There was an excellent piece recently in “The Washington Post” by Nick Anderson entitled “Surge in foreign students may be crowding Americans out of elite colleges” that we figured we’d share. As the title implies, with the exception of right after the 9/11 attacks, the number of students from countries outside the United States applying to American colleges has been steadily climbing or, well, surging. This is particularly the case within the Ivy League.
At Yale University, international students accounted for 11% of the incoming class in 2014. And, as Anderson writes, “As Yale’s undergraduate enrollment has edged upward since 2004, foreigners have accounted for almost all of the growth, reflecting a deliberate strategy to deepen Yale’s engagement with the world.” Within the ten years between 2004 and 2014, the percentage of international students at Brown University just about doubled to 12%. And at Columbia, it surged to 15% of the incoming class. As Anderson writes, “The only Ivy League schools with single-digit international shares in 2014 were Dartmouth College (8 percent) and Cornell University (9 percent).” Interesting indeed.
Some folks have written in with Comments to our posts on the surge of international applicants to highly selective American universities over the years. These Comments have often been critical of our universities for admitting so many international applicants, students who will take up slots that American students would have otherwise filled. And we hear the concerns of these folks. But here’s what we have to say back: our American young people are better off to attend universities with fellow students who hail from around the world. That global perspective, that diversity is integral to their education. Oh, and for all of those American students seeking financial aid at America’s highly selective universities…who do you think is paying for your college education? International applicants contribute in a major way to the revenue stream of these very institutions. As Marie Antoinette once so famously said…”You can’t have your cake and eat it too.” Oh wait, she just said, “Let them eat cake.” Whatever. Close enough.
In an article in today’s Yale Daily News, “Admissions promotes Yale abroad” international students at Yale hailing from Asia outnumber the international students hailing from Europe, Africa, and Australia combined. In terms of countries, the biggest number of international students at Yale come from Canada, followed closely by China, India, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Turkey, Pakistan, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Greece, and Kenya.
As per the article, “Even countries that used to have the reputation for not being interested in studying abroad have really opened up recently,” said Jean Lee, co-director of international admissions. “It shifts and changes. Culturally the idea of staying home is stronger in some countries than others.” “Lee said international students often do not want to apply to Yale, or any college in the United States, because in their home countries, students have to begin career training at the undergraduate level in order to become a professional. Because the idea of a liberal arts education is unfamiliar, diverging from traditional paths can seem daunting to these students, she added.”
We’ll have to wait and see how these numbers are impacted by Yale’s incoming Class of 2015.
Check out the “Yale Daily News” article here.
And check out related blog posts: Ivy League international applicants for the class of 2015 and international applicants to Brown University.
This year, 14% of admitted students to Brown University hail from outside of the United States. According to “The Brown Daily Herald,” topping the list of countries from which its admitted students reside are China (57), India (34), and the United Kingdom (33). Said Brown University Dean of Admission Jon Miller, “India has replaced Canada as the second-most-represented country among admitted students. The University has increased recruiting efforts overseas in recent years, and the success of those initiatives is reflected in these numbers.”
We’ll be reporting on international student admission figures to top U.S. universities in the coming days so stay tuned.
So far, below is the current breakdown of the percentage of admitted students hailing from outside of the United States to six of the eight member colleges that comprise the Ivy League:
Brown University: 14%
Columbia University: 16%
Dartmouth College: 7%
Harvard University: 10%
University of Pennsylvania: 11%
Princeton University: 10.3%
The additional figures from the remaining Ivy League colleges are forthcoming.
A joint study by Rutgers University, Pennsylvania State University, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences has found that the vast majority of students from India who pursue their university education in the United States choose to return to India upon the completion of their schooling. Writes S. Rajagopalan in Express Buzz, “Nearly 74 percent of the respondents plan to return to India eventually or had already done so, with most (53 percent of the whole sample) preferring to get a few years of work experience in the US prior to returning, the study noted. About 16 per cent said they were looking to find the best job, regardless of the location.”
It should be noted that this study’s sample of 1,000 respondents is only a small portion of the over 100,000 students from India studying in America’s graduate degree programs. And while President Obama may feel that “it makes no sense” to educate and train our potential competitors, we at Ivy Coach believe that it is the responsibility of America, home of the finest educational institutions in the world, to educate people from all nations.
Said President Obama in his 2011 State of the Union address, “Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens…[Some] come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.” We strongly disagree. To educate the citizens of the world, to provide them with the finest education available, is to make the world a better place, a less divided place. Ivy Coach works with students in India to gain admission to the American universities of their dreams.
Brown University is making attempts to increase the support available to international students who enroll at the university. It’s often difficult for students from other parts of the world to adjust to daily life at an American university and thus Brown is undertaking initiatives to improve the available support during the transition to college, during college, and after college.
The students who are championing the initiatives to increase international student support proposed that international students be offered city tours, be assisted with setting up bank accounts and getting cell phones. During the college years of the international students, it was proposed that a language exchange program be established in which native English speakers are paired with international students so that they can both help each other learn the nuances of their respective languages. After graduation, the initiative would help in reaching out to alums around the world in the hope of increasing job finding support globally.
Check out the full article in “The Brown Daily Herald.”