(MoneyWatch) For American colleges and universities, international students are gold.
As American parents, who are strapped with stagnating salaries, struggle to pay for a college education, institutions of higher education have been aggressively recruiting foreigners and, in particular, Chinese students, who can afford to pay stiff prices.
During the 2011-2012 school year, which represents the latest data available, 764,495 foreigners studied in the United State and one out of every four foreign students (190,000) were Chinese. The tally represented an historic high for foreign-student enrollment.
An analysis of the international student body in The Chronicle of Higher Education's new almanac, suggests that the overseas spigot may be tightening. One reason could be fallout from the Boston Marathon bombing which involved a suspect who was a foreign-born college student. The attack prompted increased scrutiny of student visas and the possible perception that the U.S. is not a safe place for foreign students.
While many foreigners dream of studying in the U.S., it's not always as expensive as one might assume.
A new e-book, Passport to American Education: A Simple Guide to International Student Aid, explains that there are American colleges and universities that provide financial aid to deserving international students.
International students, for instance, received $7.7 billion in financial assistance during the 2010-2011 school year from American colleges and universities.
In U.S. News and World Report's annual survey, 806 American colleges offered aid to international undergraduates and 350 of those institutions provided financial assistance to 50 or more students from abroad.
Here are the 10 schools that provided the highest average financial aid award to international students. The average package at each of these schools was at least $48,000. The number next to each school represents how many international students received aid.
Yale University (Conn.) 350 students
Skidmore College (N.Y.) 64 students
Harvard University (Mass.) 504 students
Amherst College (Mass.) 141 students
Trinity College (Conn.) 139 students
Williams College (Mass.) 127 students
Dartmouth College (N.H.) 251 students
University of Chicago (Ill.) 58 students
Bates College (Maine) 76 students
Duke University (N.C.) 134 students