These days I have been seeing a lot of chatter on Gradcafe (forum for grad school applicants to discuss results and admission process) about decline in the percentage of admits being offered to international applicants for fall 2021 (Universities in USA). I am also an international applicant (engineering) and this was my 3rd time applying for grad school.

  1. First: Applied in 2017 (PhD), got into Tier 1 university (Ivy League) in USA with presidential scholarship for PhD. Due to personal issues, I was unable to attend grad school that year.

  2. Applied in 2019 (PhD): Got interview invite from a Tier 1 university (X university) in the US. But in between Covid happened and the university did not take further interviews. Did not get an admit.

After this, I did a 6 month RA at university X in 2020 and completed my project successfully.

  1. Applied for fall 2021 (PhD). I thought that my chances will be bright in University X this year due to added advantage of RA at the university. But I haven't heard anything from Univ X till now. I believe, it will be a reject 95% at this point.

What do you think, do the chances of getting an admit for international students in the US decreased?

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    This wouldn't be accepted as an answer, but the question is irrelevant for you. As a research question it might be interesting, but for you, the situation is what it is. The only sure statement is that if you don't apply then you won't be accepted. But make sure you have everything in place so that you can accept an offer if given, unlike a couple of years ago. And don't lose contact with the people who write you letters, which are relatively important in the US. – Buffy Apr 3 at 15:20
  • @Buffy I had medical issues, it was a bad time in 2017.I am totally prepared this time. Nonetheless, I still hope at least one school admit may come through, but it is highly unlikely at this time. The worst part is, my recommendations are exhausted. One time I could not attend grad school, other 2 times (including fall 2021 possibly) I did not get an admit. I still want to do a PhD, but I am not sure if I can ask my supervisors for recommendations again. Note: I did not aim for Tier 1 schools this time, I thought I was playing it safe. – hashbrown Apr 3 at 15:27
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    Probably a mistake to not ask your previous writers. If the supported you then, they will have little trouble now. Good luck. – Buffy Apr 3 at 15:29
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    Also it was probably a mistake to limit yourself to Tier 2. An effective strategy is to cover the ground, rather than limit your options. Who can say. A wide range of schools is always useful as long as the cost of coverage is reasonable. – Buffy Apr 3 at 15:37

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