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Indian Students in America

The most popular universities in the United States for Indian students are ones you likely have never heard of.

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Indian Students in America

The most popular universities in the United States for Indian students are ones you likely have never heard of.

A report by Brookings Institution on foreign student visas from 2008 to 2012 found that International Technological University (ITU) in San Jose, Calif., and Stratford University in Falls Church, Va., are the top two destinations for students from India. The University of Northern Virginia (UNVA) in Annandale, Va., the fourth most popular university was raided by Homeland Security in 2011 and its authorization to admit foreign students revoked in October 2013 by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia revoked UNVA’s license to operate in July of last year.

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported in 2011 that ITU has “gained a reputation in online forums used by Indian students as a good place to go to extend a student visa, or to get a job in lieu of obtaining an H-1B visa,” and nearly 94 percent of its 1,500 students are from India. According to the Chronicle, ITU students attend class on only three weekends each semester, allowing them to work full-time, usually for academic credit, sometimes in other states.

Many relatively obscure institutions, such as Tri-Valley University (TVU) and Herguan University, have become popular with Indian students by offering liberal (and occasionally dubious) interpretations of Curricular Practical Training, which permits off-campus employment. TVU, which recruited almost all its students from India, was shut down by the federal government in 2011 and its founder Susan Su was convicted recently of 34 counts of visa fraud.

The Brookings report, based on analysis of nearly 168,000 F-1 visas issued to Indian students over five years — averaging approximately 36,000 annually — estimated that Indian students contributed $5.22 billion in tuition and living expenses for their education. According to Open Doors, the annual International Institute of Education (IIE) report, the Indian student population averaged 100,000 between 2008-2012, so the actual number could be almost thrice as much.

The Brookings report, The Geography of Foreign Students in U.S. Higher Education: Origins and Destinations, offers a rare window to the distribution of the Indian student population both in India and from the source cities. It turns out that Hyderabad is the leading source city of Indian students, accounting for almost one in six Indian students and the fourth highest worldwide.

Students from Hyderabad, however, gravitate to dubious educational programs: the top five destinations of Hyderabad students included ITU, Stratford University, as well as three colleges that are under federal scrutiny — Herguan University, TVU and UNVA.

Mumbai is the second most popular source city for Indian students in the USA.  It is followed by Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi. The vast majority of Indian students (nearly 8 in 10) pursue masters study in the United States. However, nearly 44 percent of students from Kolkata are pursuing a PhD. Fewer than 10 percent of students from most Indian cities are pursuing undergraduate studies; Delhi has the highest proportion of Indian students in UG programs at 28 percent.

Nearly two in three Indian student is undertaking study in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields.

Hyderabad contributes the largest number of STEM students from any city in the world and the top six source cities for the highest proportion of STEM students are from India — Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Chennai, Hyderabad, Secunderabad, and Pune.

Delhi and Ahmedabad have the highest proportion of non-STEM Indian foreign students — almost half the total.

On average, Indian students spend $31,000 for their U.S. education. Students from Delhi spend the most at $40,000, while those from Vijayawada and Hyderabad spend the least — approximately $24,500.

New York is by far the most popular metro with Indian foreign students, followed by San Jose, Washington, Los Angeles and Dallas. But there is considerable regional variation — with Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia and even Bridgeport, Conn., popular with students from Ahmedabad, Delhi, Pune and Kolkata, for example.

The University of Southern California and Columbia University in New York have the highest number of foreign students, almost 14,000 each over five years, nearly twice that of Harvard University and Cornell University. Ithaca, NY, home to Cornell University, is the most expensive city ($58,000) for foreign students, while El Paso, Texas, home to the University of Texas at El Paso, with almost one-fifth the cost, is the cheapest ($11,700).

The largest number of foreign students in the United States are from Seoul, South Korea, followed by Beijing and Shanghai in China and Hyderabad.

Four other Indian cities — Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, and Delhi — make the top 20 list of source cities for foreign students in the United States. 





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k.perumal March 13, 2016 at 7:29 AM
we are thanks for good advice
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Education | Life | NRI | September 2014

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