As Flow of Foreign Students Wanes, U.S. Universities Feel the Sting

6 years ago
As Flow of Foreign Students Wanes, U.S. Universities Feel the Sting
Last month, Moody’s changed its credit outlook for higher education to “negative” from “stable.”
“Growing uncertainty for international student enrollment stems from immigration policies
that are in flux,” Moody’s said, warning that universities without global brand recognition would be hit hardest.
“As you lose those students, then the tuition revenue is negatively impacted as well,” said Michael Godard, the interim provost at the University
of Central Missouri, where 944 international students were enrolled in the fall, a decline of more than 1,500 from the previous year.
Officials said that other reasons for the decline in enrollment include increased competition from schools in other countries, cuts in scholarship programs in Saudi Arabia
and Brazil, and a currency crisis in India caused when the government decided to swap widely used notes for new bills.
“There’s only so much you can do with recruiting if the families can’t afford the tuition.”
Officials at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kan., reported an overall enrollment
decline of more than 900 students, including 159 fewer international students.
The downturn follows a decade of explosive growth in foreign student enrollment, which now tops 1 million at United States colleges
and educational training programs, and supplies $39 billion in revenue.