How Admissions Rates for International Students Compare

We were lamenting just last week that it’s difficult to find statistics on acceptance rates for international applicants at American universities, and the New York Times must have heard our cries.  This week they published international admissions statistics for 8 U.S. universities.  You can take a look at the numbers on their India Ink blog.

We thought it would be interesting to see how those numbers compare to the overall admissions rate – do international students have a better or worse chance of admission than the average American student?  We had to back up a year, to 2011 admissions, in order to get good data, but here’s what we found:

University 2011 int’l student acceptance rate 2011 total acceptance rate Public/Private
Georgia Institute of Technology 24.63% 51% public
Michigan State 71.41% 73% public
Ohio State 40.65% 63% public
Penn State 32.52% 55% public
Purdue 60.35% 68% public
Texas A&M 27.20% 63% public
U. of Minnesota, Twin Cities 30.29% 47% public
U. of Southern California 27.94% 23% private

2012 International Admissions (New York Times)
Freshman Application – Georgia Institute of Technology
College Navigator (U.S. Department of Education)

One important thing to note when looking at the disparity in international and overall admissions rates at those schools: almost all of them are public schools.  At most public schools, the acceptance rate for in-state students is noticeably higher than that for out-of-state students.  

For example, in 2011 the University of California accepted 70% of in-state applicants compared to 60% of out-of-state students (and 64% of international students), according to a CBS report.  This was apparently a scandalously high admissions rate for out-of-state students compared to previous rates of 73% in-state, 44% out-of-state, and 44% international in 2009.

The University of Southern California has more international students than any other U.S. university, so it might not be the best poster child for private university international admissions rates, but take a look at how much closer the acceptance rates are for that school than for the public schools.

We’ll keep updating this list if/when we find information from more universities.

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