- Associated Press - Thursday, July 13, 2017

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Some university officials in Iowa say international student enrollment has fallen at the state’s three public universities this year due to immigration concerns raised during the presidential election.

Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa are expecting a dip of a few hundred students spread among them in total, the Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://icp-c.com/2ti5TLt ) reported. Officials said a prolonged decline would negatively affect the universities culturally and financially.

“The international students and scholars are very much a part of this university,” said Krista McCallum Beatty, director of the International Students and Scholars Office at ISU. “They enrich the academic experience, the campus and the community.”

International students pay out-of-state tuition, which is more expensive than resident students’ tuition. The drop in enrollment comes as the three universities have lost $30 million in state funding over the last year.

While many schools in the Midwest have seen decreasing numbers of international students, some universities on the coasts have seen increases, said Katharine Suski, admissions director at ISU.

UI and ISU officials said the exact cause of the decrease is unknown, but that it’s more likely related to political discussion about immigration during the election than the travel bans issued by the President Donald Trump’s administration.

Lee Seedorff, a senior associate director of UI International Student and Scholar Services, said immigration concerns occurred around the same time many students filled out college applications. Most students would’ve already submitted their applications for the fall before the travel bans were issued, she said.

UNI spokesman Scott Ketelsen said the school’s overall acceptance numbers are down because of increased competition from other universities and “global uncertainty.” The school’s international freshman applications and admissions saw a slight increase, but that fewer students accepted offers, he said. That number might increase with some late action enrolling, Ketelsen said.

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/

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