NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Federal Policies May Limit Foreign Students

November 13, 2001

Record numbers of foreign students are now attending colleges and universities in the U.S. But their ranks could decline in the future depending on federal policies under consideration to limit access to visas for some students.

  • The 2000-2001 academic year saw 547,867 foreign students studying in the U.S. -- an increase of 21 percent from five years ago.
  • But one proposal before the Senate would bar extending visas to students from Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
  • In the past 10 years, more than 16,000 students have entered the U.S. from those countries.
  • More than 75 percent of foreign students receive no U.S. financial aid.

The Institute of International Education estimates foreign students contribute $11 billion a year to the U.S. economy.

Source: Mary Beth Marklein, "Crackdown Could Reduce Number of Foreign Students," USA Today, November 13, 2001.


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