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Enrollment of first-time foreign students declines

The United States is widely reputed to have some of the best colleges and universities in the world. Students from all over the globe immigrate to the United States to receive an education at an institution of higher learning. That is, until this year.

For the first time in twelve years, the enrollment of first-time international students in U.S. colleges and universities has dropped. A survey from the Institute of International Education found a three-percent decline in the enrollment of foreign students who were attending an American institution for the first time.

What is causing the drop?

There are several apparent reasons for the dip in enrollment, according to the study. Foremost is an increased national hostility toward foreigners that has led to criminal retaliation against immigrants from certain countries, and uncertainty regarding the future of immigration. Another is the rapidly rising cost of tuition and the reduction of scholarship funds at many institutions. Further, other countries such as Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom appear to be recruiting foreign students much more heavily than the United States. Facing a fraught political climate and daunting expenses, the best and brightest foreign students are turning to universities in other countries.

California remains number one

Despite the nationwide decline, California remains the number-one state for enrollment of first-time foreign students. Approximately 157,000 such students enrolled in the state’s secondary education institutes, composing over 16 percent of the U.S. population of international students. This is partially due to California’s perceived friendliness toward immigrants due to its status as a sanctuary state.

Foreign students who are enrolled in secondary education in California face important political implications, especially considering the immigration policies of the Trump administration. There may be issues in the future regarding the status of student visas. Traveling back and forth to their country of origin may prove complicated. It is important to know that immigrants in California can seek assistance from a legal advocate.

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber