Reporter’s notebook


  • International student applications drop
  • Another Massachusetts college targets student debt

International student applications drop

Community colleges continue to see huge enrollment drops among international students, according to a new report from the Institute of International Education (IIE).

More than 40% of all types of U.S. colleges and universities surveyed by IIE report an increase in their international student applications for the 2021-22 academic year, almost double the increase reported by institutions a year ago. But the applications vary by institutional type. Many doctoral universities have seen application increases (59%), while a majority of community colleges reported declines (-58%).

International students who were on U.S. campuses this spring also were more likely to have in-person classes at baccalaureate colleges than associate-degree colleges, the report says. More than half of all institutions noted that most of their international students (more than 50%) attended classes in person at some point during the spring semester. However, within this group were notable differences by institutional type. For example, baccalaureate colleges were more likely to have the majority of students attending classes in person (64%), while 37% of community colleges had most students enrolled in in-person coursework.

Another Massachusetts college targets student debt

North Shore Community College (NSCC) will use $1.2 million in federal Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds (HEERF) to erase college-held debt for students whose lives have been disrupted by the pandemic.

Eligible students include were those who were enrolled in credit degree or certificate programs from March 13, 2020 through the Spring of 2021 semester. To date, the funding has assisted 503 students, with an average balance due of $1,215, prior to applying the institutional debt forgiveness. Of the students who benefitted from this assistance, 60% are students of color and 58% are female, according to the college.

Earlier this month, Quinsigamond Community College, also in Massachusetts, announced it would use more than $2.5 million of the institutional portion of the HEERF it received to erase college-held debt for students.

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.