US experiences slower overseas graduate application growth in 2013

AUTHOR: Maria Clara Tamayo
DATE: 10/07/2014

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) is reporting that the number of applications from prospective international students to U.S. graduate schools increased a mere 1% in 2013, following a 9% gain in 2012 and an 11% increase in 2011.

The initial snapshot of international graduate applications for fall 2013 marked the smallest growth in applications over the past eight years. This reduced growth in overall international applications was primarily the result of the five percent decline in applications from China, the source country of 29% of international graduate students at United States institutions. Chinese applicant declines were offset by a 20% increase in applications from India, which accounts for 20% of all international graduate students at U.S. institutions.

Applications from Brazil, having increased by 9% in 2012, grew markedly this year, by 24%. Applications in 2013 also increased from Africa (6%), which saw a 3% decline last year, and the Middle East (2%), whose increase follows a more substantial jump of 11% last year. 

"The overall slowed growth in international applications merits serious attention from policymakers as well as Universities," said CGS President Debra W. Stewart. "While the large increases in applications from India and Brazil are encouraging, the decrease in Chinese applicants needs attention. As a country, we simply can't afford to maintain obstacles to international graduate study, especially as other countries are decreasing these barriers for highly qualified students."

Source: Council of Graduate School