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Study Finds Fewer Foreign Undergraduates in U.S. Colleges — The First Drop In 13 Years

The foreign undergraduate head count in U.S. colleges and universities fell about 2 percent in the last school year, the first annual decline on that measure in more than a decade, according to a study.

The report from the Institute of International Education, funded by the State Department and made public Monday, suggests challenges for the United States as it seeks to maintain dominance in global higher education.

International undergraduates in U.S. schools totaled about 431,900 in the 2018-2019 academic year, down more than 10,000. That ended 12 straight years of growth of a crucial source of tuition revenue for colleges and universities. International students pay higher out-of-state rates at public universities and tend to receive far less financial aid than domestic students. They also contribute to the education of U.S. students, educators say, by helping to create a more diverse and cosmopolitan campus climate.