Numbers have more than halved since 2015.
The Union of Students in Ireland says changes to regulations and the cost of going to college, are two potential reasons for a drop in numbers doing J1s in the US.
It comes as new figures found over 3,500 people travelled to the US on the programme last summer, down from around 8,000 in 2015.
Since 2016, people must have a job secured from an employer in the US before they can enter the country.
USI President Lorna Fitzpatrick says the changes have made it harder for students.
She also blamed increases in the cost of third level fees and rising rents in Ireland for the declining numbers.