International students are an essential component of American college life, not only providing global perspectives to classrooms and campuses but also contributing financially to local economies. According to estimates from 2021-2022 school year data, international students contributed an astounding $33.8 billion to local economies while supporting over 416,000 jobs – and that’s just the start. Research reveals that billion-dollar US startups founded by former international students has steadily been increasing year on year; some estimates estimate this number as over 100 companies!
Though enrollments have declined since the Trump administration took power, schools are increasingly turning towards international students for recruitment purposes. California, New York and Texas rank highly as host states for international students with Massachusetts, Illinois and Arizona also ranking as popular states for hosting them. Scholarship programs provide financial incentives for underrepresented countries to study abroad.
Students from fast-growing, high-income foreign economies can leverage their skills and connections to establish economic ties between their home nations and U.S. metropolitan destinations, creating lasting economic ties that benefit both sides. To better understand these trends, this report explores national trends for F visa enrollment by field of study and city of residence; then compares those data against metropolitan and global trends to better highlight variations in student migration and retention dynamics.