Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Economic analysis of international students studying in the United States

NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced results from its latest economic analysis of international students studying in the United States. The new data found that the 974,926 international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $30.5 billion and supported more than 373,000 jobs to the U.S. economy during the 2014-2015 academic year. This is a 9.8 percent increase in job support and creation, and a nearly 14 percent increase in dollars contributed to the economy from the previous academic year.

California, New York and Massachusetts saw the largest benefits from spending by these students and their families on living expenses, tuition and fees. Further analysis shows that three U.S. jobs are created or supported for every seven enrolled international students, by spending in the following sectors: higher education, accommodation, dining, retail, transportation, telecommunications, and health insurance.

Despite the annual increase in economic benefits, the United States is still behind in the global competition for talent. While the number of internationally mobile students has more than doubled over the past fifteen years, the U.S. market share of international students is down by 8 percent, according to Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development and Project Atlas data. NAFSA attributes this decline, in part, to the urgent need for the United States to enact comprehensive immigration reform and to develop other proactive government policies and strategies to ensure the country remains globally competitive.

The economic analysis was conducted for NAFSA by Jason Baumgartner of Indiana University's Office of International Services, using enrollment data from the Institute of International Education's Open Doors 2015 report, which is produced in partnership with the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, and using tuition and expense data from the Department of Education's National Center of Educational Statistics Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.

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