OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS)- Foreign students are big business for the Bay Area’s community colleges.

But, there’s controversy brewing as colleges search far and wide for these cash cows.

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KCBS and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier reports that the Peralta Community College District recruits between 800 and 1,000 foreign students each year.

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“There’s this growing trend to go out and find foreign students from Asia, Europe, South America, Israel, you name it. They’re out there trying to scoop them up because they’ve got money and pay five to six times as much as in-state students in tuition and fees and that’s money that the community colleges say they need,” said Matier.

A new Alameda County civil grand jury report, however, is raising the red flag questioning whether this practice allows foreigners to essentially buy up seats that could or should go to local students.

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And, as Matier points out, it remains to be seen whether the amount of money the schools are shelling out, trying to recruit these foreign students, ends up being more or less than what they bring in.