PITTSFIELD (AP) – The 65 international students attending the Maine Central Institute have brought this private high school the most diverse student body in the state, administrators say.

And while the 13 percent of the school’s 525 students who come to study in Pittsfield from 21 countries bring desired diversity, getting them to Maine has become harder since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack, admissions director Clint Williams said.

After the attacks, the American government tightened rules that allowed the students to come. Administrators said the school’s international population has not decreased as a result, but students have to work harder and navigate a labyrinth of new rules to get on campus.

Students pay about $28,000 each year for tuition and room and board.

, with the amount paid adjusted for the student’s English proficiency. That money has become an important source of income and growth for the school, Cummings said.

Fifty-two percent of the school’s financing comes from the local school district; most of the rest comes from tuition-paying students.

Despite the difficulties, administrators believe international students will keep coming, because demand for American university education will not subside.

AP-ES-04-20-04 0216EDT

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