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November 13, 2017

A national survey out today estimates colleges experienced a slight drop in new international students this year.

The report from the Institute of International Education surveyed more than five hundred colleges and found the the overall number of new international students went down by seven percent.

In New England, though, schools saw a two percent rise.

According to the report, U.S. colleges and universities hosted more than one million international students for the second consecutive year in 2016-17, reaching a record of 1.08 million. It was also the eleventh straight year of growth in the number of international students.

The rub is in the number of international students who were enrolled as first-time students in the U.S. That number dropped by approximately 10,000 students from the previous year, a three percent decrease. It's the first time the Institute of International Education's Open Doors project has reported a decline in the 12 years its covered new enrollments.

Nationwide, that's translated to 45 percent of colleges enrolling fewer new international students, while 31 percent have enrolled more.

There's a number of factors the report states have lead to this decrease. For example, students from Saudi Arabia and Brazil, which saw the largest drop in students coming to the U.S., had large government scholarship programs scaled back in their home countries.

Additionally, there's suspicions that U.S. politics have come into play. After the Trump administration proposed a travel ban for people from certain countries, many administrators feared international students would be scared off from enrolling in American institutions.

Related: Travel Ban's 'Chilling Effect' Could Cost Universities Hundreds Of Millions

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