Economic Impact of International Students in Missouri

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COLUMBIA - A new education report indicates international students pumped more than $380 million into the Missouri economy this past year. According to NAFSA: Association of International Educators, international students from the University of Missouri and Columbia College contributed about $48 million to the Columbia economy.

The report based its numbers on education related expenses - tuition, enrollment, and campus housing, plus analysis from Indiana University. What the report doesn't show is the potential impact of international students' spending habits. Shopping, dining, and hosting friends and family at hotels were not included in the report.

International student enrollment at MU rose nearly 15% for Fall 2011, meaning the economic impact could be greater in the next report. Throughout the past five years, MU has seen a 32% increase in international students.

MU International Center Assistant Director, David Currey, said he credits the increase in students to the internationally recognized journalism and engineering programs and the low cost of living in Columbia.

NAFSA also reports foreign students contributed over $20 billion to the US economy during the 2010-2011 academic year.

To view the full report click here.