Popular US Institutions Saw 34% Increase in International Applications Since 2019-20


Subhashri Roy
Updated on Apr 11, 2022 01:14 PM IST

Recent statistics published by Common Application show that the international applications have increased at popular US universities primarily due to test-optional admissions and easing of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Popular US Institutions Saw 34% Increase in International Applications Since 2019-20

Latest Update (April 11, 2022): The relaxation of Covid-relatedtravel restrictions and test-optional admissions have ledtotopUSA universitiesrecording arise in the number of international applications overthe past two years.

Also Read:QS World University Subject Rankings 2022: Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard Top the List

According to reports from Common Application, an online platform for US schools, there has been a 34% increase in the number of international applicants from 2020, whereas, there has been agrowth of only 12% in the case ofUS applicants.

The country has a huge market for students and wants to reach out to students across the globe who might wish to pursue their education in the USA. The Covid-19 pandemic derailed the enrollment plans of the students in 2020 and 2021. However, the recent statistics show that the international applications have increased by 11% at Indiana University, 17% at the University of California, 71% at Dartmouth College and 99% at Yale University.

The applications at Yale reached 50,000 in 2022 which is an increase of 42% from 2020 although the admission rate has reduced from 6.5% to 4.5%. Yale is one of those universities that accept applications irrespective of financial need and it will not take admissions based on SAT and ACT scores for the next session. The students were encouraged to apply to Yale because of these reasons.

In 2021, 1,22,000 students took the SAT exam which is lower than the previous year by 23%. This fall has been attributed to students being bothered about health, travel and finances besides test accessibility.

The surge in the number of applications can also be due to the pending demands of the last couple of years when students were unable to apply for admissions. Students from China, India, Canada, Pakistan and Nigeria form a major chunk of these applicants.

As the devastating effects of the pandemic decrease, the infrastructure to enrol international students in the USA is getting better.

Also Read:Global Job Prospects Attract Indian Students to Study Abroad, Data Shows

The University of California at Los Angeles saw an increase of 30% in freshman admission in 2022 from 2020. At New York University, one-fourth of the 27,000 undergraduates are international students.New York University has intensified its virtual recruiting during the pandemic that helping them to reach a diverse population. The waiving off of SAT and ACT scores has helped students to apply to universities more easily than before.

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Source: The Washington Post


(March 30,2021):Institutions in the US with pre-existing global reputations saw an increase in international student applications in 2020-21, a year-on-year report by BridgeU found after analysing around 120,000 applications from 120 countries.

The paper also highlighted that the number of applications per student has increased although the total number of overall applications to US institutions fell in the 2020-21 academic year.

International students are applying earlier but are not going for deadlines such as Early Decision or Restrictive Early Action. Both of them saw a significant decline, the report held.

According to the analysis, priority deadlines saw a whopping uptick of 238% and early action applications increased by 6.2%.

Although private and large public universities in the US saw an increase in the number of international student applications, the data suggests a different picture of applications received by less selective institutions across the country - particularly in the Midwest, Northwest and Mid-Atlantic.

Universities in Michigan, Virginia and North Carolina saw the highest jumps in applications, the report added.

In addition, international student enrollment is considered more important now than ever because of a continuing overall drop in domestic high school enrollment. International higher education enrollments in institutions in the US also fell by 43%.

A report published by ICE found that US schools witnessed a 72% drop in international student enrollment in 2020 as compared to 2019. The Northeast, one of the early epicentres of Covid-19 also saw a 19.4% decline and became the region with the highest international student enrollment decline from 2019 to 2020.

Also Read: US Witnessed 18% Decline in Foreign Student Enrolments in 2020

Common App data pointed out that universities such as Harvard saw a 42% increase in applications last year whereas public universities including the University of Virginia experienced a 15% increase.

The BridgeU further found that international students submitted more applications to QS Top 50 Universities, leading to them witnessing a 4% increase in enrollment.

The 2020-21 academic year also recorded a similarity in international and domestic student applications in many key aspects. Like their domestic counterparts, international students have also become more ambitious with their applications.

Also Read: Biden Administration Improves Intl Students' Perception of the US: Survey

The report further suggested that US institutions may now be enjoying a Brexit bounce as Europe was the only prime region to see a year-on-year increase in international applications. While it saw a 4.2% increase in BridgeU applications, Asia witnessed a decline of 13%, Americas of 10.2%, Africa of 3.4% and the Middle East of 1.2%.

The report concluded by pointing out that 2021 may start a new trend in international admissions. However, it is currently still unclear.

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