Foreign graduates of U.S. colleges become agents of change abroad

College acceptance letters landed in mailboxes across the country these last few weeks. Proud families now need to figure out the finances of higher education while managing household teenage exuberance.

Americans entering the Class of 2019 will be joined by a record-breaking number of impressive and competitive foreign students. They bring cultural diversity and will yield future dividends as many foreign students later join elite business and political leadership ranks in their home countries.

This round of nuclear talks with Iran was conducted in American English under the guidance of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, a Yale graduate, and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, second from left, who graduated from San Francisco State and the University of Denver. Jean-Christophe Bott Keystone

This round of nuclear talks with Iran was conducted in American English under the guidance of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, a Yale graduate, and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, second from left, who graduated from San Francisco State and the University of Denver. Jean-Christophe Bott Keystone

Good American higher education for these future foreign leaders is not only good for them, it is great for America.

Money is clearly a part of the immediate benefit: Each class of foreign students brings more than $30 billion in tuition and spending, as reported in a recent Brookings Institution study. Rising tuition costs and increasing numbers of foreigners deliver even more money from abroad, with California being the primary beneficiary of this foreign cash.    Read More