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NCES Projects Enrollment, Expenditure, and Degree Increases to 2013

December 5, 2003

By 2013, postsecondary enrollment is expected to grow 19 percent to 18.2 million students and current-fund expenditures are expected to increase by 43 percent or $69 billion, according to projections by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). These estimates are included in an annual report conducted by the agency, which includes key education statistics from the past 14 years and projections for the next 10 years.

The report, “Projections of Education Statistics to 2013,” includes data on enrollment, degrees conferred, and current-fund expenditures for degree-granting institutions. The findings are based on national data collected via Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System surveys.

According to the report, increases in postsecondary enrollment will be influenced by select characteristics, including demographics and the type of institution. In particular, enrollment is projected to increase more for women than men and among full-time students more than part-time students. Furthermore, NCES projects a 20 percent increase in enrollment at -independent institutions versus an 18 percent increase at public institutions. Similarly, degrees conferred are expected to increase for women more than men. For example, the number of doctor's degrees conferred is projected to increase 5 percent overall, with a .1 percent decrease among men and a 12 percent increase among women.

The NCES report examines expenditures at public degree-granting institutions only, but details similar projections in expenditure growth between public two-year institutions and public four-year institutions. The current-fund expenditures per student at public four-year institutions are expected to increase 16 percent to $30,800, whereas expenditures are expected to increase 16 percent to $10,800 per student at public two-year institutions. These estimates are presented in constant 2001-02 dollars.

In November, NCES released a CD-ROM with the most recent postsecondary longitudinal data, as well as other public information collected in surveys by the U.S. Department of Education. The data on the CD-ROM are also available through the Data Analysis System, which allows users to design and run basic analyses of key educational indicators. For more information about DAS, visit

To download the full text of the NCES 2013 projections, click here .