How recession forecast is impacting study plans of international students in US

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The past two years have been a roller-coaster ride for international students, filled with uncertainty about the future amid the Covid pandemic and global economic recession.

Asian students—especially from China and India—make up more than 50% of the international student population in the United States.

However, the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war and devaluation of the rupee have added to the burden on Indian students.

This is because tuition fees have automatically increased with the rising cost of living. Currently, inflation in the United States is about 8.6% — the highest since the early 1980s, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This has had a profound impact on the pockets of foreign students.

According to, some US universities have raised tuition fees after the pandemic. For example, Seattle University and Syracuse University raised their tuition fees by 3.75% and 4.5%, respectively.

The growing US recession and its impact on international students?

1. Education will become expensive

Tuition fees are rising as this student loan debt piles up as a result of the threat of a recession. Even if colleges or universities decide not to raise fees, the quality cost of higher education will still be high. For example, rising inflation may cause employers to cut wages or lay off workers nationwide. Students may struggle depending on their parents to make loan repayments or their education funding due to reduced income.

According to a Forbes report, fees for a four-year graduate program at Harvard University rose from $82,178 to $84,413 in 2021-22 ( 69,46,151) for Indian students in 2022-23.

The estimated annual cost of an Indian student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has increased from $77,020 for the 2021-22 academic year to $79,850 for 2022-23.

2. High cost of living

Inflation will directly increase the cost of living and may make it difficult for students to pursue their dream of studying in America.

In the United States, tuition fees for international students are generally higher than for American students. This, on top of grocery and rent increases, means more money for international students to spend.

3. Job crisis

The economic downturn has also led to stagnation in recruitment. Big tech companies like Google and Microsoft have announced a temporary hiatus in hiring.

Apart from the above, the Reserve Bank of India recently increased the interest rates on education loans. For Indian students, studying abroad, large loans mean large EMIs with less stability in the job market.

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