Logo for: President's Alliance Higher Education & Immigration

The U.S. remains the world’s top destination for international students, hosting over 1 million annually for the past five years, about 5.5% (including OPT participants) of all students enrolled in U.S. higher education. International students and scholars bring critical global perspectives to American campuses and classrooms. They also contribute significantly to the U.S. economy which helps boost enrollment and funding opportunities for U.S.-born students. Many international students who study in the U.S. return home to assume influential positions, providing the U.S. with important global linkages and international collaborations, and help to expand U.S. influence overseas. International students who stay on in the U.S. as immigrants contribute significantly to science, innovation, and the progress and competitiveness of the U.S.

Federal law, regulations, and guidance influence the enrollment and degree completion trends of international students in the U.S. In addition, campus-level policies impact international students and scholars on U.S. campuses. Enrollment of international students in the U.S. has declined in recent years, a result of federal administrative policy changes and rhetoric that make it more difficult or less desirable for international students to come to the U.S.