Factors Contributing to the Desire to Study in the United States


The impact of non-U.S. students on American higher education is varied. While non-U.S. students constitute 2.7% of undergraduates in U.S. programs, non-U.S. students account for 12% of graduate enrollments and that percentage is concentrated in a relatively small number of U.S. universities (Altbach, 2002). Over recent years, the pool of potential students in the developed world has been decreasing. However, the demographic trends in the developing world have been different. “In fact there is a huge bubble of young people just entering adulthood, and anxious for access to the advantages of higher education” (Hira, 2003, p. 915). There is not enough capacity to support demand for higher education in some countries. According to Altbach (2004), more than half of the world’s postsecondary students are in the developing world today, and that proportion is expected to grow in the coming decades (Altbach, 2004).