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Fewer International Students Studying in the US, Boundless Report Finds

Sep 1, 2022

A smiling DACA student.

Fewer international students chose to study at U.S. colleges and universities in recent years, according to a new report by Boundless, although that may change during the upcoming academic year.

Even before the pandemic, international student enrollment had dropped, and in 2021, U.S. schools saw an 18% decrease in active M-1 and F-1 students from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.

A survey of U.S. officials found that the top reasons for the decline were visa delays and denials, competition from colleges in other countries, and restrictive immigration policies under the former Trump administration.

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However, 68% of U.S. institutions reported a rise in international student applications for the 2021-2022 academic year, suggesting renewed interest now that a new administration is in power and COVID-19 poses less of a threat.

Other key takeaways of the report:

  • International students are huge economic drivers, and contributed $28.4 billion to the economy and supported 306,308 jobs during the 2020-2021 academic year. However, this marked a decrease from the previous year.
  • States with the most international students are California, New York, Texas, Massachusetts, and Florida.
  • New York University, Northeastern University-Boston, and Columbia University were the top colleges for international students.
  • Business administration and management, computer science, and second language learning were the top fields of study.
  • Top countries of origin were China, India, South Korea, Canada, and Brazil.

Read the full report here.

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