A lot of students have stressed the importance of a welcoming political environment for international students to choose US colleges
The ongoing US Presidential elections might have an effect on the economy as far as the country’s international student population is concerned.
The clash between Donald Trump and Joe Biden isn’t just of interest to US citizens but to students from around the world as well. Many feel that their applications to US colleges are conditional upon a welcoming political environment, particularly for Indian students. India contributes significantly to the US's economy — nearly 18 per cent of all international students. But there is little reciprocation to India’s 200,000 strong number that studies in the US colleges, as the number of US students in India is less than 4000.
Moreover, while admission rates have steadily grown over the years, there has been a dip of 2.9 per cent in the 2018-19 academic session growth rate. Some attribute this to negativity caused due to the H-1B visa restrictions, and options of higher education in the UK or Canada seem to have soaked in a lot of students who were unwilling to study in the US. According to government data, the contribution by international students to the US economy is $44 billion, of which, over $8.1 billion is contributed by Indian students.
Some could also say that return on investment is a crucial factor. The huge expense that comes with studying in the US, coupled by the unpredictability of finding a job after completing the course can be a reason behind deterring candidates.
While IVY league colleges may not be significantly affected by this trend, a huge chunk of tier two and three universities need to admit more foreign students for their growth, and in order to subsidise education for domestic students. Moreover, American firms also require quality human resources, which can become tougher to find if international students are discouraged from taking admission in US colleges. Therefore, it is imperative for the government to give out a clear message that their administration is extremely welcoming of international students, since billions are at stake.
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