Tennessee high school senior gets into all 8 Ivy League schools — and turns them down for the University of Alabama

Aside from the fact that this student seems to be rather bright, academically, I find it more heartening and impressive that he decided against the Ivy’s because of the almost ensured debt he will be taking on over the years. Yes, to graduate from an Ivy league school is prestigious but ultimately, it is the students that are left with a huge debt to start of their careers. Nelson showed that he is not only academically responsible. Hats off to him and good luck.
-Andreas Kristinus
President, EduGate LLC
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, May 18, 2015, 12:39 PM

Ronald Nelson, a Tennessee high school student who got into all eight Ivy league, will attend the public University of Alabama this fall.

A Tennessee genius teen got into all eight Ivy League schools — but he’ll root for the Crimson Tide this fall.

Memphis-area high school senior Ronald Nelson announced he’ll attend the University of Alabama, meaning he is rejecting offers from the eight Ivies plus a handful of other competitive, private schools.

Nelson said a generous full-ride scholarship convinced him to enroll at the public school.

He’ll use the money he’s saving on his undergrad degree on medical school, he told Business Insider.

Nelson — who will graduate from Houston High School in Germantown, Tenn., on Tuesday with a 4.58 GPA — said he received financial aid packages from many schools.

Still, he was unsure if he could manage the cost of a pricey private degree. His older sister is due to grade from college next spring, meaning he’d likely receive less financial aid after that since his parents would only be supporting one college kid.

Nelson said he decided on Alabama for its financial aid package and its elite honors college. Butch Dill/AP

Nelson said he decided on Alabama for its financial aid package and its elite honors college.

“(The private schools) told me that I would probably end up paying quite a bit more over the next three years,” he said.

So the senior class president and award-wining saxophone player turned down the Ivy offers.

He also rejected bids from Stanford, Johns Hopkins, New York University, Vanderbilt, and Washington University in St. Louis.

While he was at first hesitant about turning down so many high-profile schools, Nelson said Alabama’s selective honors college helped persuade him the public university was the right choice.

“It was kind of amazing being around so many like-minded students, which is why I think I’ll be able to have a similar situation (to an Ivy League school), considering the type of students they’re attracting,” he said.

Nelson, who earned a 34 out of 36 on his ACT and a 2260 out of 2400 on the SAT, plans to attend medical school and become a doctor after he finishes undergrad.

“With people being in debt for years and years, it wasn’t a burden that Ronald wanted to take on and it wasn’t a burden that we wanted to deal with for a number of years after undergraduate,” the teen’s dad, Ronald Sr., said of his son’s savvy college decision. “We can put that money away and spend it on his medical school, or any other graduate school.”

Nelson said he’s certain he’ll get into a top medical school so long as he works hard enough.

“The Ivy League experience would certainly be something amazing, to make these connections, and have these amazing professors,” he said. “But I really do think I’ll be able to make the same experience for myself at the college I chose.”

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The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much

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BOULDER, Colo. — ONCE upon a time in America, baby boomers paid for college with the money they made from their summer jobs. Then, over the course of the next few decades, public funding for higher education was slashed. These radical cuts forced universities to raise tuition year after year, which in turn forced the millennial generation to take on crushing educational debt loads, and everyone lived unhappily ever after.

This is the story college administrators like to tell when they’re asked to explain why, over the past 35 years, college tuition at public universities has nearly quadrupled, to $9,139 in 2014 dollars. It is a fairy tale in the worst sense, in that it is not merely false, but rather almost the inverse of the truth.

The conventional wisdom was reflected in a recent National Public Radio series on the cost of college. “So it’s not that colleges are spending more money to educate students,” Sandy Baum of the Urban Institute told NPR. “It’s that they have to get that money from someplace to replace their lost state funding — and that’s from tuition and fees from students and families.”

In fact, public investment in higher education in America is vastly larger today, in inflation-adjusted dollars, than it was during the supposed golden age of public funding in the 1960s. Such spending has increased at a much faster rate than government spending in general. For example, the military’s budget is about 1.8 times higher today than it was in 1960, while legislative appropriations to higher education are more than 10 times higher.

In other words, far from being caused by funding cuts, the astonishing rise in college tuition correlates closely with a huge increase in public subsidies for higher education. If over the past three decades car prices had gone up as fast as tuition, the average new car would cost more than $80,000.

Some of this increased spending in education has been driven by a sharp rise in the percentage of Americans who go to college. While the college-age population has not increased since the tail end of the baby boom, the percentage of the population enrolled in college has risen significantly, especially in the last 20 years. Enrollment in undergraduate, graduate and professional programs has increased by almost 50 percent since 1995. As a consequence, while state legislative appropriations for higher education have risen much faster than inflation, total state appropriations per student are somewhat lower than they were at their peak in 1990. (Appropriations per student are much higher now than they were in the 1960s and 1970s, when tuition was a small fraction of what it is today.)

As the baby boomers reached college age, state appropriations to higher education skyrocketed, increasing more than fourfold in today’s dollars, from $11.1 billion in 1960 to $48.2 billion in 1975. By 1980, state funding for higher education had increased a mind-boggling 390 percent in real terms over the previous 20 years. This tsunami of public money did not reduce tuition: quite the contrary.

For example, when I was an undergraduate at the University of Michigan in 1980, my parents were paying more than double the resident tuition that undergraduates had been charged in 1960, again in inflation-adjusted terms. And of course tuition has kept rising far faster than inflation in the years since: Resident tuition at Michigan this year is, in today’s dollars, nearly four times higher than it was in 1980.

State appropriations reached a record inflation-adjusted high of $86.6 billion in 2009. They declined as a consequence of the Great Recession, but have since risen to $81 billion. And these totals do not include the enormous expansion of the federal Pell Grant program, which has grown, in today’s dollars, to $34.3 billion per year from $10.3 billion in 2000.

It is disingenuous to call a large increase in public spending a “cut,” as some university administrators do, because a huge programmatic expansion features somewhat lower per capita subsidies. Suppose that since 1990 the government had doubled the number of military bases, while spending slightly less per base. A claim that funding for military bases was down, even though in fact such funding had nearly doubled, would properly be met with derision.

Interestingly, increased spending has not been going into the pockets of the typical professor. Salaries of full-time faculty members are, on average, barely higher than they were in 1970. Moreover, while 45 years ago 78 percent of college and university professors were full time, today half of postsecondary faculty members are lower-paid part-time employees, meaning that the average salaries of the people who do the teaching in American higher education are actually quite a bit lower than they were in 1970.

By contrast, a major factor driving increasing costs is the constant expansion of university administration. According to the Department of Education data, administrative positions at colleges and universities grew by 60 percent between 1993 and 2009, which Bloomberg reported was 10 times the rate of growth of tenured faculty positions.

Even more strikingly, an analysis by a professor at California Polytechnic University, Pomona, found that, while the total number of full-time faculty members in the C.S.U. system grew from 11,614 to 12,019 between 1975 and 2008, the total number of administrators grew from 3,800 to 12,183 — a 221 percent increase.

The rapid increase in college enrollment can be defended by intellectually respectable arguments. Even the explosion in administrative personnel is, at least in theory, defensible. On the other hand, there are no valid arguments to support the recent trend toward seven-figure salaries for high-ranking university administrators, unless one considers evidence-free assertions about “the market” to be intellectually rigorous.

What cannot be defended, however, is the claim that tuition has risen because public funding for higher education has been cut. Despite its ubiquity, this claim flies directly in the face of the facts.

Higher education isn’t in crisis…?! Really…?

March 12

Imagine, if you will, an American business that other countries, from China to Saudi Arabia, seek to emulate. A business that routinely accounts for the advances in science, medicine, technology, arts and humanities that have established the United States as the most innovative nation in the world. A business whose customers number about 20 million in this country alone, spanning the spectrum of socioeconomic backgrounds. A business that conservatively contributes more than $400 billion annually to the U.S. economy. A business that is commonly recognized as one of America’s greatest contributions to civilization.

That enterprise is America’s system of higher education. Why, then, is it routinely characterized as in crisis? This diagnosis comes mainly from three groups: those who believe that technology inevitably, and radically, will transform how education is delivered, whether the traditionalists want it to or not; others who cite rising tuition prices and foresee an escalation of the divide between the privileged and the disadvantaged; and finally, and I consider myself in this camp, advocates for public higher education who are raising alarms about a retreat from the commonwealth ideal that gave rise to this nation’s great public universities in the first place.

For the past few years, this chorus of doom has grown steadily louder: The model is broken and outdated and must be replaced with . . . something. Costs have climbed past benefits, both for students and for society. Traditional pedagogy has become passe. What propels these grim prognostications? I’m tempted to say that eulogizing higher education sells books, fills newspaper columns and makes for fetching political sound bites. But a more optimistic view would be that the raging debate reflects an appreciation of the importance of universities and colleges in shaping American society and securing this country’s place as a world leader. The stakes, after all, are high.

So let’s be clear. Higher education in this country is not in crisis. Instead, it is in motion, and it always has been. Higher education evolves as knowledge expands, societies change and new technologies are introduced. This does not mean that we should relax: There should be no comfort taken in maintaining the status quo.

As our universities and colleges undergo an intense period of evolution driven by advances in technology and better understanding of cognitive learning, and by concerns about cost and job-market demands, we should be asking ourselves questions, but they should be the right questions: Is higher education evolving in the right way? Will it continue to be able to meet the needs of students and their families, to keep pace with an expanding list of responsibilities that range from promoting civil discourse to preparing the next generation of scientists and researchers, and to ensure that the fundamentals of American higher education — fundamentals that have served this country so well — remain strong?

When people think of higher education, they generally think of residential, four-year colleges and universities. In truth, just a little more than half of college students attend such institutions. Roughly 40 percent attend two-year community colleges, and the rest are enrolled in for-profit institutions. Yet the bulk of commentary about higher education concerns four-year, residential colleges and universities, perhaps because that is where America’s contribution has been greatest — and because the commentators themselves attended such institutions.

Two recent contributions to the higher education commentary are Ryan Craig’s “College Disrupted” and Kevin Carey’s “The End of College.” Craig, a former management consultant, is a founding managing director of University Ventures, self-described as “the only investment firm focused exclusively on the global higher education sector.” Carey is a higher education policy analyst who serves as director of the education policy program at the New America Foundation, a Washington think tank.

Craig’s point — when one cuts through the jargon and the unnecessary stories about pranks he pulled as a Yale undergraduate — is that American universities have too many non-education-related expenses bundled into their cost models. He characterizes these as the 4 R’s: rankings, which force all universities into “pernicious isomorphism” (i.e. unnecessary duplication); real estate, or absurdly expensive campus buildings, especially dorms and dining halls; rah, an awkward alliteration that refers to intercollegiate athletics, especially Division I football and basketball; and research, which he asserts subordinates teaching and is mostly superfluous.

Craig’s solution is to unbundle these types of expenses and convert higher education into “competency management platforms” that better match what students learn with what employers need. He has ideas about how this can be done. Pointing to Linn State Technical College in Missouri, he recommends “double click degrees,” with which employers can double-click a transcript to learn about a course and the competencies a student has mastered. His other recommendations are more mundane, such as improving “rigor” and moving more students from part time to full time. Nowhere does he confront the tremendous practical and political challenges associated with unbundling existing institutions — dismantling college sports, for example.

The more thorough, more thoughtful book is Carey’s “The End of College.” It begins with a discussion of the evolution of the modern American university, something that is particularly useful for those who presume that universities have never changed. In fact, universities have transformed alongside the societies they serve. Carey continues by explicating the rise of online technology, which, in a variety of forms, is permeating higher education today. The critical insight, however, is his combining of online technology, which after all is only a delivery device, with our increasing knowledge about the brain and how students actually learn. Not surprisingly, the more interactive the technology and the more precisely aimed at an individual student’s capabilities and understanding of the course material, the better the educational outcome. But inserting the right kind of technology into the classroom is not cheap. Not surprisingly, a lack of educational interaction contributed to the troubles experienced by the early iterations of online learning, such as “massive open online courses,” which in their initial incarnation were mistakenly believed to be a way to cut college costs dramatically.

In Carey’s view, universities that develop personalized online platforms will succeed in the global higher education market. In addition to traditional degrees, they will offer “open badges,” essentially searchable, open-source credentials that will allow employers to look up the assignments and exams a student was required to master. They will invest in immersive digital learning environments, rather than building $100 million student unions. They will become the “university of everywhere.”

This is thought-provoking, fascinating material. But one finishes Carey’s book with a sense of unease. Our universities are among the most complex, difficult-to-manage institutions around. While they most certainly will evolve over the long term, there are near-term challenges that must be addressed. This is especially true for public universities, which educate almost two-thirds of all undergraduates at residential, four-year institutions. These schools have undergone a decades-long period of public disinvestment — during the years of the Great Recession, 44 out of 50 states cut funding on a per-student basis to their public institutions of higher education — resulting in increases in tuition and a diminishment of the student experience.

No doubt the severity of cuts varies from state to state. For the University of California, nearly $1 billion in funding was cut after the economy went into free fall in 2008 — a 30 percent reduction to the university’s core budget. The state has restored only about half of the recession cuts, even as the university system has continued to meet demand and increase enrollment. Indeed, at the University of California, the costs of education on a per-student basis have not risen; tuition increases have occurred only to fill the gap left by state cuts. Neither Craig nor Carey offers any realistic — or magical — solutions to the problem of public funding.

Likewise, neither book really addresses new roles that our universities have undertaken. They are now being asked, for example, to prevent and prosecute sexual assault — and rightly so. The demand for mental health services continues to mount. As large employers, universities must pay ever-growing retirement benefits and satisfy union contracts. All of these (and many other new roles) result in additional legal and regulatory oversight, all with considerable cost.

At the same time, chronic underfunding of the true costs of delivering a quality education has been mirrored by underfunding of the basic research that underlies so much of the innovation in our economy. Basic research is time-consuming. It has a high rate of failure. No wonder the private sector is increasingly abandoning the field to institutions like the University of California.

These are the sorts of issues that are on my desk and on the desk of every leader of public research universities today. But beyond those immediate real-world concerns lie more fundamental questions. What do we lose in the college experience if we over-rely on online learning? How amenable are online-learning platforms and open-source badges to teaching in the arts and humanities, and to producing a well-rounded, well-educated citizenry? If we focus on preparing a student for his or her first job, are we ignoring the likelihood that students will have many jobs over the course of a lifetime? How do we best prepare students to be lifelong learners and adapters, to be critical thinkers?

Universities are not factories; students are not widgets. They come from different backgrounds, with different degrees of preparation, and with different talents and skills that they might not even know they possess when they enter. Universities are not venture-capital-based software companies, the vast majority of which fail. When it comes to public higher education, failure is not an option.

If every crisis presents an opportunity, then the opportunity is now to ensure that higher education remains a distinguishing feature in the fabric of our republic. To that end, some immediate measures can be taken to meet our near-term challenges: simplify financial aid applications and extend Pell grants from the school year to the full year; ease the extensive and expensive regulatory burdens placed on all schools and focus instead on removing low-performing ones from eligibility for federal aid; and prioritize the flow of federal research dollars.

In exchange for these types of reforms at the federal level, the states should invest in their public universities, even as those universities continue to adapt to new forms of learning. Too many states, including California, spend more money on prisons than on higher education. Community college is not enough. It is time for both the White House and our state capitols to apply a laser focus to the challenges facing our four-year universities and colleges.

Besides near-term fixes, however, these times call for the development of, and dialogue about, a much larger vision for higher education in America. We need to end conversations about colleges that linger too long on costs, computer learning, Cassandra-like predictions and canards such as PhD baristas.

Instead, we need a national dialogue that gives rise to serious, thoughtful perspectives and creates a common belief in what our great schools have meant and must continue to mean. We are not degree factories. Our business, if you will, is to transform individual lives and to transport new knowledge into the world. As university leaders, we must strive to convince the general public that higher education is a common goal worthy of public investment. This is our grand challenge. This is our great hope.

Overseas returnees struggle to find jobs in China

If so many Chinese students studying in the USA can’t find a job after returning to China, then why are we not keeping them here..!? After all, we invest a lot of time and money in educating the brightest (we hope) that china has to offer… Why, then, are so many of them returning home..? Clearly, Chinese students believe that a degree from a prestigious US or European university opens doors upon their return… Not so… So, why does the US not try everything in their/its power to retain their investment and keep it close..? For some reason, Chinese students still have not figured out that being educated in the west allows them to stay in the west… Shouldn’t USA universities be teaching them this as well..?

-Andreas Kristinus

 

More students in China can afford to pursue their studies overseas for growing incomes from the country’s economic development when being back home. While many are heading abroad, the country has also seen a rising number of overseas returnees in recent years.

According to the Ministry of Education, over 350,000 students with foreign degrees returned to China in 2013, a 30 percent surge compared with the previous year.

According to the Ministry of Education, over 350,000 students with foreign degrees returned to China in 2013, a 30 percent surge compared with the previous year. Over 91 percent of the returnees are aged between 23 and 32 with over 90 percent of them financially supported by themselves or families. Among the returning students, over 60 percent received their master’s degree, while around six percent graduated with doctorate. The ministry report says it has become more difficult for many Bachelor’s and Master’s holders to find employment due to the sheer number of these graduates.

Mr. Nie worked in China for over five years, before going to the UK to study for a Master’s degree. Now he has graduated, Nie is struggling to find a job in Britain or in China.

“Companies in Britain don’t recognize my work experience in China, and there are not many job openings because of the recession in Europe. On the other hand, competition in China is also fierce. I can’t even get my old job back.” Mr. Nie said.

Nie is not only one struggling to get a good job after studying abroad. A recent job fair in Beijing for overseas graduates attracted some 3,000 people. Many of them had to wait in a long queue just to get in.

“I took an overnight train from Zhengzhou and arrived 5 a.m. this morning just for this job fair. Before I went abroad, I thought it would be easier to find a good job as I have an overseas degree, but now I’ve been job-hunting for five months.” Overseas returnee Mr. Zhang said.

One of the reasons why these overseas returnees are struggling to find a job, is timing.

“In China, the peak season for recruitment is around Autumn, as most students in domestic universities graduate in June. I got my degree from Australia in January, so when I came back, the good positions were already taken.” Overseas returnee Mr. Sun said.

Another factor is the clash between high expectations and harsh reality.

“I want to work in an international company, because I got my degree and work experience in the US.” An overseas returnee said.

“My priority is German firms. Because I studied in Germany.” An overseas returnee said.

According to a recruitment website, almost 60 percent of overseas returnees want to work in foreign companies or joint ventures, but only around 20 percent achieve that.

“Many private enterprises are developing very fast now. And they offer more job opportunities and promotion prospects. The graduates shouldn’t pin all their hopes on foreign companies or joint ventures.” Guo Sheng, CEO of Zhaopin.com, said.

Many overseas returnees also want higher salaries because they have spent hundreds of thousands of yuan to studying abroad. For many, that seems to be an unrealistic demand.

 

http://english.cntv.cn/2014/05/12/VIDE1399849036955600.shtml

For many parents and kids, it’s ‘Harvard, Harvard, Harvard!’

EduGate faces this dilemma on a daily basis… parents simply do not understand that there are over 4,000 colleges in the USA and that Havard is most definitely NOT the best school for their child… it seems that educating the parents is more important than educating the students… albeit, both are blinded by the reputation that precedes Harvard and unfortunately they miss the big picture… on any given day in beijing, i find more students at a starbucks desiring to go to harvard than of students actually getting accepted… yet, i strongly believe this attitude will change in a few years and parents will be open to let their child decide on their own which uni to attend…

for all those students that are looking to find the right school for them, edugate offers summer english learning programs (for credit) extension programs, and assistance with conditional/direct admission and gateway (no TOEFL or SAT required)…

http://www.edugate.us

They are among the top schools in the Ivy League. Yale University took one student.

Yale and Princeton University accepted two other students, a brother and sister.

Other than getting into some of the most sought after universities in the United States, what the three had in common was that their parents are Chinese, all had done extensive prep work to get into their dream college, and all three rejected those universities for the school they really wanted – Harvard University.

“Chinese parents only know Harvard, Harvard, Harvard,” said the owner of a small, private tutoring service that helps children from low-income Chinese families prepare for various college standardized tests, like the SATs and the SAT subject tests. “Parents come to me and say, ‘Our child must get into Harvard. They must get into Harvard, we don’t want them to go anywhere else,” said the owner, who declined to be named.

She has been working with high school students for nearly a decade, hiring teachers to help classes of 15 to 20 students prepare for the SAT exams. Most of the students that attend the SAT classes in Brooklyn began preparing as early as their freshman year of high school.

“Particularly for the Chinese who come to the United States, it’s only Harvard. It’s as if there are no good schools other than Harvard,” she said. “I tell these parents, there are so many good schools in the US, but they don’t even know schools like Dartmouth or Vanderbilt. Obsessing over Harvard is almost a Chinese tradition now.”

Some trace that obsession back to 2000 when Harvard University and Liu Yiting became household names across China after Liu’s parents published a book chronicling how their parenting style led to their daughter’s admission to Harvard. “Harvard Girl” sold millions of copies in China and detailed Liu’s disciplined upbringing and how she became one of the first Chinese undergraduates to attend Harvard on a full scholarship.

The book led to many copycat titles, with different parents trying their hand at detailing their own parenting styles and how it led to their childrens’ admissions to other prestigious higher education institutions.

Bev Taylor, the founder of college counseling service The Ivy Coach, works with parents and their children to get them into the schools of their choice. She helped the family whose daughter and son were accepted by Yale and Princeton.

“They weren’t done. They wanted Harvard. Why it was Harvard? I don’t know. What’s wrong with Princeton, what’s wrong with Yale? And why would you go through that? What’s so different?” she said. “A lot of it is bragging rights so mommy and daddy can say they have one kid at Harvard and one kid at Princeton, instead of saying they have two kids at Princeton.”

Taylor said that about 85 percent of her clients are Chinese and Indian. They pay $995 an hour for Ivy Coach’s services, which range from helping with personal essays to reviewing applications to see where students can improve them and make them stand out.

Billie Wei, who almost finishes up with her first year at Harvard, went to Ivy Prep, one of the most well-known Chinese cram schools in New York.

As for her turning down Yale, “she just couldn’t let go of the reputation of Harvard,” said her father, who said going to the school was her decision.

There are 722 students from China studying across all of Harvard’s colleges, more than 300 of whom go to the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, with the rest in undergraduate and other graduate programs.

“The number of students from China studying across Harvard University has increased significantly in recent decades,” said Jeff Neal, director of communications at Harvard.

The number of students from China attending Harvard has increased threefold since the mid-1990s, according to the school.

Harvard doesn’t break down applicants by country, but Neal said that the number of applicants from China to the undergraduate program has also grown during that time period, “though at a much slower rate”.

amyhe@chinadailyusa.com

More Chinese students want a US education, but fewer stay for a job

This article points to some of the weaknesses on display in keeping Chinese students in the US upon completion of their studies… This phenomena is noting new… If it were not for these students, US universities would be “empty…” Let’s face it, most US students either cannot afford the high cost of education or are unaware that a college or university education is available to them… Yes, the quality of Chinese students studying at US universities has improved over the years… No longer are US universities accepting Chinese students simply to fill a “quota” or to boost their international programs with mediocre students from China… Chinese students forgoing the “gao kao” know that they will never study in China… They have chosen the US for their college education… Yet, upon completion of a BA or MA, they return home…

Can the US afford to let them go..? What can we do to keep our “investment” here, the place where their new acquired knowledge and experience can be best put to use..?

-Andreas Kristinus, EduGate

 

At the peak of the Cultural Revolution, it would have been impossible to envision a mass exodus of Chinese-educated youth to universities in the United States, where capitalism reigned supreme.

Fast forward to today, and many Chinese students skip local university entrance exams and apply to American colleges, which leave no stone unturned in recruiting them. The factors behind the change have as much to do with shifts in financial power as with the emphasis on diversity touted by the universities.

In 2007, 140,000 students from China went abroad for higher education. In 2012, about 400,000 studied abroad, 95 per cent of whom were self-sponsored, according to figures from the Chinese Ministry of Education. Nearly half decided to go to the US; Australia and the UK are the second and third most popular destinations respectively.

The growth in Chinese students pursuing studies in the US has been exponential during the past decade: China sent 60,000 students to the US in 2000, almost all graduate students sponsored by the government; in 2012, 194,000 Chinese students went to the US, with most of the growth coming from self-funded undergraduate students.

Overall, China started to lead all nations in sending students to US universities in 2008. Today, it sends five times more students to US institutions than the second-largest source, according to US State Department statistics.

Chinese students are choosing the US over other developed countries because of familiarity with US brands. “The main reason the US is more popular is simply because there is a greater choice of recognised brands … and many more universities in total,” says William Vanbergen, who runs a chain of admissions consulting offices and international schools in China. “Australia is only considered by people with less disposable income or those aiming for immigration,” he adds, alluding to Australia’s open immigration policies.

Chinese students also prefer the US because the universities offer more academic choices. In the UK, students are generally expected to choose a major at enrolment and stay focused on it during the course of the programme. In the US, on the other hand, most allow students to pick a major at the end of the first or second year.

For their part, US universities are working hard to maximise their share of paying Chinese students. Recruiters understand that despite the recent growth, the number is a fraction of the 10 million students who take the entrance exam for Chinese universities every year. They also understand that an ever-increasing proportion of Chinese families have a higher purchasing power.

The need to penetrate the Chinese student market has been further exacerbated by the financial crisis and budget cuts at home. Some of the largest increases in foreign students are seen at public universities with severe funding cuts by state legislatures.

Public universities are particularly eager in welcoming foreign students, who lend international cachet and can also be charged higher out-of-state tuition. Like out-of-state US residents, international students pay twice as much as in-state residents.

Non-resident domestic students could fill these seats too, though universities do not see why they should be given preference. As Michael K. Young, president of the University of Washington, told The New York Times: “Is there any advantage to our taking a kid from California versus a kid from China? You’d have to convince me, because the world isn’t divided the way it used to be.”

Instead, foreign students are seen as assets who can help prepare local students for a highly connected world.

The US attracts huge numbers of foreign students, but with stringent caps on work visas, does not take advantage of these trained individuals in the workplace. So perhaps it works best for all that the latest cohort of Chinese students no longer yearns to work in the US.

Having immersed themselves in English language and American culture, the students take advantage of increasing opportunities at home. For decades, the rate of return to China remained low as students with advanced degrees did not see opportunities for research at home. Last year, more than 272,000 Chinese returned after completing their education abroad, 86,700 more than in 2011; a 46 per cent increase, according to the Ministry of Education.

Collectively, these students hold the key to transforming China. “This is where the action is,” Vanbergen concluded. “There is a huge shortage of bilingual, bicultural talent required to take China into the next stage of development from an export-based to a domestic consumption-based economy. Students with these backgrounds are ideally positioned to fill this demand.”

Hassan Siddiq studied grand strategy at Yale College and is the founder of www.dailythem.es, a peer-to-peer community focused on writing better. Reprinted with permission from YaleGlobal Online.http://yaleglobal.yale.edu

 
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as More Chinese students want a US education, but fewer stay for a job

Schools flush out cheating Chinese students

 

At EduGate, we sit down with our applicants to make sure they are who they say they are. In addition, we visit them at their university after they have gotten accepted to ensure they are on track academically. Anything less, and we would not be doing our job right.

 
 
Overseas education authorities are tightening up on the review process for high school and university applicants coming from China, after concerns have been voiced over Chinese students cheating on their submissions. 

“Like many other schools, one of our main jobs now is to examine the credibility of the materials submitted by students,” Elton Wen, China manager for State University of New York (SUNY), said at the China Educational Expo 2013 in Beijing last week, which was attended by 80 US high schools and universities looking to promote their schools to Chinese students and parents.

Chinese students cheating on their applications to study at US schools has become a bigger issue in recent years, according to Tom Melcher, former chairman of Zinch China, an education consultancy that helps Chinese students study abroad. 

Since 2011, Melcher has exposed Chinese students getting around overseas schools’ high requirements by faking their academic transcripts, hiring ghostwriters for their essays and cheating on their Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) exams, which Chinese students are required to take if they want to study in an English-speaking country.

Sneaky methods  

According to Wen, Chinese students often try to cheat the system by modifying their transcripts, sometimes even with the help of their high schools.

“When we get an application from a student with extremely high grades, we have to check their academic backgrounds carefully, and sometimes the student is asked to prove himself or herself by sitting through an interview or making a personal statement,” Wen told the Global Times.

But Wen said that the purpose of such scrutiny is not to prevent Chinese students from studying at reputable schools abroad, but to help them make rational choices. 

Those who cheat to get into universities, but are not caught until after enrollment, are in most cases forced to transfer programs or schools, or even drop out altogether without the chance to conclude their studies, he said. 

TOEFL exam proctors, too, have seen added creativity from cheating Chinese students recently. Some examinees have gone through serious lengths to get higher scores, even hiring qualified lookalikes to sit their exams for them. 

At Kansas State University for example, some Chinese students who have shown up for class in recent years have not matched the security photos taken of them when they supposedly took their TOEFL exams months earlier, according to Melcher.

Risky business

Students who are caught cheating on their TOEFL tests are barred from retaking the exam until passing a three, six or 12-month period, depending on the severity of their case. 

But despite the severe penalties, Chinese students desperate to get into a prestigious school abroad are still willing to take the risk, said a consultant surnamed Wu, who runs a website that helps Chinese students prepare for TOEFL exams.

He admitted to the Global Times that fierce competition and increasing pressure are driving more Chinese students to cheat, but said that at the heart of the problem is a greater systemic issue in China.

“China’s credit system is not well-built; the cost of cheating is low, but the potential reward is enormous,” said Wu.

“A bit of cheating can totally change a student’s life, and even if they’re punished, the penalty often has little influence on their record or future when they return to China.”

Global Times | 2013-11-12 20:13:01 
By Global Times

UC Davis offering Summer College Credit Program Course

EduGate just confirmed that UC Davis (University of California, Davis) will be offering a credit course “How to Succeed in U.S. Colleges and Universities” that will more than likely become available this summer.  It can be worked around a program, so it does not have fixed dates.

It will be a two credit course that can count towards student’s electives.  Ultimately, as with any transfer of credits, it is up to the academic institution to accept.

We can incorporate it into any of the custom programs that are 2-4 weeks in length, and is basically an in-depth college preparation course with time management, study skills, and other helpful resources for future undergraduates studying in the U.S.
Please let me know if you are interested…