The increase is the largest single-year gain the U.S. has seen in 40 years and comes after a significant drop due to travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the 2022-23 numbers show international enrollment has almost made a full recovery, nearly reaching pre-pandemic numbers of 1.05 million international students.
Overall, such students made up 5.6 percent of all U.S. college students in the 2022-23 academic year.
Allan Goodman, the nonprofit’s CEO, said the numbers show the U.S. is the go-to destination for students across the globe.
“This reinforces that the U.S. remains the destination of choice for international students wishing to study abroad, as it has been for more than a century,” Mr. Goodman said in a statement.
Meanwhile, such enrollment grew by a modest 3.2 percent in California—but with 1.4 million students enrolled, the state boasts the highest number of students from other countries.
The report also projects international enrollment growing a further eight percent this school year.
Graduate programs also saw the highest bump in enrollment with a 21 percent increase in 2022-23, while undergraduate numbers grew only 1 percent.
Enrollment was highest among doctoral programs—at 29 percent—with 23 percent for master’s programs, 21 percent at baccalaureate colleges, 20 percent at associate colleges and 7 percent in “special focus institutions,” such as registered nursing or medical assistant programs.
Additionally, most U.S. universities are investing in undergraduate outreach in India, Vietnam, China and South Korea; and in graduate outreach to India, China, Vietnam and Nigeria, according to the report.
China made up the highest population of foreign students in the 2022-23 school year with 290,000 international students, while India was a close second with 269,000 students that year.