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Home > News & Events > Press Releases > 2009 > International students add $86 million to local economy

Press Releases

International students add $86 million to local economy

November 30, 2009

Foreign students and their dependents make a significant economic impact on the local area according to a recent study from NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

During the 2008-2009 academic year, Northern Virginia Community College enrolled 1,663 international students who contributed $38.2 million to the local economy. NOVA’s international student count was the fourth largest in Virginia.

George Mason University enrolled the second largest group of international students with 2,158 students adding $48.1 million to the local economy. Together, the economic impact from international students at NOVA and George Mason was more than $86 million.

Virginia Tech had the largest number of international students in the state with 2,522 students who contributed almost $37 million to the economy. The University of Virginia was third, with 1,929 international students making an economic impact of $47.5 million.

Foreign students and their dependents brought approximately $17.6 billion to the United States to support their education during the 2008-2009 academic year. In Virginia alone, the economic impact was almost $338 million. The figures include tuition, fees and living expenses, adjusted for support received. The full report, “The Economic Benefits of International Education to the United States,” is available at

NAFSA is the world’s largest nonprofit professional association dedicated to international education.

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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 60,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site,