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Int’l community college students add $2.4bn to US

International students studying at community colleges in the US contributed $2.4billion to the US economy and supported more than 14,000 jobs in the 2016/17 academic year, a new analysis by NAFSA found.

Image: NAFSA

The economic contribution in Florida, New York, Texas, Washington and California was over the $100 million mark

“Community colleges provide a fertile environment for students of all walks of life”

The analysis revealed that the economic contribution from international students at community colleges was over the $100 million mark in five states, Florida, New York, Texas, Washington and California – with the latter almost reaching $1bn.

As for the jobs supported by these students, NAFSA calculated that for every six international students enrolled in community colleges, one US job is created and supported by their spending in education, accommodation, dining, retail, transportation and health insurance.

“The results of this analysis demonstrate that as community colleges continue to prioritise internationalisation in their expansion efforts, and… our country and our students are the better for it,” said NAFSA CEO and executive director Esther D. Brimmer.

“Community colleges provide a fertile environment for students from all walks of life to learn and develop vital skills that will lead to professional success,” she added.

NAFSA releases an economic analysis of the international contribution to the US every year.

The November 2017 analysis, conducted for NAFSA by Jason Baumgartner of Indiana University’s Office of International Services on Open Doors 2017 data, showed that international students contributed $36.9bn to the US economy and supported more than 450,000 jobs.

This latest analysis responded to a “renewed emphasis” within the industry on the importance of international recruitment for community colleges, NAFSA said in a statement.

In a recent interview with The PIE, San Mateo Colleges president Jing Luan explained how he is planning to attract more international students to US community colleges by building college-university partnerships with guaranteed pathways.

“We should stand up and say – let me tell you why we are so proud of American community colleges. First of all, 46% of American bachelor’s degree students started out in a community college!” he added.

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