Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.

I want to highlight a few particularly interesting things I've read recently that didn't easily fit into their own newsletters.

Report: International student applications are up

It's very tough to have a healthy college athletic department if you don't have a healthy college.

And as a sector, higher education isn't as healthy as you might think. Even before COVID, many universities, from D-I to the NAIA, were worried about long-term enrollment trends. Thanks to declining birth rates and other demographic changes, the United States simply isn't projected to produce as many college students as it used to, which will make competition for students more intense. Many researchers are calling it a Demographic Cliff.

If you're a massive state flagship, you're probably going to be fine. Those schools are large enough and well capitalized enough to survive downturns. But for regional public schools, tuition-dependent private schools, or smaller institutions without an endowment the size of a Baltic State's GDP, the competition for students could represent an absolute crisis.

That's what makes international student recruiting so important. International students are more likely to pay full tuition, and can help fill seats when there aren't quite as many students from nearby ol' State U. But increased competition, political turmoil and COVID threatened to shut off that potential student pipeline.

But there's some good news.