International Student Attraction

READ LogoThe Research and Economic Analysis Division (READ) of the State Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) today released an economic report titled, “The Economic Impact of International Students in Hawaii.”

The report showed that foreign students made a direct economic impact of $205.1 million to the State for the 2014-2015 school year. “This number highlights the importance of international education to our state,” stated DBEDT Director Luis P. Salaveria. “One challenge Hawaii faces is the increasing competition in international education among U.S. institutions. Hawaii’s share of international students decreased from 1.0 percent of the U.S. total in 2005 to a mere 0.5 percent in 2013.”

In addition to the $205.1 million in direct economic output, other economic benefits of international students include:

  • $443 million in total economic impact, including direct and indirect effects.
  • 4,922 jobs were supported by foreign student spending.
  • $185 million in household earnings was attributed to foreign students.
  • $29 million in state taxes was generated from the total economic output of foreign students.

The results are based on a survey of Hawaii institutions that participate in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS includes middle and high schools, professional institutions, colleges and universities. 79 Hawaii institutions are participating in the program. The survey was conducted by the Research and Economic Analysis Division and the Business Development and Support Division of DBEDT. Responses from 35 educational institutions were received, covering 10,104 foreign students studying in Hawaii during the 2014-15 academic year.

Please fill out this form to download a copy of the Survey: