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U.S. Visa Data Show 21% Decline in International Students

November 18, 2020

The total number of international students in the U.S. declined by about 21 percent between January and September of this year, according to new student visa data from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The visa data include students at all educational levels, including international students attending K-12 schools.

The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled unprecedented declines in international enrollments. A recent survey by 10 major higher education organizations found the total number of international students studying at U.S. universities either from within the U.S. or online from abroad fell by 16 percent from last fall to this fall, and that one in five enrolled international students are studying online from abroad.

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Elizabeth Redden

Elizabeth Redden, Senior Reporter, covers general higher education topics, religion and higher education, and international higher education for Inside Higher Ed. She has more than a decade of experience as an education journalist. She holds an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing from Columbia University.

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