Number of college students in the U.S. 1965-2028

U.S. college enrollment statistics for public and private colleges from 1965 to 2016 and projections up to 2028 (in millions)

by Erin Duffin, last edited Aug 9, 2019
Number of college students in the U.S. 1965-2028

How many college students are there in the U.S.?

In 2017, there were 14.56 million college students in the U.S. enrolled in public colleges and 5.1 million students enrolled in private colleges. These figures are expected to increase to 14.98 million and 5.33 million respectively by the year 2028.

The difference between public and private colleges


There are lots of different colleges and universities in the United States, and one key aspect when students choose which college to attend is whether it is a public or private institution. Public colleges, also called state colleges, are funded by the government of the state they are in. Private colleges, on the other hand, are not funded by the government, but by private donors and endowments. Typically, private colleges are much more expensive than public colleges. Public colleges tend to offer different tuitions for students dependent on whether they live in-state or out-of-state, while private colleges have the same tuition cost for every student.

Enrolling in college in the U.S.


College enrollment has increased significantly in the past decades, and currently, a majority of individuals between the ages of 18 and 21 are enrolled in higher education. There are many different aspects that determine where students choose to study, including size, cost, and location - and the increasing college enrollment means the American public is becoming more educated than in years past.
Show more

U.S. college enrollment statistics for public and private colleges from 1965 to 2016 and projections up to 2028 (in millions)

You need to log in to download this statistic
Register for free
Already a member?
Log in
Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $588 / Year
Basic Account
Get to know the platform

You only have access to basic statistics.

Premium Account
Your perfect start with Statista
  • Instant access to 1m statistics
  • Download in XLS, PDF & PNG format
  • Detailed references

$49 / Month *

Corporate Account
Full access

Corporate solution including all features.

* All products require an annual contract.
   Prices do not include sales tax.
Leading companies trust Statista:
paypalgoogleadobepgsamsungtelekom
Related Studies: Available to Download in PDF or PPTX Format
Funding university in the United States
Funding university in the United States

All Information
in one Presentation

Funding university in the United States

Everything On "Funding university in the United States" in One Document: Edited and Divided into Handy Chapters. Including Detailed References.

Statista has been my savior on several occasions. The site is easy to maneuver and the data is in a format that can go right into a report or presentation.
Marlene Greenfield

Marlene Greenfield
Vice President, Hearst Magazines

Statistics on "Funding university in the United States"
  • Overview
The most important statistics
  • Sallie Mae key figures
  • Sallie Mae and college finance
  • Funding education
  • Attitudes on financing college education
Discover Statista
Need help with using Statista for your research? Tutorials and first steps
Further Content: Statistics, Studies, and Topic Pages
Learn more about how Statista can support your business.
Do you have any questions about our business solutions?

We provide you with detailed information about our Corporate Account.