Admissions Offers to International Grad Students Increase 9% Since 2013

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9% increase in grad school offers to international students

For the fourth year in a row, the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) reported a 9% increase in graduate school offers to international students. Here are some highlights from the recent report (Findings from the 2014 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, Phase II: Final Applications and Initial Offers of Admission):

• There were fewer applications submitted by Chinese applicants in 2014 than in 2013, and no increase in acceptances, ending an eight-year streak of growth. Even with this decrease, Chinese students still make up the largest group of international representatives at U.S. graduate schools, at 37%.

• In India, there was an increase in the number of applications sent to U.S. graduate schools, and a 25% increase in initial admission offers. This follows a 27% increase the year before (2013).

• There was also an increase in offers to prospective students in Brazil (a 98% increase this year, after a 46% increase in 2013). Brazilian students still only make up 1% of the total number of offers to international students, even with this huge increase.

• Other regions with growth in offers of graduate school admission over the last year include Europe (2%), Africa (3%), Canada (4%), and the Middle East (9).

• Regions that experienced declines in offers include Mexico (-1%), Taiwan (-6%), and South Korea (-9%).

• The fields of study that saw the largest increase in initial offers of admission in 2014 were physical/earth sciences (13%), engineering (11%), “other” (7%), business (6%), social sciences/psychology (6%), life sciences (6%), arts/humanities (5%), and education (1%).

• Prospective international students received an increase in offers of admission in the following regions of the U.S. (from 2013-2014): the Midwest (12%), the West (9%), the South (9%), and the Northeast (8%).

According to Suzanne Ortega, CGS President, “American graduate schools continue to attract students from around the world. We should be excited about the fact that new growth is emerging from a host of different regions and nations. International students are important to the U.S. economy because our workforce will continue to face shortages of graduate-level talent over the next decade. To support our economic competitiveness, we should make it easier – for international graduates who wish to do so – to remain and work in the U.S. after completing their degrees.”

Click here for must-know info & advice for international students!


Related Resources:

• Delivering STAR in an American Context
Get Your Game On, Prepping for Your Grad School Application 
Grad School Admissions 101

Residency Personal Statement: 7 Don’t Do’s

Write with creativity, but don’t go overboard.

Your personal statement is your first and best opportunity to put a personal face to the scores and evaluations that each residency program receives. Like the AMCAS (or AACOMAS) essay you wrote to get into medical school, the residency essay needs to introduce you, demonstrate your interest, and convince the admissions committee that you have what it takes to succeed in their program. But there are some important differences in these essays. We’ll start by talking about what not to do in your residency personal statement.

1. Explain why you went into medicine. You’re already a doctor. You don’t need to rehash your entire story for the program director. (The exception to this rule is if the reason you entered medicine is the same reason you chose this specialty. In that case, you might be able to make a convincing argument for your unwavering commitment to the field.)

2. Give generic or superficial reasons for choosing this specialty. “Since playing Operation as a child, I have always wanted to be a surgeon.” Sure you want to explain when your interest piqued. But you’re better off doing this in a serious way, probably with an example from your medical school days, that shows that you’re serious and knowledgeable about this residency and what it entails.

3. Make the reader guess why you chose this specialty. Don’t cleverly hide your interest in the particular residency. Residency directors want to know from the very beginning why you chose this residency and why you’ll be good at it. This is not to say that your opening line should be “I want to be a dermatologist because…” but you should get this point across in the first paragraph – with a little creativity and finesse.

4. Use gimmicks to get attention. Writing your personal statement as a newspaper article, interview, or any other so-called “creative” format is a sure way to turn off a good portion of your audience. Residency committees want to see that you can communicate well in a professional setting. Write with originality and creativity, but don’t go overboard.

Note: The ERAS online application uses an ASCI format – boldface, italics, and unusual fonts aren’t allowed. You’ll have to use language to add emphasis, not special characters.

5. Send the same personal statement to every program. If a residency (or even a particular program) isn’t research-based, then you probably don’t want to go into too much detail about your senior thesis in neuroscience. And while your oncology essay may have a lot of related stories, if your interest is really GYN ONC, your chances of a match in an OB/GYN program will go up immeasurably if you can speak convincingly about your experiences with women’s care.

6. Use all the allotted space to answer every question the residency director might have. ERAS allows 28,000 characters (approximately 8 pages) for your personal statement, but residency directors do not want to read that much. Writing a tightly focused one-page essay that addresses the key points you want to convey is a much more effective way to make sure that you get that all-important interview – and a chance to answer questions in person.

7. Submit an application with typos or grammatical mistakes. Your entire application – not just your personal statement but also your CV, personal information, etc. – should be as polished as it can possibly be. Errors convey the impression that you aren’t taking this process seriously – and consequently, telling the program director that they shouldn’t take you seriously.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Residency Personal Statements.


Related Resources:

Residency Applications: How to Match, free on-demand webinar
• Residency Application Tip: Settling, and How To Avoid It
• The Mrs. The Mommy. The M.D. Shares her Residency Application Experiences

A Youtuber Living Her Dreams in Medical School [Interview]

Med Student Megan

This interview is the latest in an blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Megan…

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? 

Megan: My name is Megan. I am 21-year-old marathoner, Youtuber, and first year medical student. TheMeganRantsAbout is the name of my YouTube channel. Y’all should stop by sometime and see me live my dreams in medical school!

Accepted: Where are you in med school and what year? 

Megan: I attend a public allopathic medical school in the South and am an M1. This is truly the journey of a lifetime.

Accepted: What are you most looking forward to in med school?

Megan: I’m definitely a people person. Talking and working with others comes easily to me. I love to listen to others’ stories and tell some of my own. That’s probably why I’m looking forward to patient interactions the most in med school.

Accepted: Did you go straight from college to med school? What do you think the advantages are of going straight from college to med school? 

Megan: I am proud to say that I’m one of those crazy kids who went straight from college to medical school. At 21, I’m actually one of the youngest in my class.

The biggest advantage of going straight from college to medical school is that the applicable material you learned in undergrad is still fresh in your mind and easily accessible for med school courses.

Accepted: Looking back, what was the most challenging aspect of the med school admissions process? How did you approach that challenge and overcome it?

Megan: Every premedical student struggles with the MCAT. It is a grueling test over almost everything you learn in undergrad that requires MONTHS of discipline and dedication. I ended up taking it twice. The first time I took the test, I actually thought I did quite well but was devastated to find out otherwise. The second time, I improved my score and ended up getting into my first choice school. Persistence pays off.

Accepted: Can you share your top 3 med school application tips with our readers?

Megan: I always tell my viewers that their medical school application needs to tell a story about their life, passions, and (most importantly) why they have a heart for medicine. Other advice – submit your application early and dress to impress for interviews!

Accepted: Can you tell us about your YouTube channel? If our med school applicant readers were to watch just one of your videos, which would you want it to be?

Megan: I make videos for premed students on topics that no one seems to be talking about. Some of my most popular videos are “The MCAT: How to Study, My Experience and Advice,” “Retaking the MCAT: Should You? Advice and What I did Differently,” and “What I Wish I Had Known About Being Premed.” I wish I had someone to ask these questions to when I was in undergrad! My sincerest hope is that I do that for my viewers.

You can read more about Megan’s med school journey by checking out her YouTube channel, TheMeganRantsAbout. Thank you Megan for sharing your story with us!

Do you want to be featured in’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!


Related Resources:

• General Advice for Med School Applicants
• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays
• Med Applicant Blogger Interviews

Make Your Perfect Match: Residency Admissions Video Link Here

Want to match at your top choice residency program?

Residency Applications: How to Match - Register Now!


Boost your chances of getting the job done right by following the advice found in Residency Applications: How to Match – our newest webinar, now available for on-demand viewing!

During the webinar, you’ll learn:

• 6 fatal application blunders that can cost you your match.
• Advice on writing a persuasive, compelling personal statement.
• Tips on choose the right program for YOU.

…and more!

View Residency Applications: How to Match today – your future as a physician depends on it!

Watch the webinar

5 Questions to Help You Decide Where to Apply to Med School

For more med school admissions advice, download your free copy of Navigate the Med Maze!

How do you choose where to apply?

There are literally hundreds of medical schools in the U.S. to choose from – how do you choose where to apply? Ask yourself the following five questions – their answers will help you narrow down you school selection list and choose the ones that are best for YOU.

1. Should you go in-state?

This is a great place to start as state schools are often cheaper, not to mention easier to get into for residents.

2. Where do you stand competitively?

You need to know where you stand when compared to other applicants. While some aspects of your profile won’t be able to be measured objectively (your clinical experiences or unique background), others are simple facts that are easily comparable. Check out recent rankings to determine average MCAT scores and GPAs for entering classes at the schools on your list. Then narrow down accordingly.

3. What’s your area of interest?

If you have a strong interest in doing health policy, then you might want to look at somewhere like Georgetown in Washington, D.C. as it offers great access to different health policy resources. Look at different areas that interest you or that you have some background in and then select the schools that focus on that, whether it’s infectious disease or rural medicine or emergency medicine or whatever it is that you’re passionate about pursuing.

4. Who do you know?

If you are friends (or friends of friends) or colleagues with professors, doctors, students, or alumni who are connected with one of the programs on your list, then you should definitely talk to them about their experience – their likes and dislikes.

5. How are the vibes?

A school could look perfect on paper, but if you step foot on campus and get negative vibes, then the school may not be for you. A school’s culture – the atmosphere on campus, the way the classes are run, the professor/student exchanges, and the students themselves – can get lost in translation. Often first-hand experience is needed to truly get a feel for what the experience of med school will be like. While it may not be feasible to visit every school on your list, you should certainly visit as many as you can, and then fill in the gaps by attending info sessions/pre-med fairs, and connecting with students and alumni off-campus (as in #4 above).

The advice in this post is based on a conversation we had in our recent webinar, Ask The Experts: Medical School Admissions Q&A with Cydney Foote and Alicia McNease Nimonkar. Check out the full transcript for more tips on applying to med school successfully!

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!


Related Resources:

Med School Rankings & Numbers: What You MUST Know, a free downloadable guide
• Applying to Medical School: Selecting Extracurricular Activities
• Identity, Community, and the World of Med School Admissions, a podcast interview