Number of Student Visas Issued by US Drops

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The number of student visas issued by the US State Department fell again this year, a decline that experts say is tied to stricter immigration policies.

In the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the US issued 393,573 student visas — representing a 17 percent decline from the year before and a 40 percent decrease from 2015.

“While the Trump administration has not officially capped student visas, universities say students who apply for visas are undergoing greater scrutiny, and that — after a review ordered by the president — consular guides have been updated to encourage less leniency,” according to a recent article published by Fortune. “Other factors, such as increasing competition with universities in other English-speaking countries, and less support for international study from some governments, have contributed to the decline in enrollment. Still, experts say the Trump administration’s contributions to the issue are not trivial.”

Enrollment figures for international students show a similar downward trend.

American colleges and universities reported a 6.9 percent decrease in the number of new international students pursuing higher education in the US this fall, according to survey data from the Institute for International Education (IIE).

Compared to fall 2016 — which saw a 3 decrease in new international students — more institutions surveyed by IIE attributed this year’s enrollment drop to visa delays and denials, the costs of US higher education, and the US social and political climate.

Read more about how the decline is affecting colleges.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

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