College & University - Statistics & Facts

College & University - Statistics & Facts

College & University - statistics and facts

Colleges and universities are institutions of higher education. The distinction between the two is not always clear in the United States. It can be said though, that most colleges focus on undergraduate studies, while universities offer both undergraduate and graduate level education. Furthermore, universities are research-oriented institutions while colleges are generally focused on education. Most colleges offer four-year programs culminating in a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, universities offer graduate programs that typically end in a master’s degree or doctoral degree. As noted above, these distinctions aren’t set in stone and there are colleges that carry the name university and vice versa.


In the United States, there are private and public institutions of higher education. Public universities are administered at a state level and receive funding from the state government. Private institutions do not receive public funding and have to rely on endowments and student tuition to cover their ever-increasing costs. As a result, tuition at private colleges and universities is typically higher than at public institutions. In general, higher education in the United States is costly and many students have to rely on scholarships, student loans or grants in order to attend college or university.

Even though the costs of education have steeply increased over the last 50 years, the percentage of the population with at least a college degree has never been higher than today. In 2015, 32.3 percent of the male population and 32.7 percent of the female population held at least a college degree. In 1959, this rate was at 10.3 and 6 percent for the male and female population respectively. College enrollment data reflects this trend as well. In 2014, almost 20 million Americans were enrolled in college, up from less than 6 millions in 1965.

The United States are home to some of the most renowned universities in the world. Schools, such as Stanford, Harvard and Princeton, are frequently ranked among the best universities worldwide. The eight schools comprising the Ivy League (the Universities of Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Pennsylvania, Cornell, Columbia and Brown plus Dartmouth College) are especially known for academic excellence.

An international business school ranking, based on average alumni salary, is dominated by U.S. schools, with 5 of the top 10 schools being located in the United States. The salary ranking is topped by the California-based Stanford University with an average alumni salary of 183,260 U.S. dollars per annum. Earning a degree at an Ivy League school like Columbia University requires a considerable upfront investment however, with annual tuition and fees amounting to more than 55,000 U.S. dollars according to this college ranking, based on annual student costs.



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Facts on college & university
OverviewValuesStatistic
Number of higher education institutions in the United States in 20144,627 Details →
Percentage of population who had graduated from college or another higher education institution in the United States in 201532.5% Details →
Number of persons with attained Bachelor's degree in the United States in 201647.72 Mn Details →
Number of higher education degrees earned in the United States 2013/20143.81 Mn Details →
Annual tuition cost in the best ranked college by the Forbes, Stanford University, United States 201664,477 USD Details →
EnrollmentValuesStatistic
Number of enrolled undergraduates in colleges and universities in the United States 2015/201622.8 Mn Details →
Number of enrolled female undergraduates in the United States in 20149.71 Mn Details →
Number of enrolled male undergraduates in the United States in 20147.59 Mn Details →
Projected number of enrollments for public colleges in the United States by 202016.04 Mn Details →
Projected number of enrollments for private colleges in the United States by 20205.98 Mn Details →
Revenue and ExpenditureValuesStatistic
Average revenue generated per full-time equivalent student in public community colleges in the United States in 201313,082 USD Details →
Average expenditure per full-time equivalent student in public community colleges in the United States in 2013 14,090 USD Details →
Amount of funding received by postsecondary education programs from Department of Education in the United States in 201557.91 bn USD Details →
Amount of funding received by research programs at universities and other higher education institutions from Department of Health and Human Services in the United States in 201517.42 bn USD Details →
Projected expenditure of public colleges and universities in the United States in 2014335 bn USD Details →
Projected expenditure of private colleges and universities in the United States in 2014197 bn USD Details →
Attendance CostsValuesStatistic
Average cost for tuition and other fees at universities in the United States 2013/201412,213 USD Details →
Average annual charges per student for higher education in public institutions in the United States 2014/20156,371 USD Details →
Average annual charges per student for higher education in private institutions in the United States 2014/201526,184 USD Details →
Average cost to attend university per year in the United States 2013/201429,346 USD Details →
Average cost for room and board at universities per year in the United States 2013/20149,596 USD Details →


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