the number of international students who attend Louisiana Tech has dropped this year.

 

“We do not have the hard numbers just yet, but we won’t reach the number of international students that we had last year,” said Daniel Erickson, director International Student and Scholar Services.

 

The cost of out-of-state tuition has almost tripled in the past eight years.

 

Seong Park, a junior accounting major, from South Korea, and he noticed the rise in tuition.

 

“I was a little upset about the cost because I had to get more money from my parents,” Park said.

 

Park receives an out-of-state scholarship, but it does not completely cover the cost of his tuition.

 

“In the end, I didn’t mind,” Park said. “I love Tech and I wanted to come back.”

 

For a student to receive an out-of-state scholarship they have to attend the university for two quarters and maintain a 2.75 GPA.

 

“Tech is still competitive with schools around the nation because of its cost,” said Erickson.

 

He said the biggest competition comes from schools like Michigan Tech, University of Texas-Arlington, Colorado State and New Mexico State.

 

“We compete with other state schools and schools with good engineering programs,” Erickson said.

 

Erickson also said the decline in international students is also because there are international students graduating year-round.

 

“This summer, 10 out of the 20 Ph.D. graduates were international students,” he said.

 

Tech offers an English Language Services program to international students who wish to better their English.

 

Erickson said there have always been waves of enrollment, but the ELS program has helped keep a solid number of international students enrolled at Tech.

 

Erickson said most students who complete the ELS program at Tech come back as full-time students.

 

Ola Baz, an ELS student from Saudi Arabia, is here with her husband who is getting his master’s in engineering management.

 

“I plan to attend the university as a student as well,” Baz said.

 

Even though the total number of international students has dropped, the number of countries with students enrolled at Tech is the highest it has ever been.

 

Erickson said students from about 70 different countries are currently enrolled.

 

Some of the countries represented are: Saudi Arabia, France, Brazil, Kazakhstan, India, Nepal and China.

 

“It’s great for American students to have students from around the world in their classes,” Erickson said. “Having this many countries represented is wonderful.”

 

 

Email comments to kec029@latech.edu.

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