The number of international students coming to Washington for college continued its upward trend in the 2014-15 school year, although growth wasn't as strong as in previous years.
The number of international students going to college in Washington inched up in 2014, but the increase wasn’t quite as big as it has been in previous years, according to the Institute for International Education (IIE), the agency that tracks international education trends.
In the 2014-15 academic year — the latest year for which numbers are available — 27,051 foreign students were going to college in Washington. That’s up nearly 6 percent, or nearly 1,500 students, from 2013-14.
Those students spent about $789 million in Washington in 2014-15 to pay for tuition, housing, food and other expenses, according to IIE.
International students enrolled at the University of Washington accounted for the largest number of students, totaling 8,035 in 2014-15. The second-highest number of foreign students studied at Washington State University, where 2,448 were enrolled.
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The state’s community colleges account for many international enrollments as well. Seattle Central College had 2,171 foreign students, Green River College had 1,736 and Edmonds Community College had 1,620.
About a third of international students studying in Washington come from China. In 2014-15, more than 8 percent of Washington foreign students came from Saudi Arabia, a country whose government is investing heavily in international scholarships for their students in an effort to develop a “globally competent workforce,” according to IIE.
Washington remains ranked at number 11 among all the states in terms of the number of foreign students studying here. That has not changed in several years.