Undergraduate International Student Enrollment Forecasting Model: An Application of Time Series Analysis


  • Yu Chen Louisiana State University
  • Ran Li Iowa State University
  • Linda Serra Hagedorn Iowa State University




enrollment management, SARIMA model, time series analysis, international students


This study developed statistical models to forecast international undergraduate student enrollment at a Midwest university. The authors constructed a SARIMA (Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average) model with input variables to estimate future enrollment. The SARIMA model reflected enrollment patterns by semester through highlighting seasonality. Further, authors added input variables such as visa policy changes, the rapid increase of Chinese undergraduate enrollment, and tuition rate into the model estimation. The visa policy change and the increase of Chinese undergraduate enrollment were significant predictors of international undergraduate enrollment. The effect of tuition rates was significant but minimal in magnitude. Findings of this study generate significant implications for policy, enrollment management, and student services for international students.

Author Biographies

Yu Chen, Louisiana State University

YU “APRIL” CHEN,PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education, College of Human Science and Education, Louisiana State University.  Her major research interests include international students, community college student success, STEM pathways, and data-driven decision making. 

Ran Li, Iowa State University

RAN LI, PhD, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Education, Iowa State University. His major research interests lie in the areas of international education, shadow education (private tutoring), and community colleges.

Linda Serra Hagedorn, Iowa State University

LINDA SERRA HAGEDORN, PhD, is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education in the School of Education at Iowa State University. She is a prominent researcher in international education as well as the area of community college success.


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How to Cite

Chen, Y., Li, R., & Hagedorn, L. S. (2019). Undergraduate International Student Enrollment Forecasting Model: An Application of Time Series Analysis. Journal of International Students, 9(1), 242–261. https://doi.org/10.32674/jis.v9i1.266



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