College Enrollments

Colleges and Universities are financial engines for many communities in the US, ranging from larger cities like Boston to smaller cities like Waco, Texas, and much smaller towns like Berea, Kentucky.

In the past, the influx of students from abroad has at least partially offset the in deficit in US trade.

Not now.

The pandemic plus a largely inhospitable environment Trump created for foreign students has caused enrollment to plummet this year.

  • The number of foreign student undergraduates has dropped by 13.7%.
  • Total enrollment at community colleges is down by 22.7%.(1)

The loss in foreign students is huge for two reasons: they live on campus, paying for room and board, and most don’t rely on financial aid from the school. We’re talking overall about the loss of billions of dollars of revenue.

The schools that will be hit hardest by these trends are smaller, private, and often religious-based institutions.

Professor Robert Zemsky of the University of Pennsylvania School of Education has estimated that 200 private liberal arts colleges are on the financial edge. A number of schools, like Murray College in Illinois, have already closed. Each of these represents a sharp hit to the community in which they reside in terms of jobs, money available for the local economy and property values (demand for local housing).

The virus — the giver that keeps on giving.

Separately, eFinancial reports that the best jobs in finance this year will be in Paris, France, not here in the US. Welcome to a world where the US isn’t top dog.



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