Even after traveling thousands of miles to the U.S. to obtain a college degree, international students from Iran and Venezuela are still feeling the effects of U.S. sanctions on their home countries.
For Iranian students, financial trouble began to loom approximately one year ago following President Donald Trump’s decision to officially withdraw from the Iran nuclear agreement, causing the Iranian rial to drop 140 percent in value.
Coupled with the re-imposition of oil and financial sanctions in November, not only were these students’ college savings deemed virtually worthless, with approximately 42,000 rials equating to one U.S. dollar, but money transfers between U.S. and Iranian banks became nearly impossible as well, disallowing students in the U.S. from receiving money from their families.
“While tuition costs have remained the same, [Iranian students] have significantly less money, their family’s paychecks are worth less, and the exchange rate has increased, which makes it extremely difficult for them to afford tuition rates as is,” Shannon Kuehn, director of communications for The Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA), told The College Post.
Venezuelan students studying at U.S. institutions have faced similar struggles, making financing their postsecondary degrees incredibly challenging.