Political climate results in lower international student applications

West Virginia University had an all time high of 2,274 international students as of fall 2016, but that number might dwindle if the university follows along the same path of many others in the country.

According to a new report by the American Association of College Registrars and Admissions Officers, universities nationwide reported a 39% drop in international student applications, especially those from students in the Middle East. Schools like the University of Missouri, University of New Mexico, and Iowa State University have all reported significant drops.

With the new presidential administration’s attempts at banning immigration, as well as their aggression toward DACA students, this seems like an inevitable outcome. But sadly, this might make a huge difference in the funding of many universities, especially WVU.


International students add to the collegiate experience.

Many students and, obviously, politicians, do not realize the significant impact that international students have on universities. Aside from the undeniable benefits of having international students on a college campus, as it can lead to situations that allow for, can you imagine, learning, international students comprise a very large amount of universities’ budgets each year. For instance, Indiana State University reports that 20% of its revenue comes from international students, even though they only comprise of 8% of the student body.

That’s because at many universities, international students are charged full out of state tuition, fees, room, and board. A lot of those schools do not offer scholarships to their international students, and a lot of them also charge them separate, higher fees for registering Internationally.

At WVU, international students are offered scholarships, although they are very minimal and would only knock off about a quarter of what international students pay each year. For these reasons, it seems imperative that universities keep their international enrollment up.

This is especially true at WVU. The WV state legislature has yet to decide on a budget, but some plans that have come out show that the university could potentially lose $15.8 million in state funding. This was slightly less severe than Governor Jim Justice’s budget plan, which only cut the university by $4.4 million.

WVU has already experienced $96 million in budget cuts over the last five years alone. This is invariably why students see their tuition hike up each year; in fact, it has increased from $3,420 per semester in 2002 all the way to $7,154 per semester in 2016. That’s a 117% increase in just over a decade, just for in state students, not to mention how the increases have affected out of state or international students.

This is not to say that international students simply serve the purpose of bankrolling American universities, but rather it is the irony of the current administration’s tactics surrounding immigrants and their attitude that they bring nothing to this country. Not only was the country built by immigrants, but even today our country depends on them economically, which seems to be all that this administration cares about. If they had had any idea that just how greatly banning brown people would in turn hurt white people, it is questionable as to whether they would have made those actions in the first place.

Maybe after seeing how this affects his target demographic, President Trump will learn that immigrants greatly add to this country, in more ways than just economically.

I wouldn’t hold your breath, though.



  1. I really like how you tied the university’s financial problems with international students attending/applying and the potential decrease of applications affecting the WVU’s tuition rates. All of this is very possible and likely to occur, but many don’t take time to think about it and make these connections. Very nice post!


  2. Cara Devenney · · Reply

    I had no idea that 20% of WVU’s revenue came from International students when the population is only 8%…that is honestly ridiculous. I too think it is important to have a variety of culture at universities because college is where many people get to explore and learn from different people. I went to a Catholic grade school in the suburbs, then I went to a Catholic all-girls high school in the city. It wasn’t until college until I was truly exposed and valued the difference. I hope International students aren’t scared to come to school here in the states; America is where you’re suppose to feel safe and secure! America is the land of dreams! It is truly a shame that people (including Americans) are scared to live here; it’s a shame that our country got to that point.

    I am an out of state student and I pay full in tuition. Same deal with me, limited scholarships were offered that maybe would of knocked off a grand or two (lovely, right?). I applied to all the scholarships available but did not receive any. Plus, FAFSA is not much help either. I think it is fair for International students to pay the same as out of state, because it would bother me if they were able to pay in state- but I couldn’t. My tuition is around $35k, which is over half of what in state pays. I know I am not the only one, especially for students that choose to live here throughout the summer and other breaks- they have to pay for room and board as well as a meal plan. Of course I think International students should feel welcomed and secure here however, I wouldn’t find it equal if they received privileges that were not made available to out of state, or in state students.


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