Luther College international students contributed more than $8 million to economy
DECORAH, IOWA—A new study from the NAFSA: Association of International Educators shows that Luther College international students contributed $8.2 million to the U.S. economy by supporting 32 jobs during the 2022-23 academic year. Luther also ranked top four in the state of Iowa.
“I know the Luther and Decorah communities are more vibrant, more engaged, more diverse, more connected and more globally aware as a result of the 185 international students from 62 countries who currently live and study with us,” said Jon Lund, director of international admissions at Luther. “I frequently hear from faculty and staff on campus and members of the Decorah community how pleased they are that our international students decided to call this place home for four years.”
Luther ranked fourth for the state for economic impact of its international students, following only Iowa State University, University of Iowa and Grinnell College.
Each year, NAFSA conducts a study on the economic impact of international students. The 2022-23 study found that more than one million international students across the country contributed more than $40 billion to the U.S. economy through more than 360,000 jobs.
International students bring key cultural and academic contributions to Luther and the Decorah community as well.
“Luther’s new strategic framework outlines that the college is ‘grounded and global’ in its approach. This highlights how Luther welcomes international students who are grounded in the Decorah community,” said Karen Hunt, vice president for enrollment management at Luther. “International students both benefit from and contribute to Luther’s distinct and transformative education.”
The study found that for every three international students in the U.S., one job is created or supported. Data also shows that international students’ financial contributions rose almost 10 percent compared to the previous year. In Iowa alone, international students contributed more than $250 million and directly created 765 jobs.
“International students support the local economy and add vibrancy of culture to the community. They cultivate direct and substantial connections between dozens of countries and Decorah. There is not a more authentic way to share Decorah than to have the daily experience told to friends and family abroad,” said Jessica Rilling, executive director for the Decorah Area Chamber of Commerce. “Decorah is pleased to welcome students from around the world and appreciates all the ways that they shape the collective narrative of this place.”
About Luther College
At Luther College in beautiful Decorah, Iowa, students explore big questions and take action to benefit people, communities and society. Our academic programs, experiential approach to learning and welcoming community inspire students to learn actively, live purposefully and lead courageously for a lifetime of impact. Learn more at luther.edu.