Economic Value of International Students at U.S. Community Colleges

June 4, 2018

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Title: Economic Value of International Students at U.S. Community Colleges

Source: NAFSA: Association of International Educators

In addition to the immeasurable academic, cultural, and societal benefits they bring to U.S. community colleges and their surrounding communities, international students generate immense economic value. Data recently released by NAFSA: Association of International Educators shows that the nearly 100,000 international students attending U.S. community colleges contributed $2.4 billion to the economy and supported more than 14,000 jobs during the 2016-17 academic year.

*Sources used in NAFSA’s economic analysis for 2016-2017 Academic Year: U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Commerce, and the Open Doors Report. Photo courtesy of NAFSA.

NAFSA also releases an annual analysis of international students attending all U.S. institutions. In November 2017, the association found that international students contributed $36.9 billion to the U.S. economy and supported 450,331 jobs. This community college-specific analysis was conducted in response to a renewed emphasis within the higher education community on the importance of international student recruitment to U.S. community colleges.

The data from 2018 show that for every six international students enrolled at community colleges, one job is created and supported by spending in the higher education, accommodation, dining, retail, transportation, telecommunications, and health insurance sectors. In California, 28,921 international students studying at community colleges brought in $799.8 million and 4,842 jobs to the state. And Texas community colleges saw 15,882 international students bring in $318.3 million and 1,896 jobs.

NAFSA’s data is the result of its annual state-by-state and congressional district analysis of the economic contributions of international students and their families to the U.S. economy. Use the NAFSA International Student Economic Value Tool to see what impact international students have on your congressional district.

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