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May 24, 2018

Lincoln Academy sees decline in international enrollment

An expected dip in international enrollment at Lincoln Academy in Newcastle tracks with similar trends seen at other private schools around Maine.

The Lincoln County News reported the expected dip in boarding enrollment next year at Lincoln Academy is in line with a trend of fewer Chinese students going to high school in America.

Interim Head of School Nancy Starmer told the newspaper the decline will result in a decrease of revenue from the boarding program, reducing the program's net income of $1.03 million at full capacity to $500,000. Lincoln Academy's boarding program has students from 20 countries. The largest single group is from China.

Factors contributing to the decline include a decline in the number of visas available for international students, trade disputes between China and the U.S. and a less welcoming climate for immigrants, Starmer said.

International student enrollment is on an overall decline in Maine. Earlier this month, Maine Public reported that extra tuition money from international student enrollment has helped some private and independent schools keep their doors open in the face of declining overall enrollment.

But after years of growth, the number of international students at Maine's secondary schools has fallen by more than 6% over the past two years. Some schools said they've lost as many as 30 international students, which could mean losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in tuition revenue.

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