Office of Planning and Budgeting

International Graduate Applications Plateau After Three Years of Near-10% Increases

For the first time since “9/11”, the number of Chinese students applying to American graduate programs has declined significantly. According to a Council of Graduate Schools report released today, the number of graduate applications from China is down 5 percent this year, after having risen by 19, 21 and 20 percent in the previous three years.

The drop in graduate applications from China was offset by increases from India and Brazil, resulting in an overall increase of 1 percent in international student applications. However, this figure remains concerning: international graduate applications had increased by 9, 11 and 9 percent in the previous three years.

This news comes as the Washington State Senate contemplates imposing a 20% surcharge on tuition paid by international students to fund higher education in the state. The UW has already warned the such a surcharge would drive away top talent, reduce positive externalities associated with diversity, and generally make the UW less competitive compared to its peers. Today’s report merely strengthens the argument: even without the surcharge, the UW will be competing for a shrinking pool of top international talent.

To follow developments regarding the surcharge proposal (SB 5893), visit BillTracker.

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