Want To Study In The US? These Are 10 Of The Best Schools


The United States is home to approximately 5300 colleges and universities with over 150 of them in the QS world university rankings. The American Higher Education System is ranked as one of the highest education systems in the world and favorably sought-after globally this can be evidenced by the hundred-thousands of international students migrating to the US for education every year. A total of 974,926 international students enrolled in US higher institutions in 2014/15; this is a 10% growth from 2012/13 reported by the Institute of International Education. There’s no doubt why UNESCO ranks it as number one at 19% on its top 10 destination countries for international students.

In 2014/15 academic year, the Institute of International Education noted that 9,494 Nigerian students were studying in the US, this a 19.9% growth rate from the previous year. Nigeria is ranked at 15th in place of origin for international students in the United States, with 50.2% undergraduates, 35.2% graduate students, 2.0% other and 12.6% Optional Practical Training. Economically, Nigerian students contributed $301 million to the United States (IIE & U.S Department of Commerce).

The key reasons for more Nigerians immigrating to the US for education are mainly higher standard of education, social & interactive life, scholarships, cheaper tuition fees, employability, cultural diversity, etc. the most popular states for Nigerian international students are mainly New York, California, Texas, Arizona, Washington D.C, and Florida.

The main criteria for getting into these high ranking United States colleges and universities are;

  • Good grades from previous educational institutions
  • Adequate financial support either by scholarships or financial aid or personal funding
  • A well completed course work
  • Proof of English proficiency such as TOEFL and IELTS
  • Good entrance scores on SAT, GRE or GMAT
  • A properly written statement of purpose
  • Reference letters

Travel lounge has compiled a list of the best schools in the US for Nigerian international students; this is based on quality world rankings, where Nigerian students are located, academics, research and acceptability of international students. Here are ten (10) United States colleges and universities for you to consider when choosing an Alma mater.

  1. Harvard, Princeton and Stanford Universities

These are the most elite schools in the US and the world in general, having the most famous alumni with presidents, Nobel laureates, billionaires and software technology startup founders. Harvard is the best-known university in the world ranking number two in the QS 2015 university rankings with Stanford and Princeton in 3rd and 11th positions respectively. These campuses boasts of world class academics, libraries and various researches in arts, humanities, sciences, social sciences and engineering, etc.

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

This is ranked as number one globally; it operates a polytechnic style of education with a strong entrepreneurial culture. This institution’s notable alumni are tech founders such as Intel and Dropbox, former UN secretary General Kofi Annan, etc. It is quite selective in admissions but boasts of 33% of its 11,000 students being international. Their top fields of study are physical sciences, social sciences, technology, engineering, arts and humanities.

  1. University of California Berkeley and University of California Los Angeles

The state of California boasted of about 135,130 international students in 2014/2015 according to the Institute of International Education. UCB is one of the oldest top ten public research universities in the US founded in 1868, with three national laboratories at its disposal. UCB is rated by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as one of six universities that lead in world reputation rankings in 2016.  UCLA is also a public research university in the Westwood district of Los Angeles, the university is divided into five undergraduate colleges, seven professional schools, and four professional health science schools.

  1. New York University

This is one of the most popular schools in the US, especially amongst the art inclined. It was founded in 1831 to enlarge the scope of higher education; it is a private, nonsectarian American research university. It academics structure includes thirteen schools, colleges, and divisions at the five major centers in Manhattan.

  1. University of Texas at Austin

This is a world class university with great education and learning facilities. It boasts of a very diverse culture in its 50,950 student’s population according to Wikipedia, with international students ranking about 20.1% of its student body.

  1. John Hopkins University

This is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. The university has a series of faculties and colleges such as the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Peabody Institute, the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, the Carey Business School, the education school, an Applied Physics Laboratory, a medical school, and a nursing school, etc.

  1. Arizona State University

This is a public metropolitan university with a large student enrollment statistics. The Carnegie Foundation ranked ASU as a research university with a high research activity in the U.S. based on innovations, development, expenditures, patents awards and research grant proposals.

  1. Howard University Washington D.C

This is a federally chartered, private, nonsectarian university which is located in Washington, D.C. It is also ranked by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university with high research activity. The university boasts of graduate schools in business, engineering, pharmacy, law, social work, education, communications, art, science, divinity, dentistry, and medicine.

  1. University of Illinois at Chicago

This is one of the most culturally diverse universities in the US with about 27,000 thousand students and a varieties of fraternities. It is ranked by the Carnegie Foundation as a research university also, it is especially strong in the field of medicine and athletics.

  1. Florida State University in Tallahassee

Florida is a culturally diverse state with its many beaches, social and party life, it’s no wonder this is a favorite amongst Nigerian students. Florida State is ranked as one of the top 25 research universities in the US with innovative research in high magnetic field, anti-cancer drug (Taxol), and super computers. Its academics are divided into 16 colleges with more than 110 centers, facilities, 129 undergraduate majors and 231 graduate degrees.

Considering your interests in American schools, I do hope I’ve been able to give you detailed information on a variety of choices!

Please share, like and comment on your Alma maters or aspiring ones!

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