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September 11, 2004

They’re (Not) Coming To America

FROM MORE STRINGENT IMMIGRATION SCRUTINY IN THE WAKE OF 9-11 have come considerable changes in graduate applications and admissions at American universities.

The report, from the Council of Graduate Schools, revealed that the number of foreign students granted admission to American graduate schools dropped by 18% from 2003 to 2004.

This continues a steady downward trend in graduate admissions since the 9-11 attacks.

Among the findings of the study:

• Admissions were down for students from China by 34%, from India by 19%, and from South Korea by 12%.

• By field, admissions to engineering programs dropped by 24%, to life-sciences and agriculture programs by 19% and to programs in the physical and earth sciences by 17%.

• Institutions reported a 28% decline in international graduate applications from 2003 to 2004 (admits were an 18% decline).

• The ratio of applications to admits, a measure of selectivity, showed only a slight decline from 2003 to 2004.

• While international graduate applications and admissions declined, U.S. citizen and permanent resident applications remained steady and admissions declined only 5%.


A number of factors—primarily a tightening of immigration procedures since 9-11--are considered the reasons for the decline. Graduate institutions abroad have also been competing for students who are no longer so keen on pursuing higher education in America.

More later . . . .

(this 216 word excerpt—with attendant commentary—was distilled from an 8-page, 2840 word report “International Graduate Student Admissions Survey Program” by the Council of Graduate Schools, plus a 410 word article in The Chronicle of Higher Education of 9-10-04)