In case you haven’t heard about it, America elected a new President recently. (Yeah, we suspect you heard about it. 🙂 )
This incoming President has said some things about certain American policies, such as immigration. The gist of it is, he’s not a fan of it. He says America should close its borders. He has plans to deport many millions of immigrants who are in the country illegally.
If you’re an international applicant to business school who has pinned his dreams on coming to the U.S. for his MBA, should you be concerned? Is a Trump administration going to affect your chances of getting in?
Short answer: Probably not.
More truthful answer: Nobody knows.
There are soooooo many variables at play here, the biggest one being that the United States may change its policy about granting visas for international students to come study here. As it’s been for some time, it’s not too difficult to get a visa once you’ve been admitted to a top school. There’s a lot of paperwork, and you have to prove you’re financially equipped to support yourself for the time you’ll be here studying, but we’ve only very rarely heard of anyone being fully denied by the embassy officers when they’ve applied for the standard F-1 nonimmigrant student visa .
Some obvious questions:
- If you’re a Round 1 applicant, will this affect your chances of getting in? Answer: Very doubtful. EssaySnark hasn’t spoken to many admissions folks but we’re getting the sense that they’re proceeding with the round as they already had it planned. International and domestic candidates who are already being interviewed will be evaluated as usual, and they’re hoping to admit the same numbers of both as they normally would have.
- If you’re a Round 2 applicant, does it affect you? Answer: Possibly, yes. The new President will be inaugurated in January and has pledged to make immigration a top priority in the first 100 days in office. Some admissions committees may take a defensive approach and admit fewer applicants from abroad in Round 2 in order to be sure they’ll be able to fill their classes.
- Will the schools receive fewer applications from international students in Round 2 because of the uncertainty? Answer: Probably, but not likely a huge drop, given how much interest there’s been lately and how much international app volume has been increasing. Many UK business schools had an increase in no-shows this Fall , where candidates who’d been accepted before Brexit and had indicated they would be attending never came to campus. So yeah, it does affect things.
- Will international students who are already here be affected? Yes, quite probably; American companies are likely to be very nervous in the near term about hiring any employee that does not already have employment authorization. Getting a work visa has suddenly become even more complicated. We feel bad for international students in the Class of 2017. We’ll hear soon enough if companies start rescinding offers.
Nobody has a clue right now what is going to happen when the new President comes into office. His campaign promises were to remake the country, yet he’s never laid out actual policies to accomplish any of the radical things he’s vowed to do. Will he – can he – build a wall? Highly unlikely. It’s just too expensive. Who’s going to pay for it? Will he – can he – change immigration policy? Yes, but what that will look like in practice, nobody knows yet. Will he – can he – specifically stop entry of foreigners from certain countries coming into the U.S.? Maybe. After all, America has done some awful things in the past, like rounding up the Japanese into internment camps during WWII – and according to wikipedia, 62% of those were U.S. citizens . Apparently that was legal and socially acceptable at the time? So apparently our government can do absolutely sh!tty things to people. Legally. Will that type of racism be condoned in the 21st century?
We will leave that for all of you to ponder.
Foreign students bring a lot of money into the American economy, and a lot of intellectual power, too (which, BTW, is a good thing, not a bad one). There are enough more rationally-minded Republicans who are also in power in the American government that presumably logic and intelligence will prevail on these important policies – but EssaySnark just does not know. And neither does anyone else right now.
What if you’re an international applicant to business school who has pinned her dreams on coming to the U.S. for her MBA?
What if you’re a woman who wears the hijab? Or a Sikh man and you wear a turban?
What if you’re LGBTQ, male or female?
What if you’re Hispanic?
What if you’re Muslim? What if you come from a country that has a high number of Muslims?
What if you simply have a strong accent?
Will you want to go to school in a place where a man threatened to set a woman’s hijab on fire if she didn’t take it off? (University of Michigan, November 11, 2016 )
Pretty much every city and county where a major university is located voted against Trump. This election broke down largely among class lines (education and income – and race too, obviously, with the majority of Trump supporters being white). Even Durham County in North Carolina, where Duke and UNC are located, voted almost 78% for Hillary Clinton , when the entire state went for Trump . If you’re coming to the U.S. to gain an education, then you’re likely going to be living in a city, and most of the cities did not vote to elect this man. That’s not to say that there’s no prejudice or hatred in the city; far from it. However, you won’t be completely on your own, either, if you do not agree with his policies. Despite what the 2016 electoral map showing mostly red states implies, not all of America has turned pro Trump.
America is not perfect. EssaySnark does not know how America will be changing in the coming years; nobody does. Is EssaySnark happy that America has elected a racist, sexist, homophobic, hypocritical, xenophobic, misogynist, tax-dodging hate-filled buffoon who doesn’t like to read to highest office? No. Does EssaySnark respect the system that elected him? Yes. Will this change in politics affect the outcomes for our Brave Supplicant clients who are hoping to come to the U.S. for an education and new opportunity? We don’t know.
UPDATE: This topic continued here.
UPDATE #2: The Financial Times covered this subject on 11/21/2016: Entrepreneurial MBA students struggle against immigration curbs
UPDATE #3: Daily newspaper in Silicon Valley writes about tech’s foreign workers and entrepreneurs worrying about changing immigration policies under new President (12/02/2016) and yet another one: H-1B visa program faces uncertain future in Trump era (01/23/2017)