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2021 Best Colleges in the United States for Students from South Korea

596 Colleges
$48,676 Avg Tuition & Fees*
73% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

Quality BadgeWhen pursuing a degree in today's world, international students have many different options to choose from. One of our goals at College Factual is to give you as much information as we can - such as our Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking - to help you make that decision.

We analyzed 596 colleges and universities across the United States to determine which were the best for South Korean students. Our ranking is based on several objective factors, including the school's overall quality and the total number of international students at the school. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another.

Learn more about our ranking methodology.

One Size Does Not Fit All

We know that one set of rankings doesn't always help you determine the best school for you, so we've created the ability to narrow your list by location as well as alternative rankings that prioritize different factors such as those of importance to online students or returning adults or those who value diversity and value for your money.

We've created a tool called College Combat that lets you create your own customized comparisons based on the factors that matter the most to you. We encourage you to try it out and pit your favorite colleges and universities head to head! If you don't have time right now, you can bookmark it for later.

Top Colleges in the U.S. for Students from South Korea

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

Our 2021 rankings named Columbia University in the City of New York the best school for South Korean students working on their bachelor’s degree. Columbia is a large private not-for-profit school situated in New York, New York. It awarded 2,702 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 36.3% of the total student body at the school. The top three countries sending students to study at Columbia are China, India, and South Korea.

Since the school has a student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1, those pursuing a bachelor’s degree will have more opportunities to interact with their professors. In addition to its great ranking here, Columbia is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#2

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California

A rank of #2 on our list means University of Southern California is a great place for South Korean students working on their bachelor’s degree. This large private not-for-profit school is located in Los Angeles, California, and it awarded 5,337 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 23.9% are international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to USC to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 96%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. On top of its placing in this ranking, USC also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#3

University of California - Berkeley

Berkeley, California

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at University of California - Berkeley helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the best schools for South Korean students. This large public school is located in Berkeley, California, and it awarded 9,627 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 17.0% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, South Korea, and India come to UC Berkeley to study.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 97%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UC Berkeley also is in the top 5% of our overall quality ranking.

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#4

New York University

New York, New York
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend New York University. It ranked #4 on our 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean students list. NYU is located in New York, New York and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 6,658 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Around 27.6% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at NYU are China, India, and South Korea.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 93%. NYU also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools in this category.

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Top 10% in Quality in the United States

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean students list. Champaign, Illinois is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 8,983 students in 2018-2019.

International students make up 22.3% of the total student body at the school. The top three countries sending students to study at UIUC are China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 92%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its great ranking here, UIUC is in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#6

University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, California

University of California - Los Angeles came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking. UCLA is a public institution located in Los Angeles, California. The school has a large population, and it awarded 9,069 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 15.8% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at UCLA are China, South Korea, and India.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 97%. UCLA excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#7

Cornell University

Ithaca, New York

Cornell University ranked #7 on this year’s Best Colleges for South Korean Students list. Cornell is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Ithaca, New York. It awarded 4,145 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 22.6% of the total student population at the school is international. Students from as far away as China, India, and Canada come to Cornell to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 97%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, Cornell is in the top 1% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#8

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Carnegie Mellon University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking, coming in at #8. This fairly large private not-for-profit school is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and it awarded 1,848 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 41.0% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at Carnegie Mellon are China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 96%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Carnegie Mellon excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#9

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

University of Pennsylvania ranked #9 on this year’s Best Colleges for South Korean Students list. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 3,632 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 20.6% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at UPenn are China, India, and South Korea.

The impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. In addition to its great ranking here, UPenn is in the top 1% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#10

University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, Michigan

With a ranking of #10, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor is a large public school located in Ann Arbor, Michigan that handed out 7,815 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 14.9% of the total student population at the school is international. Students studying at U-M come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. In addition to its great ranking here, U-M is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#11

University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, California
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

University of California - San Diego came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking. Located in La Jolla, California, the large public school awarded 8,037 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 23.2% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at UCSD are China, India, and South Korea.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 94%. On top of its placing in this ranking, UCSD also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#12

Boston University

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston University came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking. Boston, Massachusetts is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 4,780 students in 2018-2019.

International students make up 24.8% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to Boston U to study.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 93%. Boston U excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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With a ranking of #13, Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students. Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus is a large public school located in Atlanta, Georgia that handed out 3,717 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 23.8% of the total student population at the school is international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to Georgia Tech to study.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Georgia Tech also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools in this category.

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#14

Harvard University

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Harvard University ranked #14 on this year’s Best Colleges for South Korean Students list. Harvard is a private not-for-profit institution located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The school has a large population, and it awarded 2,902 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 23.0% of the total student body at the school. Students studying at Harvard come from such countries as China, Canada, and India.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 7 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. In addition to its Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Harvard is ranked #3 for overall quality in the United States.

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#15

Northeastern University

Boston, Massachusetts

With a ranking of #15, Northeastern University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students. Located in Boston, Massachusetts, the large private not-for-profit school awarded 4,127 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 32.5% are international. Students from as far away as China, India, and Taiwan come to Northeastern to study.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, Northeastern also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#16

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison, Wisconsin

University of Wisconsin - Madison did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking, coming in at #16. University of Wisconsin - Madison is a large public school located in Madison, Wisconsin that handed out 8,915 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 14.5% of the total student population at the school is international. Students studying at UW - Madison come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 95%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, UW - Madison also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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Top 10% in Quality in the United States

With a ranking of #17, University of Washington - Seattle Campus did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students. Located in Seattle, Washington, the large public school awarded 9,269 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Around 16.5% of the total student population at the school is international. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to UW Seattle to study.

With a freshman retention rate of 94%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, UW Seattle also is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking.

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#18

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

Northwestern University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking, coming in at #18. Evanston, Illinois is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 2,770 students in 2018-2019.

Of the total number of students at the school, 17.1% are international. The top three countries sending students to study at Northwestern are China, India, and South Korea.

The impressive student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1 means that students may have more opportunities to work more closely with their professors than they would at other schools. Northwestern also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 1% of all schools in this category.

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#19

Stanford University

Stanford, California

With a ranking of #19, Stanford University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students. Stanford University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in Stanford, California that handed out 1,892 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 24.6% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at Stanford are China, India, and Canada.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 98%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. Stanford also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 1% of all schools in this category.

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#20

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities landed the #20 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students. UMN Twin Cities is a public institution located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The school has a large population, and it awarded 8,988 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

International students make up 12.0% of the total student body at the school. Students from as far away as China, India, and South Korea come to UMN Twin Cities to study.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 93%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, UMN Twin Cities also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 10% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#21

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins University ranked #21 on this year’s Best Colleges for South Korean Students list. Johns Hopkins is located in Baltimore, Maryland and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,747 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Around 20.0% of the total student population at the school is international. Students studying at Johns Hopkins come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 97%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, Johns Hopkins also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 5% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#22

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking, coming in at #22. Cambridge, Massachusetts is the setting for this fairly large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 1,333 students in 2018-2019.

International students make up 29.5% of the total student body at the school. Students studying at MIT come from such countries as China, India, and Canada.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 3 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. In addition to its Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, MIT is ranked #5 for overall quality in the United States.

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#23

Indiana University - Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana
Top 10% in Quality in the United States

With a ranking of #23, Indiana University - Bloomington did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students. IU Bloomington is located in Bloomington, Indiana and, has a large student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 7,952 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Of the total number of students at the school, 13.3% are international. Students studying at IU Bloomington come from such countries as China, India, and South Korea.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 91%. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, IU Bloomington also is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking.

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Top 10% in Quality in the United States

With a ranking of #24, The University of Texas at Austin did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students. Located in Austin, Texas, the large public school awarded 10,098 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

Around 10.1% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at UT Austin are China, India, and South Korea.

With a freshman retention rate of 95%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. UT Austin excels when it comes to quality. It’s ranked in the top 10% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#25

Emory University

Atlanta, Georgia

Emory University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking, coming in at #25. Emory is a private not-for-profit institution located in Atlanta, Georgia. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 2,598 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Around 17.2% of the total student population at the school is international. The top three countries sending students to study at Emory are China, South Korea, and India.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 9 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. In addition to its great ranking here, Emory is in the top 5% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Colleges for South Korean students

Not only did these schools make the top 50 list, but they also landed in the top 15% of this year’s ranking:

#26

Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, Missouri
#27

Duke University

Durham, North Carolina
#28

University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois
#29

University of California - Irvine

Irvine, California
#30

Michigan State University

East Lansing, Michigan
#31

Pennsylvania State University - University Park

University Park, Pennsylvania
#32

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, New York
#33

Texas A&M University - College Station

College Station, Texas
#34

University of California - Davis

Davis, California
#35

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut
#36

University of Rochester

Rochester, New York
#37

Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, Illinois
#38

University at Buffalo

Buffalo, New York
#39

George Washington University

Washington, District of Columbia
#40

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida
#41

Georgetown University

Washington, District of Columbia
#43

Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey
#44

Rutgers University - New Brunswick

New Brunswick, New Jersey
#45

University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, Maryland
#46

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York
#47

Rice University

Houston, Texas
#48

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia
#49

Binghamton University

Vestal, New York
#50

Brown University

Providence, Rhode Island

Rest of the Top 15% Best Colleges in the United States for International Students

To learn more about the schools below, just click on their names:

Rank College Location
51 Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA
52 Rhode Island School of Design Providence, RI
53 California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA
54 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
55 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
56 Iowa State University Ames, IA
57 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
58 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ
59 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
60 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
61 School of Visual Arts New York, NY
62 University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
63 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
64 Brandeis University Waltham, MA
65 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
Rank College Location
66 University of Georgia Athens, GA
67 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
68 Pratt Institute - Main Brooklyn, NY
69 The University of Texas at Dallas Richardson, TX
70 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
71 The New School New York, NY
72 University of Delaware Newark, DE
73 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
74 Dartmouth College Hanover, NH
75 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
76 Temple University Philadelphia, PA
77 Tufts University Medford, MA
78 University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
79 Savannah College of Art and Design Savannah, GA
80 Babson College Wellesley, MA
81 Calvin University Grand Rapids, MI
82 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
83 Fashion Institute of Technology New York, NY
84 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
85 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
86 Auburn University Auburn, AL
87 University of South Florida - Main Campus Tampa, FL
88 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
89 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
90 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
Rank College Location

Honorable Mentions

These schools also performed well in our Best Colleges for South Korean Students ranking:

Rank College Location
91 Lehigh University Bethlehem, PA
92 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
93 Berklee College of Music Boston, MA
94 Mount Holyoke College South Hadley, MA
95 School of the Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, IL
96 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
97 University of Oregon Eugene, OR
98 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
99 The New England Conservatory of Music Boston, MA
100 Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg Middletown, PA
101 University at Albany Albany, NY
102 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
103 Manhattan School of Music New York, NY
104 Fordham University Bronx, NY
105 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy, NY
Rank College Location
106 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
107 Wellesley College Wellesley, MA
108 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
109 College of William and Mary Williamsburg, VA
110 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
111 American University Washington, DC
112 University of Houston Houston, TX
113 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
114 Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park, NY
115 Baruch College New York, NY
116 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
117 Bentley University Waltham, MA
118 Grinnell College Grinnell, IA
119 Pennsylvania State University - Erie - Behrend College Erie, PA
120 University of California - Riverside Riverside, CA

More Rankings >

Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Tuition and Fees and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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