A slowdown in applications from prospective Chinese graduate students to U.S. institutions appears to be responsible for very small gains in the overall number of international applicants to U.S. grad schools, reports the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS).

On April 8, CGS released its annual report on international applicants to U.S. graduate schools. While the total number of applications from prospective students increased in 2013, the rate of increase was negligible, at 1 percent.

According to the report, Findings from the 2013 CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey, the number of applications rose only 1 percent from 2012 to 2013. This previous three years saw increases of at least 9 percent. The last time applications fell from the previous year was 2004-2005.

The decline in applications from China appears to be the main factor in the marginal growth in overall applications, according to CGS. The majority of international graduate students in the United States still come from China, but the drop in applications is noteworthy as it might lead to the first decline in enrollment in several years. South Korea, Taiwan, Canada, and Mexico also saw decreases in the number of applications.

Helping to bolster the growth in application numbers are the potential students from India and Brazil. Graduate school applications to the United States from India rose 20 percent, while those from Brazil rose 24 percent. A new government initiative to promote and fund study abroad among Brazilian students may explain the dramatic rise in applications from the country.