Forbes: Data on enrollment and revenue growth trends at public research universities (Big Ten)

How has enrollment, tuition, and revenue at Big Ten Public universities changed between 2007/08 and 2014/15? Data on international student enrollment shows that these leading universities have experienced a much faster rate of growth as compared to the national average. Given the high rankings and extensive history, these universities have a strong brand recognition among international students. Post-recession, while Big Ten universities have increased non-resident tuition they have managed to continue to attract international students. Is this growth sustainable?

How is tuition and revenue from international students at Big Ten public higher education institutions have changed?

Here is an interactive chart showing actual undergraduate tuition and international student enrollment for 2007/08 and 2014/15. (Tip: click drop-down under “size” to see the bubble sizes proportionate to revenue). This analysis is based on our recent “Big Ten Universities Become Bigger with International Students” article published in Forbes.

The number of international students in the U.S. universities and colleges has increased by 56% to reach nearly 975,000 students. However, the international student enrollment at ten leading public research universities has grown much faster rate of 74% to reach nearly 90,000 international students in the same period.

Between 2007/08 and 2014/15, average non-resident tuition at Big Ten public universities increased by 29% and total revenue jumped by 127% to reach US$ 2.3 billion. Clearly, a large segment of international students are willing to pay a premium for American educational experience at the leading public universities despite increasing tuition cost.

However, much of the growth in the previous seven years was led by Chinese students. As the Chinese economy decelerates and the initial wave of Chinese graduates try to start building their career, institutions, Big Ten and beyond face some tough questions.

Is this growth in tuition and enrollment sustainable? How to provide support to international students in line with diverse needs and increasing revenue contributions? How can institutions strategically reinvest some of the additional income generated by international student tuition towards campus integration and engagement? How to enhance the experiences of international students and develop successful brand ambassadors for future recruitment?

– Dr. Rahul Choudaha & Di Hu