The Role of Global Perceptions on International Student Enrollments in U.S. Educational Institutions


  • Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes University of California, Merced
  • Mary Lopez Occidental College
  • Ashley Muchow University of Illinois at Chicago


international students,, higher education,, F-1 visa,, Donald Trump,, global education


The number of F1 visas issued by the U.S. Department of State to international students has declined since 2015. Although international students have a strong presence in U.S. higher education, we know little about the factors responsible for recent fluctuations in enrollments.  Using data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, we examine whether global perceptions of Donald Trump, as captured by Google search data, impacted international student enrollments.  We find that increased searches on Trump are associated with reduced international graduate student enrollments.  

How to cite in APA:

Amuedo-Dorantes, C., Lopez, M., & Muchow, A. (2022). The Role of global perceptions on international student enrollments in U.S. educational institutions. In X. Zhao, M. Kung, K. Bista, & Y. Ma (eds), Home and abroad: International student experiences and graduate employability (pp. 47-74). STAR Scholars.

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Author Biographies

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, University of California, Merced

Catalina Amuedo-Dorantes, PhD, is a Professor in the Economics and Business Management department at the University of California, Merced. Her major research interests lie in the areas of labor and public economics, with special focus on immigration policy, international migration, immigrants, and remittances. E-mail:

Mary Lopez, Occidental College

Mary Lopez, PhD, is a Professor of Economics at Occidental College. She specializes in immigration and immigration policy, Latino entrepreneurship, and racial/ethnic and gender economic inequality. E-mail:

Ashley Muchow, University of Illinois at Chicago

Ashley Muchow, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Criminology, Law, and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her research examines the causes and consequences of social inequality with a particular focus on immigrant integration. E-mail: