The Crucial Role of International School Graduates in Sustaining and Enriching U.S. Undergraduate Higher Education
The key focus of this report is to show how strong interest from international school graduates in key global markets, combined with a focused recruitment and marketing strategy, can mitigate the much-discussed enrollment cliff that is predicted to reduce undergraduate enrollment by 15 percent from 2025 to 2029.
We’ve analyzed data from 250,000 applications across 142 countries, examining the latest market trends on international students’ applications to US higher-ed institutions.
- The US is seeing resurgent interest from China and new regional opportunities. Applications to the US from China have increased by 6.2% from 2022 to 2023, and more than 50% of international school students in Southeast Asia are interested in applying to a U.S. university.
- Conversion matters. Active consideration of U.S. universities by European students rose from 22.5% in 2019 to 33.8% in 2023, but actual applications have not increased significantly.
- Targeted growth by institution type. Over the past five years, public universities saw year-over-year application growth from international school graduates – but the largest percentage growth in interest and applications over that same period was seen by small liberal arts colleges.
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