American Universities See Drop in International Student Applications


A recent survey taken by 250 colleges and universities around the nation showed that about 40% of colleges have seen a decline in international student applicants. The study also shows that most of the application declines are from the Middle East.

Furthermore, the results of the survey indicate that students from around the world are worried about applying to colleges in America.

International students that come and study in America from all over the world bring in approximately $32 billion a year into the U.S. economy.

According to the International Admissions office at UT, not many changes have been experienced here at UT concerning international student applicants.

“It is still quite early in the admission cycle to tell what effect politics will have, if any, with the international student applications to UT this year,” said Jaini Chhaya, an international admissions counselor at UT. “Politics aside, we are aware that competition is fierce as more countries and universities across the globe are positioning themselves better to enroll international students or bring better educational opportunities to students in their homelands.”

Last school year, 1.2 million international students attended American universities. This is the highest number of international students ever seen in America, but this number may not last due to the fear of international student applicants.

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“Last year alone, the six nations listed among President Trump’s revised travel ban sent around 15,000 students to the U.S. Whether this ban influenced the recent decline in applications from the Middle East remains unclear, though many college administrators say they have noticed a correlation,” according to The Atlantic.

International students here at UT are showing mixed emotions about the drop of international student applicants.

“I personally don’t know any friends who terminated their education in the United States due to the Trump administration as of yet,” said Ateş Ay Aksu, an international psychology major from Istanbul, Turkey. “I personally believe that the events are unfortunate, but the steps taken by the administration don’t appear to be broad enough to be a problem for people who have clean backgrounds and,  who have no intention of damaging the American society.”

Chloe Carpentier, a sophomore political science major attempted to  foresee what would happen if international students were not as big as a presence on campus in the future.

“I believe that less international students attending the University of Tampa would have a serious impact on students in terms of cultural integration,” Carpentier said. “Often, American students have a set perspective on other cultures portrayed from media. Being able to interact with international students gives American students the ability to see cultures from a different angle, one that I think is detrimental to growing in cultural knowledge.”

As of now, only about 40% of colleges have seen a drop in international student applicants. At the end of April most colleges applications are due. At that time, the real effects on  international student applicants for the 2017-2018 school year will become more clear.

Carolyn Plantin can be reached at

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