International student applications drop at 40 percent of schools amid Trump presidency

International student applications drop at 40 percent of schools amid Trump presidency
Here at Roomdock, we value diversity at college campuses. When students from around the world come together in a classroom or work side-by-side in the laboratory, it fosters a cultural exchange that goes far beyond what you can read in, say, a textbook. Learning from other cultures is  tantamount to a college education, especially as students prepare to graduate into an increasingly global workforce.

Last year, the United States even reached an important milestone: More than 1 million students from foreign countries chose our country to pursue a higher education. But, it’s possible that there could be a dip in international student enrollment with President Trump in office as nearly 4 in 10 colleges and universities reported in a recent survey that international applications have declined for the upcoming fall 2017 semester. Typically, universities finalize their fall enrollment numbers by late-September, so we should have a better idea then of what international enrollment is like at American schools.

It’s been with great interest that we’ve been following the election of President Donald Trump and his policies as they pertain to immigration and international student enrollment in higher education. Shortly after Trump’s election in Nov. 2016, we turned to some higher education insiders to glean how Trump’s leadership with effect enrollment on the international level. Then, a month after he took office, we examined how his immigration ban would impact students already studying in the United States and Roomdock Founder Smith Tanny made a statement.

Now, a half year into his presidency, we have a better read on what could happen to international enrollment under Trump’s leadership.

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Today, we unveiled legislation that would represent the most significant reform to our immigration system in half a century. I want to thank Senators Tom Cotton and David Perdue for their tremendous work in putting together this historic and vital proposal. As a candidate, I campaigned on creating a merit-based immigration system that protects U.S. workers and taxpayers – and that is why we are here today. The RAISE ACT will help reduce poverty, increase wages, and save taxpayers billions of dollars. It will do this by changing the way the United States issues Green Cards to nationals from other countries. Green Cards providepermanent residency, work authorization, and a fast track to citizenship. For decades, the United States has operated a low-skilled immigration system – issuing record number of green cards to low-wage migrants. This policy has placed substantial pressure on American workers, taxpayers and community resources. Among those hit the hardest in recent years have been immigrant and minority workers competing for jobs against brand new arrivals. THE RAISE ACT ends Chain Migration, and replaces our low-skilled system with a newpoints-based system for receiving a Green Card. This competitive application process will favorapplicants who can speak English, financially support themselves and their families, and demonstrate skills that will contribute to oureconomy. The RAISE ACT prevents new immigrants from collecting welfare, and protects U.S. workers from being displaced. Crucially, the Green Card reforms in the RAISE ACT will give American Workers a pay raise by reducing unskilled immigration. This legislation will not only restore ourcompetitive edge in the 21st century, but it willrestore the sacred bonds of trust between America and its citizens. This legislation demonstrates our compassion for struggling American families who deserve an immigration system that puts THEIR NEEDS FIRST. Finally, the reforms in THE RAISE Act will help ensure that newcomers to our wonderful country will assimilate, succeed, and achieve the American Dream. #USA

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Following Trump’s election and travel ban, international educators here in the U.S. expressed concerns that the political climate would deter international students. That prompted a coalition of six higher education groups to conduct a study, which surveyed officials from 250 colleges and universities.

Here’s some of the key findings:

  • 39 percent of schools reported a decline in applications from international students
  • 35 percent of schools reported an increase in applications from international students
  • 26 percent of schools reported no change in applicant numbers.
  • Colleges and universities reported the biggest decline in applications from students in the Middle East. Open Doors data from 2015/2016 showed that more than 100,000 students from the Middle East were studying in the United States, making up about 10 percent of international student enrollment.
  • In the survey, 39 percent of schools  reported declines in undergraduate applications for fall 2017 from the Middle East. At the graduate level, 31 percent of schools reported declines in graduate applications for fall 2017 from the Middle East.
  • Several schools also saw a dip in applications from India and China. The latest Open Doors report indicated that combined, these two countries make up 47 percent of  international student enrollment in the United States. Twenty-six percent of schools reported a decline in undergraduate applications from India and 25 percent reported application declines from China.  At the graduate level, 32 percent of schools have reported graduate application declines from China, and 15 percent have reported application declines from India.
  • Many recruitment professionals who work with international student report a “great deal” of concern from students and their families. The highest number of concerns emanate from the Middle East (79 percent); Asia (36 percent) and Latin America (34 percent).
  • Among the chief concerns: the perception of a rise in student visa denials at U.S. embassies in China, India and Nepal. The perception that the climate in the U.S. is now less welcoming to those from other countries. The concern that benefits and restrictions around visas would change, especially when it comes to travel restrictions.
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