USC has second most foreign students in nation, again

Students make their way through the campus of USC in September.

Students make their way through the campus of USC in September.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

For the second time in as many years, USC ranked second nationwide in recruiting foreign students, according to a new report. Previously, USC had been the most popular destination for non-U.S. citizen scholars for 13 years.

USC enrolled about 12,300 students from abroad in the last academic year, according to a survey conducted by the New York nonprofit Institute of International Education, in partnership with the U.S. State Department.

Although that was an increase of nearly 1,300 students from the year before, USC still ranked second to New York University, which had about 13,200 foreign students, according to the report.

UCLA ranked eighth in the survey, and UC Berkeley was 18th.

The number of international students in the U.S. increased about 10% last year to nearly 975,000.

The largest group came from China, which sent about 304,000 students. The next biggest group, about 133,000, came from India, according to the study.


Foreign students make up about 5% of all higher-education undergraduates and graduates in the U.S., according to the survey.

California attracted the largest number of foreign students, with about 135,000, followed by New York and Texas, which had nearly 107,000 and 76,000 international students, respectively.

Columbia University ranked third with about 11,500 students, and Arizona State University and the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

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