Texas universities are paying out more than $1 million in study abroad scholarships

Texas is on track to be the first state to pay out more money in study overseas scholarships than the national average, a new study says.

Texas, which has about 15,000 international students enrolled, is among 10 states to reach the record $1.6 million in total scholarship awards since 2000, according to the report by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. 

Texas and Alabama have each set records in the amount of scholarship awards and received about $1 billion in total.

California and New York each have about $900 million in scholarship awards.

The number of students studying abroad has steadily increased over the last decade, with nearly 1.1 million people studying in the United States last year, according the report.

But Texas is now leading the way, with a projected increase in students studying overseas of nearly 7,500 in the coming academic year, the report said.

The Texas board, which is led by state Sen. Don Huffines (R-Houston), said the average tuition for Texas undergraduates attending international schools is about $19,000, about 20 percent less than the $29,000 average for students attending non-resident students. 

The report also said the number of international students studying in Texas has increased in recent years as the state has increased its use of online programs.

In 2015, nearly 20 percent of international college students in Texas were enrolled online, according Topple & Payne, a company that provides data on student enrollment and student outcomes.

In 2019, that figure rose to 24 percent.

The report said the trend of international study in Texas is likely to continue, as the Texas Legislature considers bills that would allow the state to offer up to two-year degrees to foreign students.

The board recommended that the state add an online option to the current online program, which it said would help alleviate some of the burden for students who may be reluctant to take on the extra tuition.

The board also said it wants to encourage other states to consider offering international programs and encouraged the state’s international relations office to set up a portal to help prospective students find programs.

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