A Ten-Year-Old Trend: How Do International Students Contribute to the U.S. Economy?

By , in Economy News on .

The United States is a country founded by and for immigrants. It has been true through the years of its existence and remains this way today. 

It is almost impossible to grasp the sheer impact migration has had on the country. Virtually every single field is influenced by the stream of workers and students crossing the border every single day.

Some aspects of international students’ contributions to the state they have chosen to get an education in are pretty obvious; others may be rather obscure. But among the sheer size of this incredibly extensive subject, there’s one thing we can be sure about. The impact it has on the US is undeniably positive. 

Here is the list of the main aspects that will be covered in this article:

  • Student loans;
  • Spending on housing;
  • Increase in the highly qualified workforce;
  • Education and research fields boost;
  • Attracting overseas investments.

These are some of the countless benefits international students can offer to the country they come to. Let’s take a closer look at some of the major points of the impact the educational exchange has on the United States.

Student Loans

Student loans are popular throughout the US as a means to pursue an education in the college of one’s choosing. Although their benefits for students themselves are somewhat questionable, they remain the primary choice of young Americans.

Now, some would say foreign students can’t make use of federal student loans. And while that’s technically true, there’s a separate and basically identical specialized program that allows international students to take a loan to cover up to the full cost of their education as determined by their college of choice. Interest rates can bring millions of dollars into the US economy every year.

The economic benefits of student loans are undeniable. The system allows for the young generation to get into virtually any field they want. 

It enables continuous educating of qualified specialists the country needs. Simultaneously, the profits are being generated from the interest rates. The system, however, can bring much trouble to graduates by severely limiting their financial capabilities for years.

Qualified Workforce

Both government and private entities are making use of the additional workforce the foreign students present. Various programs are available, and more are being curated to allow for fairly paid work that does not interfere with the studying process. 

This creates a strong incentive for international students. They are looking for a small boost of income to sustain themselves in an unfamiliar environment.

Part-time jobs are, of course, a more popular choice amongst both native and foreign students. However, programs that offer full-time employment for young specialists also exist. 

Making use of those can significantly boost the financial status of students. This also enhances their confidence and brings profits to employers.

Foreign students are further indirectly encouraged to find work due to the fact that the average US wage is significantly higher than in most countries. This difference creates an incentive for foreigners to seek employment and actively participate in the country’s economy. 

Trustworthy Academic Services

One of the less obvious but still interesting and useful benefits of foreign students is an increasingly quick growth of industries and businesses related to the academic sphere. 

Academic writing services are one of the most profitable and successful entities. It’s becoming increasingly easy for students to find a trustworthy platform like EssayPro to take care of uni papers.

Contrary to popular belief, the range of the competence of such services goes above and beyond working with simple college assignments. Their existence and employees’ level create a powerful and extremely efficient base. This can be used to develop virtually any research topic and outsource tedious paperwork.

This is true for both STEM fields and humanities. People from different backgrounds and cultures filling the classrooms allow for an intellectually diverse environment. This, in turn, creates an atmosphere for creativity and well-rounded discussion in pretty much any field. 


Short term benefits for the country’s economy are pretty obvious. However, the steady influx of international students has immense potential for a long-term positive impact. Many students that come to the US to receive their education hope to gain citizenship and stay to get a full-time job here. Others may decide so during their years of college.

In any case, a conversion of a motivated student to an active US citizen is a beneficial acquisition. Such learners are likely to pursue high-end careers and continue to have a positive economic impact on the country. They will be the ones to bring investments using their connections from abroad.

The process of acquiring citizenship has gone through some changes. It has created certain difficulties when it comes to passing all the requirements to get US citizenship. 

source: https://unsplash.com/photos/YZsvNs2GCPU

Final Words

Statistics and research show that international students have a major beneficial impact on the US economy, bringing in around $40 billion and supporting over 400,000 jobs during the 2017-2018 academic year. Various governmental programs are focused on maintaining the steady flow of foreign students. 

And they work. Recently the number of international students has reached the new high, going over one million individuals per year.

The international student community offers a wide range of both short and long term benefits. The overview above just barely scratches the surface of this layered and complicated system. 

Students who are financially invested in their education are more likely to get their degrees and pursue a career in the chosen field, contributing to the US economy.

Of course, considering the shifts in politics, both internal and external, there can be more fluctuations to come in the nearest future concerning the number of international students.

And yet, the impact this part of the population has on the economy of every state is undoubtedly significant. And the United States, as the country of immigrants itself, is no exception.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.