First, when we talk about how Chinese students find the best universities in the US, we must first correct the myth that Chinese students make decisions like students in the U.S. do. Because Chinese parents pay hard earned and saved cash for their children’s education they also have a big say in where their children attend university. The US has a reputation for having the best universities in the world, so naturally Chinese parents want their children to have the best.

Remember in China, parents don’t just send their children off to find themselves like parents in the US do…Chinese parents put a lot of pressure on their children to pursue a degree that will guarantee success. This supports the traditional Chinese family paradigm that dictates children should be responsible for their aging parents, and how can they do that if they have massive student loans and a bum degree and job at 50 years old?! For more reading on this (because this isn’t the main thrust of this article, check out  Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua.  (We are familiar with Chinese parents who found a way to accompany their children to the USA to send them to top high schools at 40k a year, just for the chance at getting into a superior university here in the U.S.).

Now, to the meat of the story: how do Chinese students find the best universities in US?

As a side note, they sure won’t be finding New York University, not after they offered the now famous blind civil rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng a visiting scholar position. According to the Chronicle, China has censored internet searches for New York University, a typical punitive move to teach meddlers not to interfere with State affairs.

Many Chinese students and their parents rely on U.S. News’ college and university rankings when determining which universities to apply for.

Below is a series of anonymous responses with several Chinese students who were asked how they find the best universities in the U.S.:

Number 1:

How did you search for the best university to attend?
Strength of the program, cost, location, size…probably in that order
Is the main source to check is rankings?
And do Chinese parents make the decision?
I definitely checked but it wasn’t the driving factor. There’s also strength of program vs. reputation and strength of the university
But I think most people will check rankings. I don’t know if i’m the typical example, but my parents were not really involved
I think most parents are very involved, but the decision-maker is still the student. I think it also depends on how long the student has lived in the US. Most parents would probably like to have final say, but I know a lot of my friends are very resistant to that.

Number 2:

…in fact we will search at first and than we have to take the gmat exam, and choose which one we can apply..
we choose the best form we can apply…in the internet…we have some discuss group and school list
and there are also some people help us to do all the apply work and earn some money like a dealer…

Number 3:

Most of my colleagues in undergraduate, they usually use shotgun method. Applied to a lot of good schools and wait to see why can give them offers.

Number 4:

i found msu through an studying abroad agency, they found schools and prepare application materials for you
thanks! i heard this is a list people use too:
when i applied phd programs earlier this year i searched schools from us news ranking
ya that’s it


As a US university, how do you attract Chinese students? As a Chinese student, how do you search for the best universities in US?