What are the new Back to School statistics for 2012?
America's schools and colleges will welcome back record numbers of students this fall as population increases and high enrollment rates continue. In particular, more elementary students (prekindergarten through grade 8) are expected to enter U.S. public school systems than ever before.
Elementary and Secondary Education
In 2010–11, there were about 13,600 public school districts (source) made up of over 98,800 public schools, including about 5,300 charter schools (source). In 2009–10, there were about 33,400 private schools offering kindergarten or higher grades (source).
In fall 2012, over 49.8 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools. Of these, 35.1 million will be in prekindergarten through 8th grade and 14.8 million will be in grades 9 through 12 (source). An additional 5.3 million students are expected to attend private schools (source).
About 1.3 million children are expected to attend public prekindergarten this fall. Enrollment in kindergarten is projected to reach approximately 3.7 million students (source).
This fall, about 4.0 million public school students are expected to enroll in 9th grade—the typical entry grade for many American high schools (source).
Public school systems will employ about 3.3 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers this fall, such that the number of pupils per FTE teacher—that is, the pupil/teacher ratio—will be 15.2. This ratio is lower than the 2000 ratio of 16.0. A projected 0.4 million FTE teachers will be working in private schools this fall, resulting in an estimated pupil/teacher ratio of 12.3, which is also lower than the 2000 ratio of 14.5 (source).
Public elementary and secondary schools will spend about $571 billion for the 2012–13 school year. On average, the current expenditure per student is projected at $11,467 for this school year (source).
About 3.4 million students are expected to graduate from high school in 2012–13, including 3.1 million students from public high schools and 283,000 students from private high schools (source).
The percentage of high school dropouts among 16- through 24-year-olds declined from 11.8 percent in 1998 to 7.4 percent in 2010 (source). Although there have been declines in the Black and Hispanic dropout rates—which have traditionally been among the highest—dropout rates for Blacks and Hispanics remain higher than those for Whites and Asians (source).
The percentage of students enrolling in college in the fall immediately following high school completion was 68.1 percent in 2010 (source). Females enrolled at a higher rate (74.0 percent) than males (62.8 percent) (source).
College and University Education
In fall 2012, a record 21.6 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities, constituting an increase of about 6.2 million since fall 2000 (source).
Females are expected to comprise the majority of college students: 12.3 million females will attend in fall 2012, compared with 9.3 million males. Also, more students are expected to attend full time than part time (an estimated 13.3 million, compared with about 8.2 million, respectively) (source).
Nearly 7.4 million students will attend public 2-year institutions, and 0.5 million will attend private 2-year colleges. Some 8.1 million students are expected to attend public 4-year institutions, and about 5.6 million will attend private 4-year institutions (source) .
These record college enrollments have been driven in part by both increases in the traditional college age population and rising enrollment rates. Between 2000 and 2010, the 18- to 24-year-old population rose from approximately 27.3 million to approximately 30.7 million (source). The percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college also was higher in 2010 (41.2 percent) than in 2000 (35.5 percent) (source).
Increasing numbers and percentages of Black and Hispanic students are attending college. Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of college students who were Black rose from 11.3 to 14.5 percent, and the percentage of students who were Hispanic rose from 9.5 to 13.0 percent (source); these rates are becoming more closely aligned with their respective shares of the population in this age range (14.4 and 20.2 percent, respectively) (source). These increases in college-going rates reflect larger numbers of college-age Blacks and Hispanics as well as higher enrollment rates for both groups (source).
For the 2010–11 academic year, the average annual price for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board was $13,564 at public institutions (including $5,076 for in-state tuition) and $32,026 at private, not-for-profit and for-profit institutions (source).
During the 2012–13 school year, colleges and universities are expected to award 937,000 associate’s degrees; 1.8 million bachelor's degrees; 756,000 master's degrees; and 174,700 doctor's degrees (source).
In 2010, about 74 percent of young adults with a bachelor's degree or higher were employed full time, compared with 65 percent of those with an associate's degree, 56 percent of those with some college education, 55 percent of high school completers, and 41 percent of those without a high school diploma or its equivalent. Additionally, a smaller percentage of young adults with a bachelor's degree or higher were unemployed than were their peers with lower levels of education (source).
In 2010, the median of the earnings for young adults with a bachelor's degree was $45,000, while the median was $21,000 for those without a high school diploma or its equivalent, $29,900 for those with a high school diploma or its equivalent, and $37,000 for those with an associate's degree. In other words, young adults with a bachelor's degree earned more than twice as much as those without a high school diploma or its equivalent in 2010 (i.e., 114 percent more), 50 percent more than young adult high school completers, and 22 percent more than young adults with an associate's degree. In 2010, the median of the earnings for young adults with a master's degree or higher was $54,700, some 21 percent more than the median for young adults with a bachelor's degree (source).
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