Retirees Association

DDN: Visa probe may have cost Wright State millions in international student tuition

Wright State campus

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

A decline in international students attending Wright State University has cost the school millions of dollars over the last two years and the loss may have been partially self-inflicted.

Wright State’s international enrollment has decreased by 779 students since 2015, the same year that an investigation into possible immigration related wrongdoing was revealed. Since then, multiple investigations have been launched into the school’s possible misuse of H-1B visas, which allow U.S. employers to hire foreign workers in specialized occupations.

The school estimates it has lost around $15 million in net tuition revenue from the lower international student enrollment in the last two years. International students pay out-of-state tuition prices and they typically pay full price because they are not eligible for federal aid. This news organization reported last year that international students have a more than $1.1 billion impact in Ohio alone.

In June, Wright State trustees approved more than $30.8 million in budget cuts to correct years of overspending at the university that began in 2012. It now appears that if international enrollment had remained steady, the recent budget cuts could have been smaller.

The visas Wright State is under investigation for are not the same as student visas and were handled by a completely different office at the university. But, the investigation may be one of several reasons for the decline in foreign students at Wright State, said Bill Holmes, new WSU vice president of international affairs.

“They are kind of timed together if you look at a graph,” Holmes said. “Of course it’s a concern because it does bring scrutiny to the university that the international office gets pulled into.”