Preliminary Data on International Grad Enrollments

June 7, 2016

The Council of Graduate Schools on Monday released preliminary survey data on the number of applications international students have submitted to U.S. graduate schools for the fall.

Although the total number of fall 2016 international applications recorded among the responding institutions -- 591,104 -- represents a decline from last year’s preliminary application total of 676,484, the council cautioned this may be attributable to methodological changes and a lower survey response rate. A total of 345 institutions responded to the CGS survey this year, compared to 377 the year before, and CGS also pushed up the date by which it asked institutions to provide application data by two weeks, from Feb. 15 to Feb. 1.

This is the last year CGS plans to publish preliminary data on international student applications, although it will continue to publish data on final international application and enrollment numbers. CGS plans to publish its findings on final fall 2016 international application and enrollment numbers in early 2017.

“I expect that international enrollment is going to continue to grow at a pretty robust clip, as it has in the past, thanks in part to large numbers of students from China and India, but at the same time U.S. graduate institutions really need to continue to diversify the portfolio of students who come from different countries, other than China and India,” said Jeff Allum, CGS’s assistant vice president for research and policy analysis.

The preliminary data show that applications from China and India together account for 69.5 percent of all applications for U.S. graduate schools.

CGS has published infographics and data tables based on the preliminary application survey, as well as notes about the methodology.

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