Our view: Housing woes deter international students

KS Editors

The Kent State 15-day enrollment statistics revealed that the number of students at the university’s main campus is at an all-time high with 28,457 students. The freshman class is the third largest incoming class at 4,242 students and also has the highest high school cumulative GPA at 3.34 and an average ACT score of 23.

Despite all of these record numbers, the enrollment of freshman international students has decreased. In a story we published Monday, Sept. 8, David Garcia, associate vice president for enrollment management, said this is because, for the first time ever, Kent State closed admissions May 1.

Garcia said the challenge with enrolling international students was housing. 

The fact that fewer international students are making their way to Kent State is unfortunate because they bring diverse viewpoints to campus. Their unique cultures and worldviews help students grow in understanding of the world we all live in.

This is a valuable part of the college experience, and if housing is the only thing keeping international students from campus, something needs to change.

Kent State prides itself on being inclusive to students from all walks of life. The Division of Diversity Equity and Inclusion focuses its efforts on creating an inclusive environment. The division’s website states its “goal is to maximize individual and collective contributions, thereby creating an environment that welcomes diversity of thought, continuous personal growth, academic attainment and above average achievement. As we define inclusive excellence, we realize that it is one distinctive quality that characterizes great institutions.”

With this mission in mind, we think Kent State should provide additional supportive services to international students so that they can get to Kent, Ohio, find housing and get comfortable at Kent State. If they aren’t here, all students miss out on the valuable learning experience of getting to know those with different backgrounds. 

We hope the university can remedy how it handles international student housing so that the whole campus can benefit from the mix of cultures an international population brings to the community. 

The above is the consensus opinion of The Kent Stater editorial board.