New York’s economic crisis threatens international student enrollments

  • 4 min read
New York’s economic crisis threatens international student enrollments

Despite having the third-largest economy in the USA, New York has the worst economic outlook of any state in the country. That’s according to the latest rankings by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)1.

New York’s economy has been crippled by mounting debt, recent tax changes, and, of course, the global health pandemic. As families and businesses flee the economic turmoil, there are concerns that international students could follow suit.

Why you need international students

In 2019, over 124,000 international students were studying at colleges and universities in New York, contributing around $5.3 billion to institutions and their surrounding towns2.

However, many worry the Big Apple is becoming less appetizing to ambitious and financially-savvy Gen-Z students. This is troubling news for a region that needs the revenue generated from international students more than ever.

If New York wants to protect itself from further financial blows, it must find a way to keep hold of these students and continue attracting new ones.

The relationship between fiscal health and student attraction

In ALEC’s economic outlook rankings1, Utah claimed the top spot. Interestingly, Utah was also crowned the best state to be a student in Studee’s recent survey3. This suggests a direct correlation between economic strength and successful student recruitment.

Graduate employment prospects are international students’ top priority when choosing a university4. More than just an excellent education, students want a destination that offers plentiful career opportunities once they graduate. With businesses closed, various sectors struggling, and industry leaders fleeing, today’s New York doesn’t fit the bill.

Lots of students will have been put off by New York’s volatile economic climate. And, since career considerations occur right at the start of the decision-making process, your university could be missing out on overseas enrollments.

But don’t fear, we’ll help you boost your international admissions and smash your targets.

Learn more about our services

How to attract more international students

Promote industry partnerships and placements

International students want to secure a career in their chosen industry quickly, so helping them bridge the gap between education and employment is crucial.

Showcase programs that offer work experience opportunities and highlight the professional connections you’ve built with local businesses to make your institution stand out to ambitious, career-driven pupils.

Although New York’s economy might be struggling right now, prospective students will still have thousands of great opportunities at their fingertips. By preparing them for the professional world, you’ll prove that you’re listening to their needs and aspirations, thereby boosting your recruitment and retention rate.

Prioritize financial education and support

Studying in New York is expensive. In fact, a low affordability score is the main reason it doesn’t sit higher in most study-abroad rankings. As such, international students on tighter budgets will assume a New York education is out of the question.

Scholarships and grants are some of the hottest search terms amongst prospective students. And, since websites have the greatest influence on students’ application decisions, advertising any funding opportunities here is key4.

Incorporating financial education into your recruitment and retention processes is equally important. If you’re upfront about the costs of studying at your institution, and offer budgeting and financial advice throughout the student lifecycle, you’ll elevate your admissions rates and prevent drop out.

Refine your communication skills

Clear, convincing, and compassionate communication is essential for student recruitment. So, go back to basics. Take some time to finetune your sales skills so that you can become a more successful ambassador for your organization.

To build strong connections with potential pupils, you must understand their cultures and beliefs. Getting to know each student on an individual basis will transform your recruitment efforts.

Our NAFSA-trained advisors are experts at interacting with international students. They speak to hundreds of pupils daily, getting them enrolled at Studee’s partner universities across the globe.

We act as an extension of your busy admissions department, offering application support, visa advice, and travel information to ensure no students slip through the net.

Better still, there are no upfront fees. You won’t pay a penny until a student enrolls, so you’ve got nothing to lose.


  1. American Legislative Exchange Council, 2020

  2. Open Doors, 2019

  3. Studee, 2021

  4. International Student Survey, 2019

  5. Uniquest, 2019