Home > Uncategorized > Trump VIII – A Possible Unintended Consequence of Anti-Immigrant Fervor: A Decline in International Students

Trump VIII – A Possible Unintended Consequence of Anti-Immigrant Fervor: A Decline in International Students

November 18, 2016

Many small private schools in New England (and some public schools) and many colleges across the country have boosted their revenues by aggressively recruiting foreign students who are willing and able to pay full tuition costs and whose enrollments, in some cases, keep the schools solvent and/or the taxes low. Today’s NYTimes reports that some college students are reconsidering their attendance in our colleges, sensing that they might not be welcome in our country. And the impact could be devastating given that “…the number of international students in United States colleges surpassed one million for the first time, bringing more than $32 billion a year into the economy and infusions of money to financially struggling colleges.”

One specific example from the article described the potential plight of the State College in VP Pence’s home state:

At Indiana State University, 1,000 of the 13,500 students are foreign, including many Saudis who transferred this year from Idaho State, and officials are concerned, said Santhana Naidu, an associate vice president for communications and marketing.

“We have already received inquiries from prospective students who are in the applicant pool,” Mr. Naidu said. “They’re asking, ‘Is it safe for me to come there?’ and generally getting the lay of the land.” Mr. Naidu will be among officials meeting this week at the university, in Terre Haute, to determine what they can do to assuage fears.

And where will these students land? If you guessed Canada you are probably correct:

Canadian universities have already detected a postelection surge in interest from overseas.

“We have seen an increase in applications from the U.S. and from international students in the last week,” Jocelyne Younan, the director of global undergraduate recruitment at McGill University in Montreal, wrote in an email. “We’ve also seen an increase in students inquiring about McGill on social media.”

Traffic on a University of Toronto website for international applicants surged the day after the election, officials there said — and most of it came from Americans. “Visits to our recruitment website from the U.S. are typically around 1,000 a day,” said Ted Sargent, the university’s vice president, international. “On Nov. 9, that spiked to 10,000.”

On the same day, there was an increase in visitors from Britain and India, Mr. Sargent said. “Our positive message as a university, but also as a city and a country, definitely is about openness to people from around the world and a real inclusiveness,” he said.

Mr. Trump may denigrate “the elite” who have college degrees and stoke the fire of anti-immigration to win votes, but our country’s reputation for openness and inclusivity drew $32,000,000,000 into it’s coffers, kept several small private schools and colleges afloat, and subsidized many public colleges. If Mr. Trump is the astute businessman that he based his campaign on he will need to find a way to allay the concerns of these prospective students quickly… because college applications are due in February and there are many other choices intelligent and hard-working immigrants can make. I’m sure Indiana State will be hurt financially if they can’t assuage the fears of the applicants from abroad.

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