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More High School Students Expecting to Go to College

August 3, 2005

Ninety-one percent of 10th graders in 2002 expected to go on to postsecondary education, compared with 74 percent of 10th graders in 1980, according to a new compendium of statistics published by the National Center for Education Statistics. In Youth Indicators 2005: Trends in the Well-Being of American Youth, NCES has provided a series of statistical indicators to describe the circumstances of Americans, ages 14 to 24 years old, both in school and beyond the classroom. The indicators examined include the following five areas:

  • Demographics
  • School-Related Characteristics
  • Employment-Related Characteristics
  • Activities Outside of School and Work
  • Health


The following are highlights from the data collected:

  • College enrollment rates of 18- to 24-year-olds have increased from 26 percent in 1980 to 38 percent in 2003; the enrollment rate for females has increased at a faster rate than for males.

  • The number of persons 14 to 24 years old is expected to increase between 2000 and 2020, reflecting growth in the number of minority youth. The population of Hispanics is expected to increase at a faster rate than the population of blacks and whites. 

  • The violent crime victimization rate for young people ages 12 to 24 was lower in 2002 than in 1995.

  • The median age at first marriage has increased for both sexes; from 23 in 1970 to 27 years old in 2003 for males, and from 21 in 1970 to 25 years old in 2003 for females.

  • The percentage of white seniors who reported current use of cigarettes, alcohol, and illicit drugs in 2004 was higher than the percentages of black and Hispanic seniors who reported doing so.


For additional resources on access and student demographics, see the NACUBO Research Web pages.