Research Outline

US Business Schools - Asian Student Population


To determine the number/percentage of Asian international students currently studying at US business schools as well as the nationality of those students (as available).

Early Findings

  • International students from Asia currently represent about 29 percent of all applicants to US business schools. They are the second-largest group of students behind local US citizens (63 percent).
  • In 2019, international students from East and Southeast Asia (majorly populated by Chinese students) represented 18 percent of all applicants to US business schools. Central and South Asian students (majorly populated by Indian students) were the third largest ethnic group, representing 11 percent of all applicants to US business schools, according to a recent study by the Graduate Management Admission Council.
  • Applications to US business schools by international students have declined in recent times. In 2019, 39 percent of applicants to US business schools were international students, representing a 30 percent decline year-on-year.
  • Furthermore, international candidate preference for the United States as top study destination for graduate management courses declined from 44 percent to 37 percent between 2017 and 2019.
  • On the other hand, Asian business schools have been reporting a steady increase in the number of MBA students opting to stay in-country or in-region as against traveling to the US. According to a recent article by Financial Times, 48 percent of Asian business schools reported growth in domestic applications in 2019. In addition, Asia-Pacific programs report that 55 percent of their applications come from domestic talent, and 90 percent of applications come from within the Asia-Pacific region.
  • About two-third of Asian business schools reported an increase in the volume of international students. Over a third (37 percent) of Asian business schools reported a growth in the number of international application volume in 2019, while 32 percent reported stable application volumes from foreign students.