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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 7/11/20

Trump's Stance on Foreign College Students Digs US Economic Hole Even Deeper

By Allen baker  Posted by Dave Lindorff (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   No comments
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By Allen Baker

President Donald Trump's belligerence toward China and his administration's heartless and ill-thought-out Executive order to throw out foreign college students whose colleges, for health reasons, opt for another semester of on-line classes, could cast another wrench into the already clanking engine of the US economy.

US colleges enroll around 1.1 million foreign students, who spend billions of dollars on college tuition and other expenses.

How much economic impact does that involve?

Somewhere around $45 billion a year, according to a somewhat-dated (2018) number from the Institute of International Education, which got a grant for the study from the US State Department. The IIE is also the source for the 1.1 million students number, which is for the 2018-2019 school year.

Bringing in foreign students helps reduce the cavernous US trade deficit, and the contribution isn't minuscule. That $45 billion represents 7.7 percent of the $498 billion US current account deficit for last year.

For US colleges, the continuing loss of high-revenue foreign students (most foreign students are full-payers, not major scholarship recipients) is a serious drain on their budgets, already devastated by the Pandemic and declining domestic enrollment.

Foreign students represent 5.5 percent of total US college enrollment, but they generally pay the highest tuition rates (no in-state tuition for them!), so their share of college revenues is much higher than the 5.5 percent figure. They're likely paying double, or more, what US students pay. They also are highly represented in graduate programs, where tuition can be even heftier.

Higher education is a bigger part of the overall economy than you might think. Colleges collected $671 billion in revenues for the 2017-18 school year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That amounted to 3.2 percent of 2018 gross domestic product, and about 4 million jobs, a similar percentage of the work force at least before the virus epidemic.

And don't forget: Along with tuition payments, foreign students spend money on housing, food, transportation and pizza.

Trump's xenophobic rhetoric, especially against islamic and "shithole" countries, already had an impact on foreign student populations and those students' contribution to the US economy. Don't forget the tightening of visa rules and red tape in general.

In the school year right after Trump's election (2017-2018), new enrollments of foreign students plunged by 6.6 percent. There was a further decline of 0.9 percent in the 2018-2019 period, according to State Department numbers, followed by a tiny increase of 0.05 percent last year"

For the rest of this article by ALLEN BAKER a veteran journalist who contributed it to ThisCantBeHappening.net, please go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/trump-antipathy-towards-foreign-college-students-digs-us-economic-hole-even-deeper/

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Dave Lindorff, winner of a 2019 "Izzy" Award for Outstanding Independent Journalism from the Park Center for Independent Media in Ithaca, is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper (more...)

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