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There were more than 1 million international students in the U.S. in 2016-2017, according to data from the Institute of International Education. A total of 439,019 of them were studying at the undergraduate level.
While their reasons for pursuing U.S. study are varied, international students display certain trends in what draws them to particular colleges and universities.
Other institutions are appealing because they offer hefty chunks of institutional financial aid to students from abroad to help them afford the increasing cost of U.S. higher education. This is important because most international students are not eligible for federal financial aid.
Students from abroad may also be drawn to schools that already have sizable international student populations because of the additional social support such peers can offer.
Among the 295 ranked National Universities that reported their percentages of international students to U.S. News in an annual survey, the 10 with the highest figures are private. National Universities are schools that offer a wide range of undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees.
International students made up 6.2 percent of the undergraduate student body, on average, among all the schools that reported these data.
The Florida Institute of Technology had the highest percentage of international undergrads – 32.9 – while St. John Fisher College in New York had the lowest at 0.1 percent.
Below is a list of the 10 National Universities with the highest percentages of undergraduate international students during the 2016-2017 school year. Unranked schools, which did not meet certain criteria required by U.S. News to be numerically ranked, were not considered for this report.
|School (state)||Percentage of international students||Total undergraduate enrollment||U.S. News rank|
|Florida Institute of Technology||32.9||3,629||151 (tie)|
|New School (NY)||32.3||7,014||133 (tie)|
|University of Tulsa (OK)||23.9||3,406||87 (tie)|
|Carnegie Mellon University (PA)||22.7||6,673||25 (tie)|
|Suffolk University (MA)||22.4||5,290||181 (tie)|
|Boston University||21.9||17,944||37 (tie)|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||21.5||2,944||103 (tie)|
|University of Rochester (NY)||20.8||6,386||34 (tie)|
|Brandeis University (MA)||20.6||3,608||34 (tie)|
|Northeastern University (MA)||19.9||13,473||40 (tie)|
Don’t see your school in the top 10? Access the U.S. News College Compass to find international student enrollment data, complete rankings and much more. Sign up for the U.S. News Extra Help: College Admissions free email newsletter to receive expert advice twice a month.
U.S. News surveyed more than 1,800 colleges and universities for our 2017 survey of undergraduate programs. Schools self-reported myriad data regarding their academic programs and the makeup of their student body, among other areas, making U.S. News’ data the most accurate and detailed collection of college facts and figures of its kind. While U.S. News uses much of this survey data to rank schools for our annual Best Colleges rankings, the data can also be useful when examined on a smaller scale. U.S. News will now produce lists of data, separate from the overall rankings, meant to provide students and parents a means to find which schools excel, or have room to grow, in specific areas that are important to them. While the data come from the schools themselves, these lists are not related to, and have no influence over, U.S. News’ rankings of Best Colleges, Best Graduate Schools or Best Online Programs. The international student enrollment data above are correct as of Feb. 6, 2018.