A number of public school districts in the Boston area have begun accepting tuition-paying students from overseas in a bid to bolster their strained budgets.
Arlington, Marblehead and Hopkinton have hosted international students in the past five years. And, communities including Natick, Avon and Burlington are currently awaiting approval from the federal government to begin issuing student visas.
Administrators from these school districts told The Boston Globe that hosting students from abroad offers a “win-win” opportunity for their communities. On the one hand, it adds to the area’s cultural diversity and offers native students a chance to broaden their knowledge of the world. And, it also brings in much-needed revenue for their education systems, many of which have been strained by deep budget cuts in recent years.
“I’m not opposed to pulling in revenue,” said Kevin Meagher, acting business manager of Marblehead, which will host five full-time international students in the coming school year. “We’re not in business for the sake of business, but if we have an open seat, we’re not averse to charging a student who is coming from another country.”
U.S. colleges have been in the business of attracting international applicants for many years. The full tuition paid by foreign students helps institutions offset the rising cost of higher education and expand their program offerings.
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