International Student Enrollment Recovers

As the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, international students are returning to America’s colleges. At America’s most elite colleges, they never left (photo credit: Namkota).

On the eve of the Trump presidency in 2016, we forecasted that the overall number of international students at America’s 900+ universities would decline. But we also forecasted that the number of international students at America’s highly selective universities — a small percentage of the 900+ universities in America — would not decline because in spite of America first policies under the new administration, the world’s citizens would still clamor to attend the greatest universities. In spite of not foreseeing a worldwide pandemic, these predictions of ours indeed proved true: international students at most universities across America declined during the Trump years, with exception to America’s elite universities. But the times, well, they are a-chanin’.

As Elizabeth Redden reports for Inside Higher Ed entitled “International Enrollments Begin to Recover,” “The number of international students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities has begun to rebound following a precipitous pandemic-related drop in international enrollments last fall, according to new data being released today. The number of new international students increased by 68 percent this fall over last fall, and the number of total international students grew by 4 percent across more than 860 U.S. higher education institutions that responded to a ‘snapshot’ survey on fall international enrollments conducted by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and nine other higher education associations. The increases this fall follow a 46 percent drop in new international students, and a 15 percent drop in total international students, in academic year 2020–21 compared to the year before. Those numbers come from the newly released Open Doors census of international enrollments, conducted annually by IIE with funding from the U.S. Department of State.”

And since international students are on the rise at the vast majority of America’s universities, you can bet they’ll be up even bigger this coming admissions cycle at America’s most elite universities. Yes, Ivy Coach’s famously accurate crystal ball, which has been quoted on the pages of America’s oldest college newspaper, hereby forecasts a surge in international applicants to America’s top universities during the 2021-2022 admissions cycle. So stay tuned to see if our crystal ball strikes again!

 
 

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