Romanian students in the US dropping out of college due to the inflation rate
Many countries worldwide suffer the highest inflation rate in several decades, which has also hit colleges. Due to inflation, colleges now pay more for labor, food, energy, and other utilities. As a result, many had to announce hikes in tuition and fees, affecting many students who don’t receive financial aid, particularly those with student loans, Erudera.com reports.
The high prices are leading to drops in enrollments too. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, undergraduate enrollment declined 6.6 percent from fall 2019 to fall 2021, resulting in a net loss of a million students. In response, colleges have slashed payrolls, laying off hundreds of thousands of faculty and staff.
A Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce report revealed that the average tuition, fees, room, and board price for undergraduate students rose by 169 percent between 1980 and 2020.
The number of Romanian students who chose to pursue studies in the US has slightly declined in the 2020-2021 academic year compared to the previous year.
Education search platform Erudera.com reports that 852 Romanian students chose the US as their study destination by 2020/21. The number represents a slight decline of 148 students compared to the 2019/20 academic year when 1,000 students from Romania enrolled in US universities.
Of the 852 Romanian students studying in the US during the 2020/21 academic year, 388 students participated in undergraduate programs, 293 in graduate programs, 11 in non-degree programs, and 160 in Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Alma Miftari, a representative at Erudera said that the high inflation rate could be one of the reasons behind the slight drop in the number of Romanian students enrolled in US Universities.
“The high prices are leading to drops in enrollments. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, undergraduate enrollment declined noticeably from fall 2019 to fall 2021, resulting in a net loss of a million students worldwide. In response, colleges have slashed payrolls, laying off hundreds of thousands of faculty and staff,” Miftari emphasized
Erudera further finds that studying in the US could cost international students between $25,000 and $35,000 per year at public universities, while private colleges could charge between $30,000 and $45,000, on average.
The report found that the US generated an average of $29.8 Million from 852 Romanian students by the last academic year if they spent the fees mentioned above. ( $35,000 on average per student).
There was also a decline in students in Romania’s neighboring countries pursuing higher studies in the US. By the 2020/21 academic year, international students, from Hungary in the US declined by -10%, Bulgaria by -15.5%, and Serbia by -10%.
The Open Doors 2021 report in International Student Exchange revealed a 15 percent decrease in the number of international students in the United States during the 2020/21 academic year, to 914,000. At that time, the number of students decreased at all academic levels.
During the 2019-2020 school year, approximately 1,075,496 international students were enrolled in US universities, the highest it ever was.
Several universities in the United States and across the world have already announced increases in tuition and fees.