Number of International Students in the US Poised to Rebound

November 14th, 2006 by IEFA

Each year, the Institute of International Education (IIE) publishes the “Open Doors” report on the number of international students in the US, together with detailed demographic information on the international student population. The 2006 Open Doors report was released this week, showing that the overall number of international students in the US has held steady from last year, at about 565,000. However, the number of new enrollments grew by 8%, from about 132,000 to about 143,000, indicating that the number of international students in the US is poised to return to the historic norm of steady year over year growth.

Open Doors 2006 shows an increase in the number of international students that rely primarily on personal and family funds to pay for their US education, from 61.8% to 63.4% of international students. Although it is still difficult to pay for a US education, funds from international student loans are included in that category, making the number a little bit deceiving.

There are also a lot of scholarship recipients in the US international student population — 25.9% of international students list their US college or university as their primary source of funds. You can find lots of these scholarships listed at

A few snapshots from Open Doors 2006:

US Schools With the Most International Students

University of South California 6,881
Columbia University 5,575
Purdue University 5,540
New York University 5,502
University of Texas – Austin 5,395

Leading Countries of Origin

India 76,503
China 62,582
Korea 58,847
Japan 38,712
Canada 28,202

US States with the Most International Students

California 75,385
New York 64,283
Texas 46,869
Massachusetts 28,007
Florida 26,058

Most Popular Fields of Study For International Students

Business and Management 18%
Engineering 16%
Physical and Life Sciences 9%
Social Sciences 8%
Mathematics and Computer Sciences 8%

Click here to see more details on the Open Doors 2006 report

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