U.S. college enrollment statistics for public and private colleges from 1965 to 2016 and projections up to 2027 (in millions)

Number of college students in the U.S. 1965-2027 This graph shows the college enrollment for public and private schools in the United States from 1965 to 2016 with an additional forecast to 2027. In 2016, about 5.3 million students were enrolled in private colleges and 14.6 million in public colleges. From 1965 to 2016, total college enrollment increased by roughly 240 percent. The ratio of public to private colleges has increased slightly over this time, with public colleges making up 67 percent of enrollments in 1965 and 74 percent in 2016.
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YearPublicPrivate
2027*15.195.27
2026*15.165.25
2025*15.15.23
2024*15.045.22
2023*14.995.2
2022*14.955.18
2021*14.915.17
2020*14.895.16
2019*14.875.15
2018*14.85.13
2017*14.735.1
201614.585.26
201514.575.42
201414.655.55
201314.755.63
201214.885.76
201115.125.89
201015.145.88
200914.815.5
200813.975.13
200713.494.76
200613.184.58
200513.024.47
200412.984.29
200312.864.05
200212.753.86
200112.233.69
200011.753.56
199911.383.47
199811.143.37
199711.23.31
199611.123.25
199511.093.17
199411.133.15
199311.193.12
199211.383.1
199111.313.05
199010.842.97
198910.582.96
198810.162.89
19879.972.79
19869.712.79
19859.482.77
19849.482.76
19839.682.78
19829.72.73
19819.652.72
19809.462.64
19799.042.53
19788.792.47
19778.852.44
19768.652.36
19758.832.35
19747.992.24
19737.422.18
19727.072.14
19716.82.14
19706.432.15
19695.92.11
19685.432.08
19674.822.1
19664.352.04
19653.971.95
YearPublicPrivate
2027*15.195.27
2026*15.165.25
2025*15.15.23
2024*15.045.22
2023*14.995.2
2022*14.955.18
2021*14.915.17
2020*14.895.16
2019*14.875.15
2018*14.85.13
2017*14.735.1
201614.585.26
201514.575.42
201414.655.55
201314.755.63
201214.885.76
201115.125.89
201015.145.88
200914.815.5
200813.975.13
200713.494.76
200613.184.58
200513.024.47
200412.984.29
200312.864.05
200212.753.86
200112.233.69
200011.753.56
199911.383.47
199811.143.37
199711.23.31
199611.123.25
199511.093.17
199411.133.15
199311.193.12
199211.383.1
199111.313.05
199010.842.97
198910.582.96
198810.162.89
19879.972.79
19869.712.79
19859.482.77
19849.482.76
19839.682.78
19829.72.73
19819.652.72
19809.462.64
19799.042.53
19788.792.47
19778.852.44
19768.652.36
19758.832.35
19747.992.24
19737.422.18
19727.072.14
19716.82.14
19706.432.15
19695.92.11
19685.432.08
19674.822.1
19664.352.04
19653.971.95
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Description Source More information
This graph shows the college enrollment for public and private schools in the United States from 1965 to 2016 with an additional forecast to 2027. In 2016, about 5.3 million students were enrolled in private colleges and 14.6 million in public colleges. From 1965 to 2016, total college enrollment increased by roughly 240 percent. The ratio of public to private colleges has increased slightly over this time, with public colleges making up 67 percent of enrollments in 1965 and 74 percent in 2016.
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Release date
March 2018
Region
United States
Survey time period
1965-2016
Supplementary notes
* Forecast.

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