Saudi students in U.S. universities contribute $3.2bn to U.S. economy

During 2014, Carian College Advisors is geared to guide hundreds of Saudi students to secure admission to U.S. universities

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The economic impact of the 110,000 Saudi students studying in U.S. universities and colleges is significant, as they contributed $3.2 billion to the U.S. economy during 2013-2014.

These estimates are from Carian College Advisors, an education consultancy specializing in U.S. Admissions guidance, and are based on the latest figures from the U.S. Department of Commerce.


Peter Davos, Managing Director, Carian College Advisors, said: “The number of KSA students studying in the United States has risen dramatically in recent years, positioning the Kingdom as the fastest growing source of foreign students in the U.S. Saudis now constitute the fourth largest foreign student population in America, having increased from only 4,000 just a decade ago.”

The latest Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs reveals that the total number of international students studying in U.S. colleges and universities reached a record high of 819,644 students during the 2012/2013 academic year.

The global report says that the economic contribution of the 819,644 international students in U.S. universities and colleges and their families was remarkable, as they supported 313,000 jobs and contributed $24 billion to the U.S. economy.

“This represents a 6.2 percent increase in job support and creation, and nearly 10 percent increase in U.S. dollars contributed to the economy from international students overall in 2013 compared with 2012,” Davos added. “Over the years, there has been a rapidly increasing rise in the number of KSA and international students joining U.S. universities, as the U.S. education system enjoys high reputation among GCC, and particularly KSA students, in general.”

During 2014, Carian College Advisors is geared to guide hundreds of Saudi students to secure admission to U.S. universities. “The majority of Saudi students need to enter foundation year programs in order to enhance their English language skills, prior to enrollment in full-time undergraduate study, but the pathways and infrastructure exists to accommodate these students. There is also considerable demand for admission to more selective institutions, particularly Engineering programs, from more academically prepared students.”

Davos added: “There are vast opportunities for KSA students to pursue higher education in the United States. Saudi Arabia hosts a wide range of American and IB curriculum schools, all of which are familiar to U.S. Admissions officers. The Saudi government is very generous in helping KSA students to study in the U.S. and return home to hold key leadership positions in the Saudi job market. Carian has helped students secure entry to universities such as Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Johns Hopkins, Brown, and Dartmouth, but also assists students with placement in American community colleges, English language programs, and graduate programs. “We operate on the philosophy of ‘fit’ and promoting realistic expectations,” says Davos. “We help students create a balanced college list from among the United States’ 4,500 institutions of higher education and achieve their educational goals.”

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on June 4, 2014.

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