Immigrant-Origin Students

Last Updated 05/01/2024

Refer to individuals who are either immigrants themselves or born in the United States to immigrant parents. This category encompasses a diverse group of students with varying backgrounds, including first-generation immigrants (born abroad who immigrated to the U.S. to live); and second-generation immigrants (U.S.-born individuals with at least one immigrant parent.) The vast majority of immigrant-origin students are U.S. citizens. As of 2018, 68% were citizens by birth and another 16% were citizens by naturalization.

Immigrant-origin students comprise a significant portion of the U.S. student population. In recent years, first- and second-generation immigrant students have estimated to account for 20% to over 30% of college enrollments (in 2021, 5.6 million students, or 31%).  Immigrant-origin students drove 80% of the growth in U.S. higher education enrollments between 2000 and 2021.

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