EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 7, Issue 1 - Page 18

EB5 INVESTORS M AGAZINE 16 return to the United States. There have been cases of students who returned to their home countries only to be denied re-entry to the United States. Usually, this results from paper work errors and the like, which can be cleared up relatively quickly. However, such concerns simply do not apply to green card holders. Permanent residence in United States brings peace of mind. PRE-UNIVERSITY Many foreig n students attend private boardi ng schools t hat cost a n average of nearly $40,000 per year. 5 A merican residents, however, have an a lter nat ive: tuit ion-free publ ic school i ng from approximately the ages of 6 to 18 (grades 1 to 12). A mer ica n publ ic s c ho ol s prov ide a n e ducat ion that is often just as good as, or even superior to, expensive private schools. 6 The U.S. student visa (F-1) cannot be used to attend free public schools in the U.S. If one wants to use an F-1 student visa to attend an American public school, the parents must pay the entire cost to the local school district, w h i c h i s e s t i m a t e d b y t h e U. S . g o v e r n m e nt’s National Center for Education Statistics to be an average of $10,556. 7 This does not include room and board or other expenses. UNIVERSITY APPLICATIONS While free public K-12 education is a good start, there is more. Attending a U.S. high school may be a benefit to university applications. American high schools employ guidance counselors who perform many functions, including assisting university applications. The same functions that agencies in another country may charge thousands of dollars to perform are done for free by the guidance counselor at an American high school. This includes helping the student select the right college or university, making sure he or she has the right preparatory classes, getting letters of recommendation, and making helpful suggestions if there are elements of the students’ applications that need to be shored up, such as work experience or extracurricular activities. 8 Admissions departments at competitive American universities require proof of English proficiency. However, any student who has attended at least two years of high school in which the primary language of instruction was English can skip the requirement of an ESL exam, at many universities. In some states, top-scoring high school students gain automatic admission to flagship state-funded universities, usually with certain additional testing requirements. In Texas, which is the most generous,