On the eve of the Trump presidency, which seems like eons ago, we forecasted that international applications to our nation’s elite universities would continue to climb. We felt that even isolationist, “America First” national policies wouldn’t deter young people around the world from applying to the best universities in the world, which happen to be right here in America. But it’s not like we were naive. We felt the incoming Trump administration’s isolationist policies would deter many international applicants from applying to the vast majority of American universities — just not the highly selective ones. America’s highly selective universities, after all, often prove to be the exception to the rule, not the rule. And that proved to be the case during the Trump presidency with international student numbers at our nation’s top universities holding fairly steady across the board.
But it seems that times they are a-changin’. According to reports from The Common Application, as reported by Jessica Dickler for CNBC, international applications to our nation’s universities are up big time this year — by 11%. So as the Trump presidency draws to a close, students around the world are more encouraged to apply to America’s universities. And that does make sense considering the Trump administration hasn’t exactly been friendly to international students studying at our universities. More specifically, during the Trump presidency, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that international students studying at U.S. universities would have to leave if their schools switched to online-only instruction. So during the height of a global pandemic, these students were nervous they’d get kicked out of the country — like they needed that added stress.
International applications are up 11% year over year, according to The Common Application.
The fact is, America’s colleges are intended not only to educate America’s citizens. They are intended to educate the world’s citizens — who are in fact a boon to our economy here in America. Indeed, young people educated on our college campuses can return to their homelands upon their commencement and make their homelands stronger, better, more equitable, and so much more. Heck, it’s why our universities exist in the first place — to be beacons of light to the world. We’re just glad the light is about to get a whole lot brighter on the eve of the Biden presidency.
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