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Explainer: What 1.1 million foreign students contribute to the U.S. economy


(Reuters) - The Trump administration said on Monday that foreign university students will have to leave the country if their classes are all taught online - clouding the future of tens of thousands of enrollees and potentially straining budgets at schools struggling to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic.


About 1.1 million foreign students attended U.S. higher education institutions in the 2018-19 school year, according to a report here issued by the State Department and the Institute of International Education (IIE), and they made up 5.5% of the entire U.S. higher education enrollment.


Most U.S. universities have not decided yet whether they will have all online classes, in-person teaching, or some sort of hybrid when classes start again in the fall.


The immigration order is likely to affect just a fraction of the total number of students. Nevertheless, two top universities went to court on Wednesday to try to stop it.


Foreign students’ financial contributions are keenly felt in some schools and communities, where they pay higher tuition bills than some local students, and support real estate markets and local jobs.


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