Some Colleges Could Close Without International Students

Credit: Milkos

(Español) Education advocates are predicting a trend of universities in the United States closing, partly because of the Trump administration’s stringent and restrictive immigration policies. Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen predicted about half of the universities in the U.S. would close by the year 2030. While he admits that figure is an exaggeration, he still believes 10 to 20 percent of schools closing is within the realm of the possibility. With over 53,000 schools over higher education in the country, most of them function as smaller schools competing for the same field of students as the well known and famous state schools and nationally recognized schools with rich  history. Many of these schools have to offer vast discounts and incentives to draw in in-state students, and continue to offer those to out of state students. The one thing many of these schools use to keep the lights on is money from international students, whose fees can be as much as ten times the amount per credit hour. Almost all institutions do offer and fee waivers or tuition discounts to international students so they are the ones who pay the full cost of tuition to subsidize the lower fee for the domestic students. With the administration’s last two years of restrictive immigration policies, while a degree from the U.S. is still seen as valuable across the world, the atmosphere created has become what many potential foreign students see as unwelcome. While the administration is making efforts to cut approvals for visa applications across the board, they have also made it more difficult to apply and get approved for student visas. Between the 2016 and 2018 school years, the number of student visas granted fell from 474,000 to 362,000. Given the demographics and rising costs of higher education, many colleges rely on the tuition from international students as they attempt to compete with each other for a shirking demographic, as many predict the number of high school graduates will not be able to keep the massive number of colleges afloat.