Foreign students are good for state

Published: Wednesday, March 1, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 at 11:17 p.m.
I write in support of international students who come to Florida to study in the state university system. The bottom line indicates that international students and their families bring much more into the state economy than they cost, a $626 million net contribution in contrast to approximately $6.9 million, the proposed cut in financial aid to international students if House Bill 205 is passed. They all pay out-of-state tuition.
This sort of legislation, the only one of its kind in the United States, unfairly targets international students and sends a negative message - that they are not wanted.
I believe that universities both want and need international students as an important part of higher education. International students provide valuable contributions as researchers and teachers while pursuing graduate degrees, they add to the quality of education for American students through participation in the classroom, and they become a part of the growing Gator Nation when they graduate. They are friends, colleagues and future allies. Please don't let this shortsighted legislation pass.
Mary Fukuyama, Gainesville

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