The Ivy Coach Daily

November 11, 2022

International Enrollment Figures Surge

A piece up on Inside Higher Ed focuses on the surge in international enrollment during the two years of the Biden administration.

On the eve of the Trump presidency in 2016, Ivy Coach’s crystal ball predicted that international enrollment numbers would decline significantly at most of our nation’s 900+ colleges and universities. But we also predicted that international students would continue to flock to America’s elite universities — the 25 or so highly selective institutions at the top of the annual US News & World Report rankings. Our crystal ball, of course, proved accurate with these predictions. The “America First” isolationist policies of the Trump administration coupled with the pandemic led to steep declines in international enrollment numbers, though this was not the case at America’s top institutions where international students continued to flock. But now that we’re two years into the Biden administration, where exactly do international enrollment numbers stand? Wonder no more!

As Liam Knox reports for Inside Higher Ed in a piece entitled “International Students Return to U.S.,” “International student enrollment bounced back last year after a steep pandemic-fueled decline, according to a new ’Open Doors’ report from the Institute for International Education. The total number of international students in the U.S. increased by 4 percent in the 2021–22 academic year and an additional 9 percent this fall, following a 15 percent drop in 2020–21…International graduate students saw the largest rebound, rising by 17 percent and surpassing pre-pandemic levels of growth. Last year marked the first time in a decade that international graduate students outnumbered undergraduates. The report also found that math and computer science surpassed engineering as the primary field of study for international students, with an increase of 10 percent last year.”

And we’ve got another crystal ball forecast to issue today! Over the next two years of the Biden administration, we anticipate international enrollment will continue to rise across the breadth of American universities. We believe this will particularly be the case if Affirmative Action is overturned — as we, regrettably, expect it will be overturned — since America’s elite colleges will seek to diversify their incoming classes in any way possible given their new restrictions. So do stay tuned to see if Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball strikes again!

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