After three years of declining international student enrollment, the United States experienced a slight increase in new international enrollment from 2005-2006. According to a multi-year research report conducted by the Council of Graduate Schools, the United States has experienced a 12 percent increase in the number of applications from and offers of admission to international graduate school candidates in 2006.
International student enrollment began declining following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks by foreign nationals (several of the terrorists were in the US on student visas), which forced Congress to make changes in visa and immigration policies that subsequently affected graduate student visa applications adversely. Ellen Cohen, an associate director of the International Students and Scholars Office at Columbia University, stated that for a number of years after 2001, "there were terrible visa problems."
A separate report released by the Institute of International Education in conjunction with the US Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs also indicates that international student enrollment increased in 2006.
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