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Total Undergraduate Enrollment Projected to Increase 14 Percent by 2025

June 13, 2016

The total undergraduate student enrollment in the United States is projected to increase by 14 percent between 2014 and 2025, according to The Condition of Education 2016, a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

In 2025, total undergraduate enrollment is projected to reach approximately 19.8 million, up from 17.3 million students enrolled in 2014. Much of this overall enrollment growth will be due to increases in the number of female undergraduate students, according to NCES.
In fall 2014, women accounted for 56 percent of the estimated total undergraduate enrollment. Between 2014 and 2025, female enrollment is projected to increase by 17 percent (to 11.3 million in 2025) versus an 11 percent increase in male enrollment (to 8.4 million).

NCES also predicts total enrollment will increase at the postbaccalaureate level, from 2.9 million in 2014 to 3.5 million in 2025. In contrast to undergraduate forecasts, the number of men in graduate/professional programs is expected to increase at a much higher rate than the number of women. Between 2014 and 2025, the number of men in postbaccalaureate programs is projected to increase by 24 percent, compared with a 19 percent increase in female students' enrollment. Despite the higher projected gain in male students, women are expected to account for the majority of students in graduate programs in 2025.

The NCES report, an annual publication, covers many aspects of elementary, secondary, and postsecondary educational progress in the United States. The full report is available here.


Lesley McBain
Assistant Director, Research and Policy Analysis