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International Student Visas (F1) decline under Trump Administration

Updated: Sep 25, 2019



With the overall flattening of the total number of international students in the US, there is a decline in the number of international students coming to the US for higher education. Here are some trends that have been witnessed in the fall enrollment of 2017 (iie Report).


There has been a 6.9% decline of international students enrolling for the first time since Fall 2016.45% of the institutes say that they have had a drop in new international student numbers. 31%, however, say that there was an increase and the rest 24% say that the enrollment stayed stable. The enrollments vary based on an institutions characteristics and geographic location in the US, so the less known colleges in areas like the midwest are the worst hit. Compared to Fall 2016, more institutions blame the 2017 number decline on the problems with visa delays and denials, cost of education and the US social and political climate. 


While we feel that the cost of education might be detrimental to some students, most likely the reasons for the decline in enrollment can be attributed to the Trump Administration's policies to discourage foreign students from studying in the US. 

The Wall Street Journal reports that the State Department issued 17% fewer students visas than in the previous year and 40% lower than the year 2015. This has resulted (according to the New York Times) in forcing institutions around the country to make tough budget cuts. Activities like music, sports and college newspapers have already taken a hit. 


Just to put things in perspective, international students brought in $36.9 billion and supported 450,331 jobs (NAFSA.org) in the year 2016. In comparison to numbers from 2006, this is a 85% increase in the money brought in for education in the US and a 90% increase in the numbers of jobs being supported. These figures go on to show that opening US to bring international students helps the US economy. Not to mention the fact, that when these students are studying in the US classrooms, our undergrads and graduate students benefit from their experiences and are better prepared to take up positions that place them globally. 


According the Fortune magazine, the Trump administration has not capped the number of student visas but the students who are applying for the visas have to undergo greater scrutiny. The universities, however, are flighting back and have spread the message #YouAreWelcomeHere globally, to counterbalance the tactics of the government. 


At connexio.io, we come across faculty, staff and admissions officers, who genuinely want to bring in more international students to the US. They believe that the success fo the students and universities in the US is directly tied to the success of the international students. Institutions are continuing to prioritize student outreach and recruitment in Asia, China, India and Vietnam, and connexio.io wants to be a partner in achieve the goal.

We want to bridge the gap of communication between the students and the universities and help deliver success to both parties through guided connections. We are releasing our platform very soon to enable engagements. Please subscribe to our newsletter on our landing page at connexio.io and take our survey to guide us make the right connections.