Letter to the Editor: International Students Pay Too Much


Pavlina Markova

The ISAS staff works to help international students with their legal stay, travel documents, and much more. (Pavlina Markova/The Inquirer).

Hiroki Mase, Guest writer

International students pay about three hundred dollars per unit at Diablo Valley College (DVC). On the other hand, California residents only pay about 46 dollars per unit. International student pays almost six times more than residents.

I am an international student from Japan and people might think that international students are rich. However, not all of us are rich and we came here to achieve higher education. Of course, there might be some American citizens who say that international students can attend a college in their own country.

I came here because a journalism major is not popular in Japan and there are some things which we cannot study in our country. For instance, while the States have a diverse population, the foreign residents only account for about 6% of the population in Japan. Also, America has numerous world-renowned universities.

According to F-1 VISA, students have to be enrolled to at least twelve units per semester and need insurance, which is about $500. We have to pay at least $4,000 per semester and residential fee, but there are many students who take more than twelve units.

I am renting an apartment and sharing it with my friends; hence, I pay about $800 a month. However, if we do a homestay, which DVC offers, international students have to pay about $900 per month. I think the cost is too expensive. Besides, there are many scholarships, but international students cannot apply to many of them.

Of course, we pay taxes like US citizens because there are not any duty-free systems in the States. As a student, I came up with a solution. The admission office can decide the tuition by looking at the parent’s financial situation. For instance, if the annual income is less than $80,000, the school can make the tuition to $100 per unit. On the other hand, if the salary is above $80,000, the school can change it to $300 per unit.

There are many international students who want to pursue their academics in the States. However, tuition and cost of living is a big barrier for international students. If the school can decide the tuition depending on the family annual income, it would make it easier for international students to come to the states and pursue their academic goals.