International enrollment is an uncertain revenue stream for U.S. colleges and universities as Donald Trump prepares to take over as president of the United States, according to a report Moody’s Investors Service released last week.
Between 8 percent and 10 percent of total net tuition revenue in the United States comes from international students, the report estimated. International students only make up about 5 percent of U.S. higher education enrollment, but they pay more in tuition than domestic students.
Immigration proposals like those Trump has discussed, including proposals affecting employees with H-1B visas, could change international student demand significantly by hurting their postcollege job prospects in the U.S., Moody’s said. Universities that recently entered the international student market and those with less well-known brands globally would be most affected.
“In a climate where domestic students are extremely price sensitive and tuition increases have become a political hot topic, growth in international students provides a financial buffer against constrained tuition revenue growth,” the report said. “However, policy shifts can quickly change the landscape for international student demand, making this a potentially volatile revenue stream.”
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