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Will Declining Foreign Enrollment Hurt Student Housing?

Digested from National Real Estate Investor

The stats say that enrollment of foreign students in American colleges is declining. Find out which schools lead the way in international enrollment.

The numbers say that fewer international students are enrolling in American universities.

The number of F-1 visas, which are issued by the State Department to foreign students for academic and language programs, fell 7.7 percent to 362,929 from fiscal 2017 to 2018, according to National Real Estate Investor’s Lyndee Yamshon.

In addition, the new undergraduate enrollments by foreign students at U.S. universities declined by 6.3 percent to 108,539 students from the academic year 2016/2017 to 2017/2018, according to the Institute for International Education’s (IIE’s) Open Doors.

Some student housing executives are skeptical that this decline in foreign enrollment in American universities will have a major impact on their businesses.

“According to Michael Orsak, senior vice president of investments with Campus Advantage, a real estate investment management firm focused on student housing, the international student population ‘affects student housing at the edges, as this group is not a primary [demand] driver.’” Yamshon wrote.

The schools with the largest foreign enrollments are New York University, University of Southern California, Northeastern University, Columbia University, Arizona State University, University of Illinois—Urbana Champaign, University of California Los Angeles, Purdue University, University of California San Diego and Boston University, according to IIE.

Despite potential issues at these schools, overall demand remains strong.

“The demographics are still strong in student housing in general for college enrollees at large tier-one academic institutions. There is increasing demand for housing,” Orsak told Yamshon.

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