When international students arrive on U.S. campuses, they increase diversity by introducing their cultures, languages and ideas to domestic students, thus enhancing all students’ global educations. International students also make significant economic impacts on individual colleges, their surrounding communities and the U.S. economy at large.
According to NAFSA, in 2016–17, funds from international students represented a $36.9 billion investment in the U.S. economy, created more than 450,000 jobs, subsidized scholarships and tuition discounts for U.S. students, and supported U.S. universities’ capital investments. The education of international students represents the seventh largest service export for the United States.
The U.S. Student and Exchange Visitor Program uses Form I-20s to compile data on what out-of-country students pay in tuition, on average. The above figures represent international students from different countries who entered the United States in 2016 for bachelor’s and master’s programs.
Check out some of the below trends using the interactive graphics above.
(1) Students from China paid an annual average of $33,920 in tuition fees.
Among the colleges that received the highest tuition payments from Chinese students in 2016 were Union College, where the average student from China paid more than $64,373 and MIT, where the average student from China paid $63,811.
(2) Students from Iran paid an annual average of $23,698 in tuition fees.
Among the colleges that received the highest tuition payments from Iranian students was University of Southern California ($45,036). Because Iran is among the six majority-Muslim countries targeted by President Donald Trump’s recent travel bans, however, the number of U.S. visas issued to all visitors from Iran has plummeted in 2017, compared to the monthly average in 2016. If the United States continues to limit visas from Iran, the economic stimulus Iranian students provide will almost certainly diminish.
(3) Among the countries with students paying the highest levels of tuition were Somalia ($39,042), Greece ($38,569) and Chile ($38,423). Students from Greece, for example, sent their highest tuition payments to Columbia University, Harvard, and NYU.
(4) For master’s degrees, Concordia University–St. Paul saw the highest tuition payments from international students at $71,364, while MIT had the second-highest master’s tuition payments with $71,216. Concordia University–St. Paul received its highest international student tuition payments from Canada, China, India, Saudi Arabia and Cote D’Ivoire. MIT received students from a wider variety of countries, including Russia, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Africa and more.