Colleges and universities in the United States - Statistics & Facts

Published by Erin Duffin, Jul 3, 2019
The American public is becoming increasingly more educated. High school and college graduation rates have gone up significantly since the 1960s, and today more and more people choose to take their studies on past a Bachelor’s degree, going on to obtain a Master's degree or even a PhD.

The majority of all degrees in the United States are granted by public institutions, though private universities grant a fair share of Bachelor's and Master's degrees as well. For-profit universities grant about 16 percent of all Associate's degrees in the U.S. An Associate’s degree usually takes two years to complete and can qualify a student for a variety of technical or caretaking positions.

In recent history, state tax dollars provided the largest amount of revenue for public institutes of higher education. According to figures from the 2016/17 academic year, state appropriations provided 68.62 billion U.S. dollars nationwide to higher education. Student tuition and fees also provide a significant sum of revenue for these institutes, while many institutions also benefit from endowment funds. In the fiscal year of 2018, Harvard University had a total endowment fund value of 38.3 billion U.S. dollars.

The rising cost of tuition in recent years continues to scandalize the nation. Students attending Columbia University, one of the leading universities in the U.S., are expected to pay 59,430 U.S. dollars for the 2018 academic year alone. Across the board, tuition costs have increased since the early 2000s. The total individual cost of attending a public university was 21,370 U.S. dollars on average in the 2018/19 academic year.

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Colleges and universities in the U.S.

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