Colleges Contend with Cuts Following Declines in International Student Enrollment

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US colleges experiencing declines in international student enrollment are beginning to feel the crunch, according to a recent New York Times article.

Preliminary figures from the Institute for International Education (IIE) showed a 6.9 percent decrease this fall in the number of international students studying in the US.

The downturn comes on the heels of “a decade of explosive growth in foreign student enrollment,” according to the article.

“Just as many universities believed that the financial wreckage left by the 2008 recession was behind them, campuses across the country have been forced to make new rounds of cuts, this time brought on, in large part, by a loss of international students,” the Times noted. “Schools in the Midwest have been particularly hard hit — many of them non-flagship public universities that have come to rely heavily on tuition from foreign students, who generally pay more than in-state students.”

Reasons for the decline are varied and include visa delays and denials, the costs of US higher education, and the current US social and political climate, according an IIE report released in November.

But regardless of the cause, many college campuses are feeling the sting from the lost tuition revenue. Cuts highlighted in the article include:

  • Discontinuation of Italian language classes at Kansas State University.
  • Elimination of the swim team at Wright State University (OH).
  • Shifting to an online-only student newspaper (and thus eliminating print costs) at the University of Central Missouri.

Read the full article.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at

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