SEVP Quarterly Report on International Students in the United States

Each quarter, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) releases a report that provides key data from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) on the makeup of international students who choose to study in the United States. A look at these quarterly reports can be useful in identifying trends and changes within the student community. The latest report examines student data from April through June 2014.

Background on SEVP and SEVIS

SEVIS is a web-based system that is used to track and monitor the status and activities of F-1 and M-1 international students, as well as J-1 exchange visitors. It includes information on enrollment, graduation, program compliance, and program transfer for international students. SEVP is a program within Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that oversees SEVIS.

Decline in Students; Increase in Exchange Visitors

Between April and July 2014, the number of F-1 and M-1 students has decreased by just under five percent. During that same period, however, the number of J-1 exchange visitors increased significantly, by more than 23.6 percent. The net result is that the overall number of foreign nationals in F-1, M-1, and J-1 status has remained almost level during this timeframe.

Asia Biggest Contributor of F-1 and M-1 Students

The continent of Asia is easily the biggest contributor of international students to the United States. China leads the way, with approximately 28 percent of all F-1 and M-1 students. India accounts for the second-largest group of F-1 and M-1 students, at about 113,000, or 12 percent. Other countries represented by significant numbers of these nonimmigrant students include South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Japan.

More Men than Woman in F-1 and M-1 Status

The quarterly review indicates an overall gender divide of 56 percent male, 44 percent female among F-1 and M-1 students. However, the proportion of male versus female students varies greatly by region of origin. Western Asia has a high percentage of male students, at 77 percent. Conversely, females account for 58 percent of students from Eastern Europe.

Most Popular Student Destinations: California, New York, and Texas

Schools in California, New York, and Texas account for 35 percent of the entire international student population in the United States. California leads the way with more than 160,000 such students, followed by New York and Texas.

Leading Universities: USC, Purdue, University of IL, NYU, Columbia

Given that California hosts the greatest number of international students, it is not suspiring that one of that state’s flagship universities, the University of Southern California, has nearly 10,500 F-1 students, more than any school in the nation. Purdue University (IN), the University of Illinois, New York University, and Columbia University (NY) round out the top five.

Popular Majors: Business, Management, and STEM Fields

International students most often seek degrees in business, management, and marketing. Still, more than 1-in-3 foreign national students are majoring in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field. Students from India, in particular, have a strong preference for STEM disciplines. In fact, 75 percent of Indian students in the United States have majors that fall within the STEM classification.


The SEVP quarterly reports can help illuminate future trends in the United States, as many foreign students and exchange visitors seek to remain in, or return to this nation following the completion of their respective programs. As worldwide demand continues to grow for highly educated workers, these foreign students can help give the United States an edge in securing this much-needed workforce. The U.S. provides a wealth of educational opportunities, drawing students from around the globe. It is a classic win-win for both the U.S. economy and the students coming to the United States.

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Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.