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Postsecondary Education - Introduction

Group of three graduates

The indicators in this section of The Condition of Education examine features of postsecondary education, many of which parallel those presented in the previous section on elementary and secondary education. The indicators examine the characteristics of postsecondary students; postsecondary programs and courses of study; finance and resources; postsecondary completions; and economic outcomes, both for postsecondary graduates and the general population.

Postsecondary education is characterized by diversity both in the types of institutions and in the characteristics of students. Postsecondary institutions vary by the types of degrees awarded, control (public or private), and whether they are operated on a not-for-profit or for-profit basis. Beyond these basic differences, postsecondary institutions have distinctly different missions and provide students with a wide range of learning environments.

Indicators on postsecondary education and outcomes from previous editions of The Condition of Education not included in this volume are available at

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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education