China's arduous college entrance exam, the Gaokao, just ended a week ago. While students wait for their results, the University of New Hampshire (UNH) recently announced it would officially start accepting Gaokao scores as part of the application process, starting this fall.
This is the first public university in the United States to formally accept Gaokao scores, in an effort to attract more Chinese students.
According to government data, China is the largest exporter of students to the US, with 377,000 currently enrolled in US universities.
The University of New Hampshire had 781 international undergraduate and graduate students on campus last fall, double the figure from five years previous. About half of those foreign students came from China.
As part of the new initiative, the university has launched a recruiting website in Chinese and English. They also plan to send an admissions team to Beijing to introduce UNH.
"This initiative is part of UNH's commitment to attracting more and stronger applicants from around the world," said university spokeswoman Erika Mantz. "This new program will in no way limit access for New Hampshire students," she added.
In addition to submitting their Gaokao results, students must also take an English test, participate in a video interview and send their high school transcripts before moving forward with the application process.
Mantz added that the process was still being finalized, but that Chinese students may still need to take the American SAT or ACT exam.
A similar program at the University of San Francisco allows Chinese students to bypass US standardized tests altogether and instead submit just their Gaokao grades and English language interview.
International students have become an important way to universities bolster revenue. The University of New Hampshire charges 45,000 US dollars per academic year for tuition and housing costs. Overseas students are required to pay full priced tuition.
In recent years, many universities in Europe, Australia, and Canada have started to accept Gaokao results as part of the application process.