By Morgan Moore, October 12, 2021.
International student enrollment at Ole Miss saw an increase in Fall 2021-2022 after a decline during the 2020-21 school year.
The decline was not as drastic as at some other universities across the country, according to Donna Chappell, Administrative Coordinator for the Office of International Programs at the University of Mississippi.
“Yes, we did experience a decline in overall international enrollment,” said Chappell via email. “However, the enrollment numbers did rebound in the fall term of 2021.”
For the 2018-2019 academic year the University of Mississippi had 766 non-immigrant students. In the 2019-2020 academic year the university had 609 non-immigrant enrolled students. For the 2020-2021 there was approximately 632 non-immigrant students enrolled.
According to Open Doors, a Department of State- sponsored organization that tracks data about international students in the U.S., the total number of international students at higher education institutions in the United States, including those enrolled in online courses, decreased by 16% in the Fall of 2020. While enrollment of new international students in the U.S. and studying online outside of the U.S. decreased by 43% in the fall of 2020.
Nearly 90% of institutions reported international student deferrals in the fall of 2020. Responding institutions indicate that nearly 40,000 students have deferred enrollment to a future term.
According to Chappell, the enrollment information provided applies to non-immigrant enrolled students only. Non-immigrant students are students who are issued a non-immigrant student visa, meaning the student has a permanent residence outside the United States but wants to be in the U.S. on a temporary basis. Immigrant Students are in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.
The total number of immigrants and non-immigrant international students serviced who were enrolled at the University of Mississippi for the fall of 2019 was 980, according to the Office of International Programs. The numbers for the total of immigrant and non-immigrant international students serviced who attended Ole Miss during the 2020, but the total number of international students serviced at Ole Miss for the fall of 2021 is currently 866 students.
Koichi Nishida is a sophomore from Japan studying at the University of Mississippi.
“The reason I chose Ole Miss was because of the scholarship they gave me, and I was late to apply,” said Nishida via email. “COVID was already a thing before I applied. However, in the summer of 2020, President Trump announced the U.S. would kick out international students unless they were in in-person classes. It terrified me and I thought I was not going to be able to study abroad.”
able to enroll and attend the University of Mississippi in the fall of 2020.
“I knew that coming to Ole Miss was going to be challenging and I was considering taking fully online classes from Japan,” said Nishida via email. “It would have been frustrating to do that. It was a dream of mine to come to the United States and have a fun life.”
Koichi, like other international students, had to meet several academic requirements to enroll at the University of Mississippi.
“First, I needed to take IELTS which tests my English proficiency and I needed to earn at least 6.0 out of 9.0 for overall,” said Nishida via email. “Then, I sent an application to Ole Miss with my high school transcript and the result of IELTS. Then, I needed to take ACT because I wanted to major in BS [Waiting on reply] and I needed math score of 25. I passed it and I got accepted. I got an I-20 and an F-1 visa. The hardest thing was to convince my parents to let me come, especially my dad. Through talking with them over and over, finally they allowed me to come to the US.”