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NCES Releases New Data on Enrollment, Costs, and Completion

November 29, 2016

Approximately 27.4 million students were enrolled in higher education institutions in 2014-15, according to provisional data recently released by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Almost 4.3 million students received degrees and other awards.

About 23.6 million of the students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities were undergraduates, while roughly 3.8 million were in graduate degree programs. Women accounted for about 57 percent of the total enrollment, and about 37 percent of students identified themselves as racial/ethnic minorities. Approximately another 4 percent were non-U.S. citizens.

In total, these students were enrolled at 7,117 postsecondary institutions in the United States and its territories. Four-year colleges and universities graduated 3.2 million of the 4.3 million degree and certificate recipients in 2014-15. About 58 percent of those who earned degrees from four-year institutions were women, and roughly 22 percent identified themselves as racial/ethnic minorities. About 1.3 percent of degree recipients were non-U.S. citizens.

NCES also released information on college costs by institution type. Reported data show that from 2013-14 to 2015-16, average published in-state tuition and required fees for first-time, full-time degree-seeking undergraduates increased by 4.1 percent at public four-year colleges and universities, from $7,819 to $8,141, while average published tuition and fees at four-year private nonprofit institutions grew 4.4 percent, from $25,253 to $26,355. Average published tuition and fee charges decreased by less than 1 percent (from $16,119 to $16,066) at for-profit institutions.

The full report is available online.


Lesley McBain
Assistant Director, Research and Policy Analysis