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According to Open Doors, an annual publication focusing on the analysis of international students in the U.S., the total enrollment of college students (Americans included) was 20,300,000 during 2014-2015.   Compared with that number in 2013-2014, the figure was down almost 1 million students.   However,  international student enrollment continues to grow.

During 2014-2015, there were over 970,000 international students in the USA. This is a record high number.   It is a 10% growth over the prior year.   You may wonder where most international students study in the U.S.    Below we have combined the data from the Open Doors and U.S. News & World Report.   We found that although data from both sources  differ somewhat, they essentially reach the same conclusion.


The Open Doors’s data show the schools with their international student numbers as follows:

  • New York University (New York, NY) – over 13,000 (international students)
  • University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)- over 12,000
  • Columbia University (New York, NY)-over 11,000
  • Arizona State University (Temple, AZ)-over 11,000
  • University of Illinois – Urbana -Champaign (Champaign, IL)-over 11,000
  • Northeastern University (Boston, MA)-over 10,000
  • Purdue University -West Lafayette (West Lafayette, IN)-over 10,000
  • University of California-Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)-over 10,000
  • Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)-over 8,100
  • University of Washington (Seattle, WA)-over 8,000
  • Boston University (Boston, WA)-over 7,800

According to U.S. News & World Report, the following schools more than 19% of  their student body is comprised of  foreign nationals.

  • Florida Institute of Technology (Melbourne, FL)-33%
  • New School (New York, NY)-32%
  • Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL)-30%
  • University of Tulsa (Tulsa, OK)-27%
  • Lynn University (Boca Raton, FL) – 23%
  • Carnegie Mellon University  (Pittsburgh, PA)- 21%
  • Andrews University (Berrien Springs, MI)- 20%
  • University of California (La Jolla, CA)- San Diego
  • Boston University (Boston, MA)-19%
  • Northeastern university (Boston, MA)-19%
  • University of San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)-19%

From these two sources we conclude that international students prefer schools that are located in large metropolitans.  But because of rising tuition and living costs, new international students may consider choosing U.S. colleges that are more affordable, and are located in smaller cities or towns where the cost of living is not so high.  This is why we have gathered information on the Estimated Costs to provide you with a broader perspective for your U.S. college selection.