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US Colleges Say Hiring US Students a Bad Deal 490

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the talking-to-you-cliff dept.
theodp writes "Many US colleges and universities have notices posted on their websites informing US companies that they're tax chumps if they hire students who are US citizens. 'In fact, a company may save money by hiring international students because the majority of them are exempt from Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax requirements,' advises the taxpayer-supported University of Pittsburgh (pdf) as it makes the case against hiring its own US students. You'll find identical pitches made by the University of Delaware, the University of Cincinnati, Kansas State University, the University of Southern California, the University of Wisconsin, Iowa State University, and other public colleges and universities. The same message is also echoed by private schools, such as John Hopkins University, Brown University, Rollins College and Loyola University Chicago."
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US Colleges Say Hiring US Students a Bad Deal

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  • Re:Posting... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Big Hairy Ian (1155547) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @09:32AM (#29050965)
    Surely you were supposed to say "1st Post" but anyway this is definitely not a good advert for the universities in question or are they doing it to highlight the inherent discrimination in the system?
  • Huh? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Guse (1283076) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @09:33AM (#29050987)

    Oooookaaaay. It's not like the colleges are saying US students are bad. Instead, they're saying that these international students aren't as hard to hire as one might think and that there are benefits to it.

    Just because I tell you that you should eat oranges because they're high in Vitamin C doesn't mean that I don't think eating apples is a good idea.

    I'm impressed, though, because I've not seen a summary this reactionary and poorly constructed in a long time.

  • by bmo (77928) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @09:56AM (#29051327)

    That is *taken out of context* and the wording is *may* not *will*.

    There is a subtle, but important difference. The student needs to meet *all* of the requirements. And to take it as a "selling point," means ignoring the overall tone of the whole PDF, which isn't a sales brochure, but rather a FAQ.

    This summary is going down the Fox News path of "news." It is needlessly inflammatory. If it was an actual "sales brochure" denigrating the hiring of Legal Residents and Citizens over foreign students, then the summary would be accurate. But it's not. Instead, it's something out of the Daily Mail or Fox.

    Rupert Murdoch's reach seems to extend even to Slashdot.


  • by DigitalReverend (901909) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @09:58AM (#29051363)
    Seriously, I looked ad the PDF, and the languages used in the summary, is no where to be found in the provided links. I vote to mod this story off the front page. In fact, I think the "editors" should be able to be moderated.
  • Re:Solution? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:01AM (#29051409) Homepage

    Go to Ann Arbor, MI. Get served your Whopper with Cheese by someone holding a Masters in Political Science.

    I am not joking, U of M town is full of high degree holders just scraping by.

  • Re:brain drain (Score:4, Interesting)

    by bjourne (1034822) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:03AM (#29051447) Homepage Journal
    It goes both ways (across the Atlantic). Americans come here to get cheap government subsidized university education instead of shelling out thousands of dollars in your expensive schools. Then they can quite easily get jobs because they have international experience and generally speak English very well. I really can't see how anyone is getting shafted by this arrangement.
  • Re:Solution? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by quatin (1589389) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:05AM (#29051481)
    International Workers are already facing enough hardship to find work. They already face a salary cap. (I think it's 75k regardless) It is also human resource intensive to sponsor a F-1/J-1 into the US as opposed to a US citizen. Universities are trying to spin a positive into hiring these students not, because it is beneficial for companies, but because it is beneficial to UNIVERSITIES. The fact is Universities charge 5-10 times the tuition rate for international students for basically the same education. To the University board that means 5x-10x more profit compared to a US student. However, if all these international students can't find any jobs after they graduate, then fewer and fewer people will be willing to shell out the excessive tuition rates just to go to a US University.
  • by master_p (608214) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:35AM (#29052017)

    One problem with taxes is that there is no accountability for the money. Where do they go? Many people have a big problem with that. And they are right, because it seems governments become more and more bureaucratic, and more bureaucracy requires more money. It seems a big amount of money is lost in corruption as well.

    The solution is to pay directly for the public works. Do you want roads? pay for each road. schools? the same. Police? give money to the police. National TV? give money to the TV station. National Health Care System? give money to hospitals directly, separately for each hospital. Do you want to support unemployed people? give the money directly to them. Do you want an army? pay for the army.

    In any case, a huge organization like a government is not required. The only thing a huge government achieves with great efficiency is to suck resources up. It's not that, in the past, governments of the world had not achieved great things, but they did so when they were smaller and easier to operate.

    While this comment is not directly related to the topic at hand, it is high taxation that leads to saying that hiring US students is a bad deal. Find a cure for the high taxation and then hiring US students may not be such a bad deal after all.

  • by nschubach (922175) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:46AM (#29052207) Journal

    Sales tax sucks because it slows down the velocity of money. You pay sales tax whenever the dollar circulates which could be many times in a year.

    And an income tax is taken off every time the dollar circulates to the company you bought your item when it pays it's employees... what's the difference?

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @10:53AM (#29052315) Journal
    "If you RTFA instead of the summary you'd see it was a very poor and biased summary. The actual article did not advocate any such position."

    Exactly. While the article is correct that the University of Pittsburgh pdf does say:
    "In fact, a company may save money by hiring international students because the majority of them are exempt from Social Security (FICA) and Medicare tax requirements."

    Which sounds awful, it goes on to say:
    "How long can international students work in the United States with their student visa?
    F-1 students are eligible for curricular practical training before completing their studies, as well as an additional 12 months of optional practical training, either before or following graduation, or a combination of the two. However, if they work full-time for one year or more of curricular practical training, they are not eligible for Optional Practical Training. Students with a J-1 visa are usually eligible to work up to 18 months following graduation. They may also be eligible to work part-time during their program of study. The Responsible Officer (RO) or Alternate Responsible Officer (ARO) will evaluate each studentâ(TM)s situation to determine the length of time for which they are eligible to work."

    Unless they're hiring McD's employees, no one wants to hire someone that is guaranteed to leave in 18 months. If you hire someone and trained them two weeks you have thousands of dollars wrapped up in them already, with the cost of their salary and the salary of their trainer, plus any additional training expenses, even after that it'll take many weeks before they catch up with the rest of the team and they'll take co-workers away from their work to answer questions, which is more money lost.

    That is why it has always shocked me at how easily a single manager can decide to fire someone because they got a hair up their ass because it's equivalent to stealing many thousands of dollars from the company. If you're going to fire them do it in the first month, don't do it 6 months after they're hired, when all that time and money has been invested in them. Every job should be a 1 to 3 month "contract to hire" position with weekly evaluations, so you can sit down with the employee every week and say "Gee, I have seen you do that lately. At XYZ, we do not do that, we do this" and have them sign it and keep it so they understand they need to improve and if they don't shape up, fire them next week. Oh, and have a open door policy that employees know exist (hang it in the bathroom or something), so if an employee feels a manager is targeting them unfairly there's someone to talk to because I think we've all seen managers going after people for the wrong reasons.
  • Re:Tax Exempt? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by recoiledsnake (879048) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @01:25PM (#29054641)

    People on work visas pay unemployment taxes but don't see a penny of it ever, so his point still stands.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 13, 2009 @01:27PM (#29054657)

    Unless they're hiring McD's employees, no one wants to hire someone that is guaranteed to leave in 18 months

    You really think that the employer won't try and get the employee on an H1B visa or get their green card or whatever will ensure that the employee can continue working for them?

  • Re:Tax Exempt? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The Spoonman (634311) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @01:58PM (#29055087) Homepage
    If you screwed around and didn't get an education, well the world needs fruit picked and ditches dug.

    Interesting how in the paragraph prior you decry the quality of the educational system in the US, and then proceed to blame those who failed to get a quality education. You should run for office! You've got the "talking out of both sides of your asshole" down perfectly.
  • Re:Tax Exempt? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Thursday August 13, 2009 @06:08PM (#29058681)

    You fail basic economics. Any industry sustained by government expenditure--whether that is subsidies or payment for survices--is a net GDP loss to the economy. That includes Defense.

    Now, in some cases (such as Defense), there are externality effects that produce positive effects (such as not having your cities bombed). But those positive effects have nothing to do with the jobs (high tech or otherwise), which are themselves a net drain on the economy.

I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader