The Cornell Daily Sun is reporting a return to pre-recession enrollment levels by international students at the Johnson Graduate School of Management.
Non-U.S. MBA enrollment jumped from 22% in 2010-11 to 34% this year. The data point is good news for Cornell, which like other top business schools, watched with concern as international enrollment at U.S. business schools dropped to 24.8% in 2009-10, a 26.5% drop from 2007-9, according to the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
What is Cornell Johnson doing right? Director of the International Students and Scholars Office Brendan O’Brien tells the Daily Sun its partly Johnson’s increased financial aid for international students (though only aid to American students is need-blind). Christine Sneva, Johnson’s director of admissions and financial aid, notes that Johnson also offers a loan program that needs no co-signer and can potentially cover Johnson’s full tuition ($53,796).
There’s also Johnson’s career service programs, which are “the same for every student, regardless of citizenship,” Sneva emphasizes—but include, for international students, access to a lawyer to help them with visa and immigration issues. What about Johnson’s alumni network? Sneva deftly navigates the question of how Cornell’s relatively modest alumni pool can benefit international MBAs. “It is a huge advantage to be a part of such a vast and inclusive community that is responsive,” she tells the Daily Sun. “It doesn’t matter how big the alumni network is at a school if no one is willing to return your call.”
But Johnson’s aggressive international student recruiting may well be the key ingredient in its success recruiting of international students: Johnson recruits in roughly 100 cities worldwide.
Source: “International Enrollment Surges at Cornell Business School,” Cornell Daily Sun, by Sarah Meyers, Feburary 16, 2012.