Your bookmarked countries have an update since your last login. View Bookmarks x

The Number of International Students Is Shrinking. Here’s How That’s Affecting the Economy.

February 16, 2021

Original Article:

The economic fortunes of college towns have long been tightly linked to the students who learn and live there. But with fewer students attending college in the wake of the global pandemic — and with many who are enrolled learning from home — economic activity in some college communities has plummeted.

International students play an especially prominent role in generating economic activity. A fresh reminder of the significance of these students’ spending surfaced last month when data from NAFSA: Association of International Educators revealed that the amount international students contributed to the U.S. economy in 2019-20 fell $1.8 billion from the year before, to $38.7 billion. The 4.4-percent decline was the first drop in the more than two decades that Nafsa has been calculating economic impact data. The number of jobs created or supported by international students fell, too.

Both economic disruptions coincide with a 43-percent decline in new international students this fall — a staggering loss, which has fundamentally affected the colleges and communities that would normally host them. But the slide in the number of new international students has been underway since fall 2016; their attendance over all decreased nearly 2 percent in the fall of 2019.

Related Articles:



Upcoming AACRAO Events

Crises as Catalysts for Transformation

Fall 2020 | virtual conference

Join us this fall for a virtual Strategic Enrollment Management Conference - Crises as Catalysts for Transformation: 2020’s Impact on Higher Education and Enrollment.

This three day, virtual conference will feature models for adapting to change, meeting challenges, and planning strategically post-pandemic.

Explore the SEM Conference
SEM_2020_1440x400 update

106th AACRAO Annual Meeting

March 28 - 31, 2021 | National Harbor, MD

AACRAO’s Annual Meeting is our largest convening of higher education professionals from around the world. Join more than 2,000 administrators in person or online as we work to address the issues facing today’s campuses, share goals and guidelines for meeting those challenges, and provide a forum for learning and sharing experiences.

Explore the Annual Meeting