Local Colleges Report a Significant Drop in International Students

The debate over immigration reform which includes building a wall on the Texas border has had a ripple effect to the nation's universities, which are seeing a decline in international students applying to come here to get a degree, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Across the United States, a poll done this year by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers found that applications from foreign freshmen was down 40-percent.   The number one concern about studying in the United States, the poll reads, is immigration. 

Latin American showed the highest concern for being unwelcome and less than 15% stated their reason for not coming to the US was due to economic situations. 

 In San Antonio, the University of the Incarnate Word sees the bulk of the international students, per capita.  They've been hit hard by the trend

."In Fall 2017, UIW enrolled 141 new international students, a 10.75% decrease from fall 2016," the school said in a statement.

On top of the fear of being unwelcome, a report by World Education Services came up with a cost-estimate of $46,559.60 for tuition and fees in 2015-2016. 

 "Mexican students saw an estimated price increase of USD $6,539.80, as the value of the Mexican peso decreased of 14 percent against the U.S. dollar," it reads.

Mexico is the second largest population represented at UIW and the school has seen a noticeable decline over the past 2 years, the statement explains.

Elaine Meyer-Lee, who heads the Association of International Educators says the trend is troubling, because international students are beneficial

"The United States has benefited from bright minds coming and helping advance innovation in this country," she says.

An economic impact report by NAFSA, released this week, found that over $36.9 billion is contributed by international students and their families.  Over 450 thousand jobs are also related to international students and their families

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