New York University received more than 1,00,000 applications – a 20% increase over last year. The University of California system received nearly 2,50,000 applications – a 16% increase from last year.
Boston University has seen a 10% increase in international applications; Tufts University has seen a corresponding 14% increase; the University of California system has seen a 10% increase in international numbers, and New York University has seen a 22% increase in international interest.
Even as admissions are still on, early estimates show that undergraduate applications to the United States of America have risen at least 30% from India. Sharing the data of unique applicants residing in America increased by 1.54% relative to 2019–20, while applicants living outside the United States increased 10%, according to numbers dated March-end shared by Commonapp with TOI. Prominent among them is data from India __ up by about 30% (see box).
Aside from China (-18%), applicant counts from most countries that typically generate the largest volume of applications increased from 2019–20, said Jenny Rickard, president, and CEO of Common app.
“The shift to test-optional requirements in university admissions has driven a large increase in applications as more students apply to universities that they would otherwise not have applied to. For students applying for Fall 2021 undergraduate entry, the number of applications submitted through the Common App has increased but not at the same level as the number of applicants which suggests that applicants are applying to more schools,” said George Joseph, managing director of US-based Gyan Global Advisors.
“There is a strong interest in elite and well-funded private and public universities because students feel they may have a chance without SAT or ACT; also students feel with the ongoing pandemic, well-funded universities have resources like campus testing, etc. to meet in-person and on-campus rather remote only,” added he. Platforms like Leverage Edu, said its founder Akshay Chaturvedi, had seen an increase in international education from students, including those from tier 2 and 3 towns.
Counselors in India too are seeing a reasonable uptick. “Competition for the 2021 admission cycle is fierce. Students who were offered admissions and were supposed to start class by August 2020 postponed their admissions due to Covid. Thus there was anyway lesser number of new students for August 2021. Add to this that most US universities waived their standardized testing requirements encouraged a large number of students to apply to US universities,” said counsellor Karan Gupta, who advised students to take up outstanding activities and leadership roles that can wow admission officers.
Echoing him, Rajika Bhandari, an international higher education expert and author of the forthcoming book, America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility, said there was more to the increase in applications than the reduced reliance on admissions tests which worked as an incentive for more students to apply. “Other factors include an overall sense of optimism with the Biden-Harris administration and the perception that the situation for international students in the US–at least from a national policy perspective–will be better going forward. There is also a sense that the US is now handling the pandemic much better under the new administration, which should retain and increase its appeal as a safe destination.”
(first-year unique applicants by country of origin; shared with TOI by Commonapp)