U.S. Schools See Continual Drop In International Applicants & Students

Despite a three-year slump, the U.S. has the world’s largest international student population, with more than 1 million students choosing to pursue their education here.

Money, money, money. For most B-school aspirants, whatever shores they hail from, the bottom line is the bottom line. For international graduates of U.S. schools, the investment is still almost certainly worth it, even if their chosen school is experiencing a slump. Among the P&Q top 50, 30 schools saw international graduate salaries increase over the last three years, with an average gain of $7,808 to reach an average base of $108,595. Nine schools saw five-digit increases; four saw five-digit declines. Compare that to the 38 schools that had increases for U.S.-born grads averaging $5,774, to an average base salary of $113,828. Only two schools — Wharton and Rochester Simon — had five-digit salary average increases between 2016 and 2018.

In all, 38 schools have average international salaries of $100K or greater, just as 38 schools boast average U.S. salaries over that threshold. Fourteen schools boast higher average foreign salaries than U.S. salaries. Notable declines in international salary occurred at USC Marshall, Emory Goizueta, and Georgia Terry, but none more so than the $17,271 drop over three years at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. Boston U can blame that at least partly on an outlier this year: Someone reported a base salary of just $12,000. In addition to having the lowest average international grad salary ($76,604), Boston Questrom also was one of just two schools — along with Ohio State’s Fisher College of Business — to report three-year declines in both international and U.S. average salaries.

The biggest gain for international graduate salary, interestingly enough, came at Texas A&M, which grew its base average $21,645 since 2016 to $123,333. This despite both a decline in U.S. salary and a 33.5% drop in the school’s foreign student enrollment over the same span. The biggest U.S. average salary decline, meanwhile, occurred at UC-Irvine Merage (-$9,670 to $85,500), while the biggest gain was at Wharton ($11,782 to $142,286).

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