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The Economic Benefits of International Education to the

United States for the 2009-2010 Academic Year:


A Statistical Analysis

NAFSA estimates that foreign students and their dependents contributed


approximately $18.78 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2009-2010 academic
year. This conservative figure is based on tuition figures from Wintergreen
Orchard House, enrollment figures from the Institute of International Education's
Open Doors 2010 report, living expenses calculated from Wintergreen Orchard
House figures and analysis of the data by Jason Baumgartner at Indiana University
Bloomingtons Office of International Services.
NAFSA's annual Economic Impact Statements estimate the amount of money
foreign students bring to the United States to support their education. This report
does not rely on a multiplier effect. Although this might provide a more accurate
estimate of actual economic impact, there is no consensus on the appropriate size
of such a multiplier. Along with our partners at the Institute of International
Education and Indiana University, we are committed to continuing efforts to
improve our data and methodology. By any measure, international education
makes a significant contribution to the U.S. economy.

1307 New York Avenue, NW, Eighth Floor, Washington, DC 20005-4701


Tel: 202.737.3699 Fax: 202.737.3657
http://www.nafsa.org

United States of America


Total Number of Foreign Students:

690,923

Part 1: Net Contribution to U.S. Economy by Foreign Students (2009-10)


Contribution from Tuition and Fees to U.S. Economy:
Contribution from Living Expenses:

$13,095,000,000
$12,455,000,000

Total Contribution by Foreign Students:

$25,551,000,000

Less U.S. Support of 28.3%

- $7,223,000,000
+ $448,000,000

Plus Dependents' Living Expenses:

Net Contribution to U.S. Economy by Foreign Students


and their Families:

$18,776,000,000

Part 2: Contribution to U.S. Economy by Foreign Students' Dependents (2009-10)


Spouses' Contribution
Percent of Married Students:

Children's Contribution
9.8%

Number of Couples in the U.S.:

Percent of Spouses in the U.S.:

85.0%

Number of Children per Couple:

0.6

Number of Spouses in the U.S.:

67,588
25.0%

Number of Children in the U.S.:

40,410

Additional Expenses for a Child:

20.0%

Additional Expenses for a Spouse:


(% of student living expenses)

Spouses' Contribution:

67,588

(% of student living expenses)

$303,000,000

Children's Contribution:

$145,000,000

Net Contribution to U.S. Economy by Foreign Students' Dependents:

$448,000,000

Part 3: Foreign Student Contribution from Tuition/Fees and Living Expenses (2009-10)
State
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Guam
Hawaii
Idaho

# of Foreign
Students
6,364
515
10,676
3,549
94,279
6,980
9,268
3,005
8,563
29,708
14,707
32
5,000
2,015

Tuition
and Fees

Living Expenses
and Dependents

(millions)

(millions)

$84.5
$6.5
$166.3
$45.4
$1,611.2
$143.2
$221.8
$52.3
$225.7
$555.1
$296.3
$0.4
$56.9
$23.5

$87.2
$8.1
$170.6
$50.1
$2,101.5
$138.2
$204.1
$51.8
$222.4
$550.4
$256.9
$0.5
$89.1
$27.6

Less U.S.
Support
(millions)
$48.9
$3.0
$93.9
$20.4
$878.5
$79.4
$137.9
$27.7
$147.2
$278.5
$169.2
$0.1
$29.2
$12.3

Total
Contribution
(millions)
$122.9
$11.7
$243.0
$75.1
$2,834.2
$202.1
$288.1
$76.4
$300.9
$827.0
$383.9
$0.8
$116.8
$38.8

Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas

31,093
18,569
9,647
8,922

$694.3
$419.1
$181.3
$116.7

$591.6
$308.7
$148.2
$119.8

$416.7
$214.0
$84.0
$50.5

$869.2
$513.8
$245.4
$186.0

Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Puerto Rico
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virgin Islands
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

4,669
7,245
1,233
14,498
35,313
24,214
11,550
2,467
13,360
1,226
4,142
2,874
2,332
14,246
2,898
76,146
12,307
2,884
22,370
8,445
7,506
28,097
863
4,318
4,433
1,089
6,155
58,934
7,562
1,017
150
14,844
16,449
2,281
8,904
1,010

$67.3
$95.0
$25.4
$279.4
$979.8
$545.5
$195.7
$28.0
$242.6
$19.5
$57.1
$35.3
$63.8
$285.0
$40.8
$1,598.0
$241.2
$40.4
$446.6
$111.2
$141.2
$735.9
$5.4
$108.5
$84.9
$8.9
$106.3
$774.3
$89.5
$25.2
$1.6
$263.0
$227.9
$37.8
$176.3
$10.2

$62.5
$103.6
$20.4
$311.1
$808.6
$394.7
$175.8
$32.7
$222.7
$17.6
$60.0
$49.5
$47.2
$311.8
$42.8
$1,653.9
$202.1
$35.8
$395.6
$126.0
$144.3
$551.1
$10.7
$84.7
$66.8
$12.8
$93.0
$942.9
$103.4
$17.9
$2.8
$224.3
$270.0
$37.2
$125.1
$15.2

$32.4
$60.5
$8.8
$171.5
$535.2
$282.6
$95.2
$18.4
$129.3
$7.2
$27.3
$19.1
$30.4
$182.1
$25.7
$955.7
$150.0
$18.8
$258.2
$62.6
$60.0
$399.1
$3.3
$41.9
$46.7
$6.3
$58.2
$458.7
$47.5
$9.0
$0.7
$130.2
$85.8
$22.6
$84.5
$6.6

$97.4
$138.2
$37.0
$419.0
$1,253.3
$657.6
$276.3
$42.3
$335.9
$30.0
$89.7
$65.7
$80.6
$414.7
$57.9
$2,296.2
$293.4
$57.4
$583.9
$174.6
$225.5
$887.9
$12.8
$151.3
$105.0
$15.4
$141.1
$1,258.5
$145.5
$34.1
$3.8
$357.2
$412.1
$52.3
$216.9
$18.8

Methodology: How We Compute Economic Impact (2010)


We define economic impact as the amount of money that foreign students collectively bring
into the United States to pay for their education and to support themselves while they (and in
some cases, their families) are here. The goal of our economic impact formula is to use data
already collected for other purposes to provide a reasonable estimate of the economic
resources that foreign students import to the United States to support their education here
each year.
The data sets used for these reports come from two sources:
1. The Institute of International Educations Open Doors 2010 report, funded by the
Department of State, provides numbers of foreign students at universities and colleges
throughout the United States during the 2009-10 academic year. In many cases, this data
provide separate totals for undergraduate, graduate, and non degree students.
(http://www.iie.org/opendoors)
2. Wintergreen Orchard House provides cost figures for tuition, living, and miscellaneous
expenses at U.S. institutions for the 2009-10 academic year
(http://www.wintergreenorchardhouse.com/).
The extensive data provided by these two sources (which collect it directly from surveys of the
institutions involved) allow us to make our estimates sensitive to differences between
institutions. However, there are still areas where our estimates and formulas could be improved.
For example, we compute economic impact only for students reported in Open Doors.
Universities that do not provide information to the Institute of International Education are not
represented. Also, enrollment reports represent peak enrollment, and not necessarily enrollment
levels throughout the year.
Estimating Expenses
Tuition, fees, living expenses, and dollar estimates are derived from Wintergreen Orchard
Houses data collected on surveys completed by institutions every year. We try to make our
calculations sensitive not only to differing costs at institutions, but differing costs for ESL
students, undergraduates, graduate students, and students on practical training.
1. Undergraduates and English Language Programs:
The number of undergraduate students at an institution is specified by Open Doors data.
Wintergreen Orchard Houses data provide undergraduate tuition and fee amounts, oncampus room and board amounts, and miscellaneous expenses. These categories are
sometimes broken down into averages for international, out-of-state, flat rate, and instate, students. When multiple averages are available, we choose averages in the order
given above.

2. Graduate Students:
The number of graduate students at an institution is specified by Open Doors data.
Wintergreen Orchard Houses data provide graduate tuition and fee amounts, on-campus
room and board amounts, and miscellaneous expenses. If there are no differentiated
graduate expenses provided by an institution in the Wintergreen Orchard Houses data,
then the undergraduate expenses would be applied.
3. Students on Practical Training:
We assume these students earn enough in their U.S. jobs to pay living and educational
expenses for the year, and so import no funds for their support. Therefore, net economic
impact of students in practical training is zero.
Economic impact of an international student equals tuition and fees, plus room and board, plus
miscellaneous figured at 50 percent of room and board, less U.S. support. We assume: (a) that
spring enrollment figures are the same as the fall figures reported, (b) that all students are
enrolled full time for two semesters or three quarters a year, and (c) that students live on
campus for the full year. The miscellaneous expenses, enumerated in Wintergreen Orchard
Houses data, average about 40 percent of room and board expenses. We use a 50 percent figure
as an approximation that includes all extra expenses except for travel.
Estimating U.S. Support
The Open Doors survey asks schools to report the percentage of their students who are self
funded, the percentage that have U.S. source income, etc. The U.S. support percentage
includes funding from a U.S. college or university, the U.S. Government, a U.S. private sponsor
or current employment. For this analysis the percentages are calculated based upon the
institutions Carnegie classification and the academic career of the student. For example, this
process will differentiate the level of support between undergraduates and graduates at a
particular research institution while it also differentiates between a baccalaureate classified
institution from an associates classified institution.
Individual Institution Enrollment Figures
For institutions with fewer than 10 international students enrolled, enrollment totals are
suppressed for confidentiality reasons. In the reports, this is indicated by three asterisks (***).