Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Could Trump as President Affect U.S. Colleges?

President-elect Donald J. Trump is now in the final strait before he officially becomes President of the United States. Right now, he is organizing his inner circle and deciding who does what job. Betsy DeVos has been handpicked to be his Education Secretary. She told her Twitter followers that she was “honored to work with the President-elect on his vision to make American education great again. The status quo in ed is not acceptable.”
There are interesting times ahead, especially in the U.S. education sector, which is struggling to compete with other countries. Trump was very outspoken about education as he fought his campaign for the presidency. He talked about the crippling level of student debt at great length and has since proposed that students have their loans written off after 15 years. If he does this, it could encourage more kids to enter the higher education system to earn a college degree, which in turn will assist the American economy.

Education and the Economy

Education is what drives any economy forward, and without education, there is no research and development, and therefore no progress. America needs well-educated students pushing the country forwards, making new and exciting discoveries, and as Trump himself has been quoted as saying on numerous occasions, “making America great again”.  

A Drop in Foreign Student Applications

It’s not all good news, unfortunately. In the wake of Trump’s election, there has been a decline in the number of foreign student applications. The New York Times has run a story alleging that many students from China and India are fearful about what might happen in the U.S. once Trump becomes president. Foreign students are concerned that some of more Trumps outlandish policies, which include throwing out all immigrants and building a wall between Mexico and the U.S., could actually come to pass.

Chinese and Indian Students Reconsidering their College Applications

Students who are currently working through an online masters in social work don’t need to be concerned about any of this, as they can study from anywhere in the world. Other students, specifically those from China and India who are not enrolled in an MSW online program are reconsidering their application. Many are concerned that their status as a foreign student in the U.S. could be volatile and rather than risk facing prejudice and an uncertain political future, they are applying to colleges in the UK or in Canada.

Colleges Could Lose Vital Funding

If there is a huge drop in the number of foreign student applications, which appears to be happening at the moment, this could negatively affect many major U.S. colleges. Top American colleges rely on fees paid by wealthy foreign students. These students pay more than native students do, so they are a lucrative source of funding income. If colleges see a big drop in funding, it will be disastrous.

Right now, much of this is conjecture, so the situation may change once Trump is in the White House and his policies are clear. Until then, U.S. colleges will have to remain on tenterhooks and hope that foreign students change their minds.

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