On March 19, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), released its annual report, SEVIS by the Numbers, on international student trends in 2020. The report details a significant decrease in new student enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 1.25 million active records in Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) for F-1 and M-1 students during calendar year 2020, down 17.86% from 2019. U.S. schools saw a 72% decrease in new international student enrollment in 2020 compared to 2019. Between 2019 and 2020, international students who were approved to participate in the Optional Practical Training program decreased by 12%. While China (down 91,936 students) and India (down 41,761 students) sent fewer international students in 2020 compared to 2019, both remained the most popular countries of origin for international students studying in the U.S. The full report is available here.
Department of Ed Announces HEERF and SNAP Flexibilities to Assist Institutions and Students
Also, on March 19, the Department informed institutions that they can conduct direct outreach to students who are temporarily eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. In February, the Department of Education and Department of Agriculture issued guidance detailing the temporary expansion of flexibilities for postsecondary student SNAP eligibility. More information can be found on the SNAP benefits for students webpage and Q&A on student eligibility.
White House to Release FY22 Preview Budget Next Week
The budget proposal will initiate what is expected to be a months-long process for Congress to approve government funding for the next fiscal year, which begins on October 1. The FY22 budget will be the first in a decade without caps on discretionary spending, making it easier for Biden to propose spending increases. The delay in releasing a budget request is not uncommon for incoming administrations; however, due to obstacles in the transition and the Biden administration’s focus on passing the American Rescue Plan, the formal budget proposal has been further postponed.
On March 17, CGS joined a FY 2022 appropriations request letter to Congress seeking funding increases for various programs, including requesting that $35 million be allocated for the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need program. CGS will continue to update its FY 2022 Appropriations Advocacy webpage with funding requests and advocacy resources for members.