Ghana Sends Third-highest Number of Students from Africa to the U.S.

Excited U.S. bound undergraduate students at a pre-departure orientation event on July 26, 2017
Some students bound for the U.S. at a pre-departure orientation event.

The latest Open Doors report on international education has revealed that the United States hosted 1.08 million international students during the 2016/2017 academic year. This marks a 3 percent increase over the prior year. The number of African students hit a record high at 37,735, marking a 7 percent increase over the prior year.

There are currently 3,111 Ghanaian students enrolled at more than 630 tertiary institutions across the United States. Ghana is the third-largest sender of students from Africa, after only Nigeria (11,710 students) and Kenya (3,189 students). Undergraduates make up 38 percent of those at U.S. universities and colleges. Graduate students make up 45 percent, out of which 42 percent are enrolled in doctoral programs. The remainder are in student status while in optional practical training or are enrolled in non-degree programs.

The five most popular U.S. states for Ghanaian students are Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Texas. The two most popular institutions are Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, which has 57 Ghanaian graduate students and four undergraduate students, and Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which has 52 undergraduate students from Ghana alone.

Meanwhile, Ghana’s strong universities attract 20,000 students from other African countries. In addition, 1,564 American students engaged in a credit-bearing program in Ghana in the 2015/2016 academic year, the most recent year for which numbers are available. This makes Ghana the second most popular African destination for American exchange students, after only South Africa.

For additional statistics, please visit Ghanaians interested in studying in the United States are encouraged to visit the U.S. government-sponsored EducationUSA Centers in Accra or Kumasi for advising and information sessions. For more information, please visit