Renewed confidence and hopefulness is beginning to replace the hesitation and wariness that international applicants have felt the past few years when considering U.S. business schools.
At the top 20 U.S. full-time MBA programs this fall, international enrollment is starting to inch back up to levels not seen since the economic downturn hit, according to data collected by Bloomberg Businessweek. Average international enrollment at those schools is now 33.4 percent, up from 30.2 percent at the height of the economic crisis, when visa and financing issues prevented many international applicants from enrolling.
“I don’t think the U.S. seems as unfriendly to international applicants anymore, which is great,” says Christine Sneva, director of admissions and financial aid at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, where international enrollment jumped from 22 percent in the 2009-10 school year to 34 percent this year. “It just seems like a certain level of optimism has returned for international students.”