Virtually all the international students who graduated from business school this year and landed jobs with investment banks had their offers reneged when Congress said institutions that took bail-out money couldn't hire foreign nationals.
A good thing for U.S. students? Not necessarily, says Maury Hanigan, an MBA recruitment specialist and president of MBA Scouting Report in New York. Yes, it's easier to get accepted when fewer students are applying, and you're less likely to be frustrated by study group members with limited language skills. However, you'll lose out by not having a global network and the diverse perspective international students create.
"There can be big swings in classmates, curriculum and the networks you build," says Hanigan. "And the job market will reflect itself the composition of your network. You could end up in a school with no internationals or 45 percent internationals."
The Wall Street Journal argues H-1B visa holders aren't really a big factor on Wall Street anyway:
In fact, H-1B visa holders have been a negligible percentage of financial industry hires in recent years. In 2007, for instance, Citigroup hired 185 H-1B workers, which represented .04% of its 387,000 employees. Bank of America hired 66 H-1B workers, which represented .03% of its 210,000 employees.
That said, finance may be only the first industry where the federal government seeks to limit immigrant workers. The two senators who created the TARP restrictions, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), have now introduced legislation that would force all U.S. employers to first try to hire a U.S. worker before bringing on an H-1B visa holder.
If you're shopping for an MBA program, the proportion of international students remains an interesting difference to consider when comparing schools.