Nigeria retained its top ranking as the number one source of African students studying in the United States, according to the 2017 Open Doors Report released on Monday, November 13.
The International Educational Exchange data released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) shows that there are 11, 710 Nigerian students currently pursuing their educational goals in the United States, an increase of 9.7% over 2016. Kenya ranks second among African countries with a total of 3189 students in the U.S. and Ghana comes in third with 3111 students. Overall, the number of African students in the United States climbed to 37,735, an increase of 6.7% from 2015/2016. Fifty six percent are pursuing undergraduate degrees and 28.7 % are involved in graduate studies.
The report also said the overall number of international students in the United States increased by three percent over the previous year.
This marks the eleventh consecutive year of continued expansion of the total number of international students in U.S. higher education. During the 2016/2017 academic session, U.S. colleges and universities hosted a record high of 1.08 million international students.
Nigeria accounts for 31% of Africa’s students in the United States and ranks 12th in the world, having improved its standing from 14th a year ago. Nigerians are enrolled in more than 1,000 institutions in 51 U.S. states and territories. Eighteen percent of Nigeria’s students in the U.S. are studying in Texas. Other states with a large number of Nigerian students include New York, Florida, Massachusetts and Maryland.
This year alone, Nigerian students using EducationUSA services recorded $9 million in scholarships and financial aid awarded to newly admitted students. EducationUSA is a network of over 425 international student advising centers in more than 175 countries. The centers at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and the Consulate General in Lagos annually advise more than 60,000 prospective students at outreach presentations, weekly orientations, and college fairs.