The largest sources of international students are China, India, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Canada. While international students represent just 5 percent of all students in the United States, some top colleges and universities boast of international populations of 15 percent or higher.
Admissions officers who expressed concern about the larger trend of declining international student enrollment cited both cultural and financial reasons for the decline.
Those surveyed offered various comments:
• “I think it’s more of a loss for all prospective students, not just international students. Students who would have had the opportunity to learn from different students with different upbringings and cultural backgrounds won’t have this.”
• “International students provide a different kind of atmosphere on campus. Many of our U.S.-born students can’t travel overseas, so this is a way for them to meet others from diverse backgrounds.”
• “We survive on this program. We rely on these students coming into the country.”
• “It’s something we worry about. We want students to come without barriers.”
“A majority of colleges are concerned that the current environment is causing a decline in applications from international students across the country, though interestingly, only a third anticipate the decline happening at their own schools. Colleges recognize that today’s political climate presents unique challenges and are likely adjusting their recruitment strategies accordingly,” says Yariv Alpher, Kaplan Test Prep’s executive director of market research. “But notably, there is a broad range of opinions across schools nationwide, which represent the diversity of views that most colleges seek to cultivate on their own campuses.”
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