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Will Trump's travel ban deprive the US of international students?

"What international students bring to our domestic students in the classroom is invaluable," says the vice president for enrollment management at the University of New Haven.

Beyond bringing diversity of world experience that benefits American students, international students make up a huge chunk of bachelor's and master's degree candidates and the majority of Ph.D. candidates in the STEM fields. Graduates in those fields are hard to find, so the U.S. benefits from having access to such a large number of workers in science, technology, engineering and math. International students also typically pay full tuition, often subsidizing the cost of education for domestic peers.

Will international students be turned back by Trump's proposed travel ban?

Yes, according to a new survey of nearly 250 U.S. colleges and universities. Unfortunately, 4 in 10 of those educational institutions are already reporting issues, with engineering reportedly most problematic.

Do we accept international students from the majority-Muslim nations in the Trump travel ban? Yes -- around 15,000 last year, according to The Atlantic. The largest sources of international students in the U.S. are India and China, which are not affected by the proposed ban. However, the institutions surveyed report that students across the entire Middle East as well as in Asia and Latin America are becoming reluctant to rely on America's good intentions. They are worried the travel ban could be extended to additional countries, threatening their ability to travel back and forth from home, and jeopardizing their chances of being able to work in the U.S.

The largest decline in current applications comes from the Middle East -- a 39 percent decrease in undergraduate applications and a 31 percent in graduate applications. If the sense that getting a degree from America is risky spreads, however, it could become hard to ignore. A quarter of the universities surveyed said they've already experienced a drop in applicants from Chinese students, who contributed $11 billion to the U.S. economy last year.

Any immigration policy that unduly favors one ethnic or religious group over another is problematic. The message such a policy can be received in a very negative and disruptive way by our friends and allies. If you are a promising young person enrolled in or considering a degree program in the U.S., please don't be discouraged -- check into the actual situation with help from a knowledgeable immigration lawyer.

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