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Photo: Stephane De Sakutin/AFP/Getty

Applications from Indian national students to American graduate programs fell 12% from 2017 to 2018, leading to an overall decline in international enrollment in U.S. universities, according to a new study from the Council of Graduate Schools.

The big picture: India is one of the biggest sources of foreign students in American universities, where international enrollment has fallen for two consecutive years. "While two data points is not a trend, we're troubled that there's a decrease for the first time ever," says Suzanne Ortega, head of the Council of Graduate Schools.

The drop in Indian applications is likely due to a combination of factors including the weakening Indian rupee, the increasing quality of Indian graduate programs and the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment in the U.S., Hironao Okahana, a co-author of the report, tells Axios.

  • Applications from China, the other major source of international students, held steady.

The bottom line: International students who pay full tuition support graduate education at U.S. institutions, allowing the universities to offer discounted or free schooling to domestic students. That the flow of foreigners to American universities is starting to thin spells trouble for the business model.

Some good news: The share of students coming to U.S. universities from some of the least developed countries in the world — largely in sub-Saharan Africa — is on the rise, the study found.

Go deeper

3 mins ago - World

Abbas announces first Palestinian elections in 15 years

Abbas is 85 and in the 15th year of a 4-year term. Abbas Momani/AFP via Getty

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas published a decree on Friday announcing the dates for parliamentary and presidential elections in the Palestinian Authority.

Why it matters: This is the first time in 15 years that such a decree has been published. The last presidential elections took place in 2005, with Abbas winning, and the last parliamentary elections took place in 2006, with Hamas winning.

Updated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — America has tuned out the coronavirus at the peak of its destruction — 1 in 3 people in L.A. County believed to have been infected with coronavirus.
  2. Politics: Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan— Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat — Joe Biden will seek nearly $2 trillion in COVID relief spending.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.