Universities in the United States are making millions of dollars off foreign students by exploiting Visa loopholes. The full article is available here but I’ll provide a brief summary of one story in the article.
An institution in California called Tri-Valley University was shut down by federal agents after the discovery that the university was collecting tuition from international students but not requiring them to attend classes. The university even falsified information regarding students’ living arrangements where it was found that according to the documentation 553 students were living in a two-bedroom apartment. This was of course not the case as these students were scattered throughout the country working low-level retail jobs. Further investigation into Tri-Valley University discovered that it was an unaccredited institution, although it claimed to be accredited. Their website was full of spelling and grammar mistakes and posted information about their instructors even though these instructors said they had never taught at the university. The physical location of Tri-Valley University appeared to be able to support 30 students, although 1500 were registered at the university. All this deception and at its peak Tri-Valley University was making an estimated $4 million a year despite an initial investment of $5,000. This is just one of many universities in the US exploiting government systems to profit off international students.
What I find most disheartening about stories such as this one is the complete disregard for students’ lives. When a university that has thousands of international students is shut down, if the students are unable to transfer to another institution they end up being deported back to their country. The deported students and possibly their families have lost thousands of dollars because of tuition, flights, and living expenses. This could potentially bankrupt a family. In some countries it is disrespectful to return to your family after failing to complete a university degree and the student may be physically abused. It is crucial that governments fix loopholes in the education and immigration system that allows universities to commit acts such as what has been described here. People’s lives are being put at risk because of this behaviour.