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Nigeria Sent 19,338 Students to the US in 2021 up 12.19%

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Nigeria was the African country that sent the most students to the United States (US) in 2021 with 19,338 students up 12.19 percent, when compared to 2020 in the annual report of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), released this month.

Additionally, Kenya (5,462) was the East African country that sent the most students in 2021. Lastly, Libya (769) saw the steepest decrease in student records across the continent.

The overall number of active F-1 and M-1 student records coming from Africa increased by 5,602 student records from calendar year 2020 (60,347) to calendar year 2021 (65,949).

F-1 students are nonimmigrant students whose primary purpose is to complete an academic course of study at a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified school or program, while M-1 students are nonimmigrant students whose primary purpose is to complete a vocational course of study at an SEVP-certified school or program.

In its annual report, the USCIS said the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact international student enrollment in the United States in 2021. The total number of records for active F-1 and M-1 students was 1,236,748 in calendar year 2021, a decrease of 1.2 percent from calendar year 2020.

There were 105,970 pre- and post-completions optional practical training (OPT) students with both an employment authorization document (EAD) and who reported working for an employer in calendar year 2021, compared to 122,699 in calendar year 2020 — a 13.6 percent decrease.

The number of students from China and India made Asia the most popular continent of origin. However, China sent fewer students in 2021 in comparison to 2020 (-33,569) while India sent more students (+25,391).

In 2021, California hosted 208,257 international students, the largest percentage of international students (16.8 percent) of any U.S. state.

Most F-1 and M-1 students come to the United States to take part in the higher education system. In 2021, roughly 92 percent of all F-1 and M-1 students were enrolled in an SEVP certified associate, bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral program.

Specifically, international students in the United States pursued 1,142,352 degrees in higher education, which is an increase from calendar year 2020 (1,121,981).

Forty-four percent (548,705) of F-1 and M-1 international students in calendar year 2021 were female, while 56 percent (687,534) were male.

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In addition, 44 percent (195,511) of bachelor’s and master’s international students were female, 50.2 percent (34,886) of international students seeking associate degrees were female and 40 percent (76,394) of international students seeking doctoral degrees were female in 2021.

F-1 and M-1 students must attend schools that are SEVP-certified. U.S. schools can petition
for SEVP certification to enroll F-1 students, M-1 students, or both F-1 and M-1 students.

In calendar year 2021, there were 8,038 SEVP-certified schools in the United States for Nigeria Students in the US to study in, 331 fewer schools than in calendar year 2020.

In 2021, 85.5 percent (6,875) of SEVP-certified schools could enroll only F-1 students; seven percent (558) could enroll only M-1 students; and 7.5 percent (623) could enroll both F-1 and M-1 students.

There were four schools that enrolled more than 15,000 international students in 2021; Northeastern University, Columbia University in the City of New York, New York University, and University of Southern California.

The top 20 most popular F-1 schools hosted 20.1 percent (249,137) of the entire
international student population including Nigeria Students in the US in 2021.

Although there are SEVP-certified higher education and vocational schools throughout the United States and its territories, 54 percent (3,470) of these schools are in 10 U.S. states.

California alone is home to 13.6 percent (873) of all SEVP-certified schools. Only Connecticut (+1), North Dakota (+1) and Louisiana (+1) saw an increase in the number of certified schools from calendar year 2020.

Of the four major regions within the continental United States, the Northeast had the greatest number of students in calendar year 2021, followed closely by the South, the West and the Midwest.

Only the West saw a net decrease in its F-1 and M-1 student populations from calendar year 2020 to calendar year 2021. The Northeast saw the greatest percentage increase and welcomed 3.2 percent more student records (+11,165) than in calendar year 2020.

The South also welcomed 0.2 percent more student records (+712) than in calendar year 2020, followed by an increase of 2.5 percent (+5,715) in the Midwest. The West welcomed 7.5 percent (-26,377) fewer student records than in calendar year 2020.

Non-continental U.S. territories also had about 11 percent fewer student records (-159) in calendar year 2021 than in calendar year 2020.

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