Colleges With the Most International Students

Discover the top US colleges with the most international students and benefits of studying in the US as an international student.
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Updated on August 18, 2023
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International students make up a significant portion of higher education enrollment in the United States. As such, schools across the country seek to provide international students with the resources needed to effectively navigate college life.

In addition to helping international learners address requirements related to visas and social security numbers, many colleges with students from abroad embrace diversity and promote cultural activities, events, and organizations.

Benefits of Studying in the U.S.

Studying in the United States can be a valuable and rewarding experience for international students looking to pursue higher education.

One of the biggest advantages of studying in the U.S. is exploring various academic programs, ranging from business and engineering to liberal arts and humanities. This exposure to diverse disciplines allows students to broaden their knowledge and develop new skills, which can lead to expanded career opportunities.

Studying in the U.S. also provides a chance for personal growth and development, as students are exposed to different cultures, lifestyles, and perspectives. This exposure can help students develop greater empathy and understanding and cultivate important soft skills like adaptability and communication.

Students can learn from world-renowned academics and researchers while studying in the United States, allowing them to become experts in their disciplines.

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Colleges With the Most International Students in 2023

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#1 Colleges With the Most International Students

New York University

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

New York University serves over 21,000 international learners hailing from more than 140 countries. For the 2021-2022 school year, NYU had the most international students of any university in the U.S. 

NYU offers many resources to help international students transition smoothly into academic life in the U.S. NYU's Office of Global Services provides assistance with immigration processes for students, and the International Student Center helps create meaningful connections between international learners.

NYU also hosts events and programs throughout the year for international students, including International Education Week.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$52,204
Out-of-state
$52,204
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$34,704
Out-of-state
$34,704
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
90%
Acceptance Rate
21%
Students Enrolled
52,775
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
89% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#2 Colleges With the Most International Students

Northeastern University

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Boston's Northeastern University helps foster academic success and personal growth for its roughly 18,000 international students. Northeastern provides opportunities for international students to learn more about American culture and meet new people through experiences like weekend trips.

Northeastern's Office of Global Services provides support services to the international student community, including assisting international learners with visa applications. Additionally, the We Care office offers help for students struggling with personal and academic life, while the Global Student Mentor program pairs new international learners with current students, helping them transition into life on campus. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$54,360
Out-of-state
$54,360
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$25,264
Out-of-state
$25,264
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
97%
Acceptance Rate
20%
Students Enrolled
22,905
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
48% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#3 Colleges With the Most International Students Best Value

Columbia University in the City of New York

  • New York, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Enrolling over 16,000 international students, New York's Columbia University maintains a strong reputation for serving international learners. Columbia's international students hail from more than 150 countries.

Columbia's International Students & Scholars Office serves the university's expansive international population, including faculty and staff. Resources include assistance with immigration-related needs like visas, travel, and tax-filing obligations. 

Along with student support services, international learners can access an extensive catalog of student organizations. Students can join organizations like the South East Asian League, the Iranian Students Association, and the Hong Kong Students and Scholars Society.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$57,864
Out-of-state
$57,864
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$49,024
Out-of-state
$49,024
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
95%
Acceptance Rate
7%
Students Enrolled
30,135
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
#4 Colleges With the Most International Students

University of Southern California

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Over 15,000 students enrolled at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles are international learners. USC provides a robust set of resources to support these students, who make up nearly 26% of the student body, while promoting the benefits of a diverse student population.

USC's Office of International Services publishes the International Connection Magazine, which highlights international student experiences and accomplishments. Students can also attend workshops that cover visa and green card requirements, employment opportunities, and academic and professional writing as non-native speakers of English.  

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$59,260
Out-of-state
$59,260
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$47,880
Out-of-state
$47,880
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
91%
Acceptance Rate
16%
Students Enrolled
46,287
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
89% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
#5 Colleges With the Most International Students Best Value

Arizona State University

  • Tempe, AZ
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Arizona State University serves more than 15,000 learners from outside the U.S., along with more than 700 international scholars and faculty members. ASU's students come from more than 140 different countries. 

The university's International Students and Scholars Center assists students with visas, employment authorization, and other legal issues related to immigration status. The center also provides workshops on practical topics such as employment and communication skills, and it hosts opportunities for international students to connect through events like the Coffee and Conversation hour.

ASU also houses many international student organizations and an expansive network of international alumni.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$10,710
Out-of-state
$28,800
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,720
Out-of-state
$26,160
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
86%
Acceptance Rate
88%
Students Enrolled
74,795
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
85% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#6 Colleges With the Most International Students Best Value

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

  • Champaign, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is home to over 12,000  international students from more than 110 countries, representing about 20% of the school's student body.

The university's International Student and Scholar Services acts as an information hub for international learners, providing immigration services, advocacy, and outreach. Current students can receive assistance maintaining visas, gaining employment, and securing driver's licenses. 

Additionally, U of I hosts 35 weeks of events and activities that relate to the international student experience every year. These opportunities include virtual office hours and Q&A sessions. Students also benefit from the Uniquely Illinois program, which helps integrate learners with their new community. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$14,317
Out-of-state
$33,824
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$15,016
Out-of-state
$27,187
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
94%
Acceptance Rate
63%
Students Enrolled
52,679
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
96% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#7 Colleges With the Most International Students

Boston University

  • Boston, MA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Boston University serves 11,000 international students, houses 300 global initiatives, and claims alumni across more than 180 countries. Through administrative assistance, culturally conscious programs, and student organization support, BU provides international learners with the tools they need to make the most of their university experience.

BU's International Students and Scholars Office assists with immigration, employment and internships, and issues pertaining to travel and visas. BU also houses student organizations like the African Students' Organization, the Asian Student Union, and the International Student Organization. Students can attend events like online Q&A sessions and talks that teach international students how to highlight their value during job interviews. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$56,854
Out-of-state
$56,854
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$56,854
Out-of-state
$56,854
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: Medium

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
Medium
Retention Rate
92%
Acceptance Rate
20%
Students Enrolled
32,718
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
#8 Colleges With the Most International Students Best Value

University of California-San Diego

  • La Jolla, CA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The University of California San Diego boasts a diverse student population, with 11,279 international students hailing from more than 100 countries. The university's International Students & Programs Office (ISPO) provides a range of services, resources, and programs to help international students navigate campus life, including academic and immigration advising, cultural programming, and language support.

ISPO at UCSD offers workshops on topics such as employment, taxes, and navigating life in the US as opportunities to connect with other international students through events like the Global Forum. In addition to these resources, UCSD is dedicated to supporting its international students' academic success and personal growth through peer mentorship programs, coffee hours, and conversation programs.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$11,442
Out-of-state
$41,196
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,442
Out-of-state
$26,544
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
94%
Acceptance Rate
37%
Students Enrolled
39,576
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
93% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
#9 Colleges With the Most International Students Best Value

Purdue University-Main Campus

  • West Lafayette, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Based in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University currently serves more than 8,000 international students representing roughly 130 countries. Additionally, the university has over 1,700 international faculty and staff. Purdue routinely ranks as a top school for international students in STEM disciplines.

Purdue's International Students and Scholars program provides resources related to academic advising, admissions, and immigration. It also offers a variety of programs and events for international students, such as the International Friendship Program, which matches new international students with a member of the community, and the Host-a-Boiler Program, which finds local families to host an international student for the winter holidays. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$9,208
Out-of-state
$28,010
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$9,208
Out-of-state
$28,010
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
93%
Acceptance Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
46,655
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
82% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission
#10 Colleges With the Most International Students Best Value

University of California-Los Angeles

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of California, Los Angeles, serves more than 12,000 international students and scholars. For over 60 years, the UCLA International Institute has operated as both a campus and community resource, maintaining 25 centers and academic programs focusing on topics like global studies, international development, and global health.

UCLA also connects new international learners with International Student Ambassadors who introduce them to the UCLA community. The university's Dashew Center is the central hub for resources, support, and advocacy for international students and scholars. Students can complete assignments and prepare for tests at the International Study Hall. They can also participate in quarterly day trips, exploring different areas of Southern California. 

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$11,442
Out-of-state
$41,196
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
$11,442
Out-of-state
$26,544
ROI Score

ROI Value Score: High

We’ve reviewed hundreds of schools to find the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.

We compared how much you could earn in 10 years with a degree from this school versus only having a high school diploma. Then we compared that amount against school costs and financial aid opportunities. A higher return for your investment results in a higher score for this school.

Our Methodology
High
Retention Rate
96%
Acceptance Rate
14%
Students Enrolled
44,589
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
94% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Studying in the U.S. as an international student can be a stressful process. Here’s everything you need to know to make your transition smoother.

Frequently Asked Questions About International Students in the U.S.

How Many International Students Are in U.S. Colleges?

In 2019, international students made up more than 5% of the total higher education population in the United States. As the number of international students grows, colleges must offer the right resources and admissions processes to accommodate these students.

In the 2018-19 academic year, more than 50% of international learners in the U.S. enrolled in STEM programs. Engineering is the most popular path for international students, with over 20% of these learners pursuing an engineering degree.

How Can International Students Apply for College in the U.S.?

International students often apply to several schools. They provide academic transcripts, personal statements, and answers to essay questions as part of the application process.

While the general application requirements for international students remain similar to requirements for U.S. students, international applicants typically need to demonstrate English language proficiency if English is not their native language. Many schools ask for TOEFL or IELTS exam scores, as these scores help demonstrate the ability to adapt within an American academic environment.

How Much Does It Cost to Study in the U.S. for International Students?

International students often rank the U.S. as a top choice for their college education.

While a popular destination for international learners, education in the U.S. also comes with a relatively hefty price tag. Prospective students should shop around, compare the cost of various schools, and investigate grants, scholarships, and other financial aid options.

Costs vary from school to school, but private institutions almost always cost more. Students in the U.S. currently spend an average of almost $100,000 on their undergraduate education — this price reflects tuition, as well as other expenses like room and board, utilities, and transportation. Public colleges, although generally more affordable than private schools, still charge an average out-of-state tuition rate that exceeds $21,000 per year.

Can International Students Get Financial Aid or Scholarships in the U.S.?

While college can be prohibitively expensive for some international students, grants, financial aid, and scholarships can help ease the financial burden. Upon receiving a letter of admission, learners should consult their university's financial aid office. Experienced advisors can help locate funding to offset the financial burden of higher education.

Colleges with large populations of international learners typically offer a wealth of economic resources in the form of merit- and need-based financial awards.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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