Over the past year, international educators expressed concern that the political discourse surrounding foreign nationals in the U.S. leading up to the November 2016 U.S. presidential election could be damaging to international student recruitment efforts. In response to those voiced concerns, a coalition of six higher education associations—AACRAO, IIE, International ACAC, NACAC, NAFSA, and the College Board—launched an inter-associational member survey in February 2017.
This survey was intended to be a snapshot of student/family perceptions and institutional activities as opposed to a deep-dive into applicant numbers. Partners such as the Institute of International Education (IIE), which publishes the annual Open Doors Report, and the Council of Graduate Schools, which publishes the annual International Graduate Application and Enrollment Report, typically conduct in-depth and thorough research on international student enrollment trends. Because of the annual and in-depth nature of those reports, we will not see those numbers for many months. This report provides a snapshot of foreign applications to U.S. higher education institutions, initiates a dialogue, and should assist institutions as they forecast and prepare for what might lie ahead.
A complete and final report will be available by March 30, 2017 after a full review of the data. The report will include more elements of the survey and comments from the participating organizations.
More than 250 U.S. institutions responded to the short survey, with representation of all sizes, types and geographic diversity of higher education in the United States.