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AP Report: International Student Applications Fall In Age Of Trump

Indiana University. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

Indiana University. (Peter Balonon-Rosen/Indiana Public Broadcasting)

Colleges in the United States are ramping up efforts to welcome students from overseas to address worries the country is becoming less friendly to outsiders.

Dozens of schools have produced new online videos as part of a national campaign called “You Are Welcome Here.” Purdue University sent its international applicants an email from two mayors touting Indiana’s hospitality. The president of Portland State University in Oregon visited students in India to ease concerns.

Some colleges say President Donald Trump’s remarks about Muslims and other groups have sent an uninviting message to students overseas.

Data obtained by The Associated Press in response to public records request show nearly half the nation’s 25 largest public universities saw undergraduate applications from abroad fall or stagnate since last year.

It’s too early to know how many international students will enroll next fall, but colleges say any loss could hurt campus diversity and tuition revenue.

There is evidence that enrollment figures among international students at some U.S. colleges and universities could drop next fall, and some experts and college officials blame President Donald Trump’s stance on immigration and the perception of a nation that is becoming less friendly to foreigners. Nearly half the nation’s 25 largest public universities saw undergraduate applications from abroad fall or stagnate since last year, according to data colleges provided to The Associated Press in response to public records requests. Eight schools did not provide data, while six saw gains.

Indiana University and Purdue University enrollment numbers were included in the report.

In 2016, 5,156 international students applied to IU, and in 2017 5,414 enrolled, a five percent increase. This is one of the highest increases of the schools featured in the AP report, which includes many large, state schools.

Purdue had an international enrollment of 14,949 last year, and 13,320 this year.

Some application deadlines fell before the election, but even Trump’s campaign rhetoric cast doubts, experts say. Schools with no data did not respond to the AP’s records request.

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