Can We Save International Student Enrollment?

by Jan Frazier

Washington, D.C. (Washington Insider Magazine)  In a recent Moody questionnaire, it was found that the decline last year – due to Covid-19 – in international college students was huge and likely “to hurt university finances for several years.”

The steady cash coming in for International college and university students was suppressed last year due to the pandemic. The institutions of higher learning are now looking to the White House to “shore up a besieged visa process to bring those lucrative students back.”

Normally, the international students pay full tuition which makes the international student an asset at the universities. That cash flow was stopped when the pandemic hit the globe. Higher learning institutions are looking to the President to restore the influx of international students.

There were billions of dollars lost at universities when there were fewer new applicants last year. Of course, the fall semester is still not certain; however, the universities are hoping for uptake in enrollment. They will have to wait and see.

Elizabeth Goss, a Boston-based immigration attorney who specializes in obtaining student visas, said “When you add in other factors of community development, their innovators, and creators, it could be quite a disaster long term if international students can’t get in.”

According to the Institute of International Education – a company that keeps track of enrollments in higher learning institutions — statistics show that “1.1 million students from abroad attended college in the U.S. In the 2019-2020 academic year.”

Of course, there is a concern for the upcoming fall semester, but it’s too soon “to predict what fall enrollment will look like.”

Moody’s statistics showed that the decline in international students last year will “likely hurt university finances for several years.” Even if enrollment increases in the fall, the slowed travel restrictions as well as “increased competition from other countries” could be felt in the U.S. Universities. 

Higher education advocates are asking President Biden to “loosen restrictions around student visas to ease the process of getting to the United States.”

Sarah Spreitzer, director of government relations for the American Council on Education, believes that virtual interviews with prospective students is possible. She believes that perhaps those interviews could actually be waved. 


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