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Section 1 – Participation in Education in the United States

  •  Between 2000 and 2010, enrollment rates increased for young adults ages 18–19 and adults ages 20–24, 25–29, and 30–34; students in these age groups are typically enrolled in college or graduate school (indicator 1).
    Figure 1. Percentage of the population ages 3-34 enrolled in school, by age group: October 1970-2010
  •  The percentage of 3- to 5-year-olds enrolled in full-day preprimary programs increased from 32 percent in 1980 to 58 percent in 2010 (indicator 2).  

  •  From school years 2010–11 through 2021–22, public elementary and secondary school enrollment is projected to increase by 7 percent from 49.5 to 53.1 million students, but with changes across states ranging from an increase of 22 percent to a decrease of 15 percent (indicator 3).  

  •  From 1999–2000 to 2009–10, the number of students enrolled in public charter schools more than quadrupled from 0.3 million to 1.6 million students. In 2009–10, some 5 percent of all public schools were charter schools (indicator 4).  

  •  Private school enrollment in prekindergarten through grade 12 increased from 5.9 million in 1995–96 to 6.3 million in 2001–02 then decreased to 5.5 million in 2009–10. Some 10 percent of all elementary and secondary school students were in private schools in 2009–10 (indicator 5).

  •  Between 1990 and 2010, the percentage of public school students who were White decreased from 67 to 54 percent, and the percentage of those who were Hispanic increased from 12 percent (5.1 million students) to 23 percent (12.1 million students) (indicator 6 ).

  •  In 2011, higher percentages of Black (37 percent), Hispanic (34 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (33 percent), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (32 percent) children, and children of two or more races (20 percent) were living in families below the poverty threshold than were White (12 percent) and Asian (14 percent) children (indicator 7).

  •  The percentage of public school students in the United States who were English language learners (ELLs) was higher in 2009–10 at 10 percent (or an estimated 4.7 million students) than in 2000–01 at 8 percent (or an estimated 3.7 million students) (indicator 8).

  •  The number of children and youth ages 3–21 receiving special education services was 6.5 million in 2009–10, or about 13 percent of all public school students. Some 38 percent of the students receiving special education services had specific learning disabilities (indicator 9).

  •  Between 2000 and 2010, undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions increased by 37 percent, from 13.2 to 18.1 million students. Projections indicate that undergraduate enrollment will continue to increase, reaching 20.6 million students in 2021 (indicator 10).

  •  Postbaccalaureate enrollment has increased every year since 1983, reaching 2.9 million students in 2010. In each year since 1988, women have comprised more than half of postbaccalaureate enrollment. In 2010, postbaccalaureate enrollment was 59 percent female (indicator 11).

Section 2 – Elementary and Secondary Education and Outcomes

  •  In 2009–10, some 5 percent of traditional public schools were combined schools (schools with both elementary and secondary grades), whereas 19 percent of charter schools and 28 percent of private schools were combined schools (indicator 12).

  •  Among public school students in 2009–10, higher percentages of Hispanic (37 percent), Black (37 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native students (29 percent) attended high-poverty schools than did Asian/Pacific Islander (12 percent) and White students (6 percent) (indicator 13).

  •  Sixteen percent of public schools recorded at least one incident of serious violent crime in 2009–10; this was lower than the 20 percent of schools recording at least one incident in 1999–2000 (indicator 14).

  •  In 2009–10, some 53 percent of public school districts had high school students enrolled in distance education courses. In these districts, there were over 1.3 million high school student enrollments in distance education in 2009–10, compared to 0.3 million 5 years earlier (indicator 15).

  •  Of approximately 15,500 regular high schools with at least 10 seniors in 2009–10, there were 890 schools (6 percent) in which the number of seniors divided by the number of freshmen 4 years earlier was between 10 and 50 percent (indicator 16).

  •  A larger percentage of full-time teachers held a postbaccalaureate degree in 2007–08 than in 2003– 04. Forty-nine percent of elementary school teachers and 54 percent of secondary school teachers held a postbaccalaureate degree in 2007–08, compared with 45 and 50 percent, respectively, in 2003–04 (indicator 17).

  •  From 1999–2000 to 2007–08, the percentage of principals who were female increased from 52 to 59 percent at public elementary schools and from 22 to 29 percent at public secondary schools (indicator 18).

  •  From school year 1988–89 through 2008–09, total elementary and secondary public school revenues increased from $350 billion to $611 billion, a 74 percent increase after adjusting for inflation (indicator 19).

  •  Total expenditures per student in public elementary and secondary schools rose 46 percent in constant dollars from 1988–89 through 2008–09, with interest on school debt increasing faster than current expenditures or capital outlay (indicator 20).

  •  After increasing every year from 1997–98 to 2007–08, total variation in instruction expenditures per student was lower among public school districts in 2008–09 than in 2007–08 (indicator 21).

  •  In 2008, the United States spent $10,995 per student on elementary and secondary education, which was 35 percent higher than the Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of $8,169. At the postsecondary level, U.S. expenditures per student were $29,910, more than twice as high as the OECD average of $13,461 (indicator 22).

  •  The average grade 4 reading score in 2011 was not measurably different from that in 2009. The average grade 8 score, however, was 1 point higher in 2011 than in 2009 (indicator 23).

  •  At grades 4 and 8, the average mathematics scores in 2011 were higher than the average scores for those grades in all previous assessment years (indicator 24).

  •  At grade 12, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) U.S. history score was 2 points higher in 2010 than in 1994, while the geography score was 2 points lower. There was no measurable difference in the civics score from 1998 to 2010 (indicator 25).

  •  In 2009, the percentage of high-performing 15-yearolds in the United States was higher in reading literacy, lower in mathematics literacy, and not measurably different in science literacy than the respective percentages in the OECD countries on average (indicator 26).

  •  In 2010, some 40 percent of high school seniors participated in athletics, including 44 percent of males and 36 percent of females (indicator 27).

  •  In 2009, the average NAEP reading score of 12th-grade students with perfect attendance (292) was not measurably different from the score of those who reported missing 1–2 days in the previous month (290), but was higher than the scores of those who reported missing 3–4 days (284) and missing 5 or more days (273) (indicator 28).

  •  In 2011, about 14 percent of youth ages 16–24 were neither enrolled in school nor working (indicator 29).

  •  Between 1980 and 2010, the percentage of high school students age 16 years or above who were employed decreased from 36 percent to 16 percent. For male high school students, the decrease was from 37 percent in 1980 to 14 percent in 2010 (indicator 30).

  •  The percentages of high school graduates who took mathematics courses in geometry, algebra II/trigonometry, analysis/precalculus, statistics/ probability, and calculus while in high school were higher in 2009 than in 1990 (indicator 31).

  •  In school year 2008–09, more than three-quarters of public high school students graduated on time with a regular diploma (indicator 32).
    Figure 2. Averaged freshman graduation rate for public high school students, by state or jurisdiction: School year 2008-09
  •  Between 1990 and 2010, status dropout rates declined for Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics. Over this period, the status dropout rate was generally lowest for Asians/Pacific Islanders, followed by Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics (indicator 33).

  •  Over the 35-year period between 1975 and 2010, the rate of immediate college enrollment after high school ranged from a low of 49 percent in 1979 and 1980, to a high of 70 percent in 2009. This rate increased most recently from 2001 to 2009. (indicator 34).

  •  In 1990, 2000, and 2010, higher percentages of female than male 12th-grade students had definite plans to graduate from a 4-year college. This gap in expectations by sex was larger in 2010 than in 1990 (13 vs. 5 percentage points) (indicator 35).

Section 3 – Postsecondary Education and Outcomes

  •  Of the 18 million undergraduate students at degreegranting institutions in the United States in fall 2010, some 76 percent attended public institutions, 15 percent attended private nonprofit institutions, and 10 percent attended private for-profit institutions (indicator 36 ).

  •  In 2010, about 40 percent of full-time and 73 percent of part-time college students ages 16 to 24 were employed (indicator 37).

  •  In 2009–10, more than half of the 1.7 million bachelor’s degrees awarded were in five fields: business, management, marketing, and personal and culinary services (22 percent); social sciences and history (10 percent); health professions and related programs (8 percent); education (6 percent); and psychology (6 percent) (indicator 38).

  •  Overall, 693,000 master’s degrees and 159,000 doctor’s degrees were awarded in 2009–10; these numbers represent increases of 50 and 34 percent, respectively, over the numbers awarded in 1999–2000. In 2009–10, females earned 60 percent of master’s degrees and 52 percent of doctor’s degrees awarded (indicator 39).

  •  The average total cost of attendance in 2010–11 for first-time, full-time students living on campus and paying in-state tuition was $20,100 at public 4-year institutions and $39,800 at private nonprofit 4-year institutions (indicator 40).

  •  From 2006–07 to 2009–10, the percentage of first-time, full-time undergraduates receiving any financial aid increased from 75 to 85 percent at 4-year institutions (indicator 41).

  •  In academic year 2009–10, total revenues per fulltime- equivalent (FTE) student were 1 percent less than in 2004–05 in public postsecondary degree granting institutions (in constant 2010–11 dollars). Total revenues per student went from $28,966 in 2004–05 to $28,781 in 2009–10 (indicator 42).

  •  In academic year 2009–10, instruction was the largest per-FTE-student expense at public ($7,239) and private nonprofit institutions ($15,321). At private for-profit institutions, instruction was the second largest expense category, at $3,017 per student (indicator 43).

  •  Combining salary with benefits, faculty received an average total compensation package in academic year 2010–11 that was about 8 percent higher than the package they received in 1999–2000, after adjusting for inflation. In 2010–11, the average total compensation package for faculty was about $97,200, including $75,500 in salaries and $21,700 in benefits (indicator 44).

  •  Approximately 56 percent of male and 61 percent of female first-time, full-time students who sought a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year institution in fall 2004 completed their degree at that institution within 6 years (indicator 45).

  •  From academic years 1999–2000 to 2009–10, the number of postsecondary degrees conferred by private for-profit institutions increased by a larger percentage than the number conferred by public institutions and private nonprofit institutions; this was true for all levels of degrees (indicator 46).

  •  Between academic years 1999–2000 and 2009–10, the number of degrees earned increased by 50 percent each for associate’s and master’s degrees, 33 percent for bachelor’s degrees, and 34 percent for doctor’s degrees. For all levels of degrees in 2009–10, females earned the majority of degrees awarded (indicator 47).
    Figure 3. Percentage of degrees conferred to U.S.-resident females by degree-granting institutions, by level of degree and race/ethnicity: Academic year 2009-10
  •  In 2011, some 32 percent of 25- to 29-year-olds had completed a bachelor’s degree or higher. From 1980 to 2011, the gap in the attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher between Whites and Hispanics widened from 17 to 26 percentage points, and the gap between Whites and Blacks widened from 13 to 19 percentage points (indicator 48).

  •  In 2010, young adults ages 25–34 with a bachelor’s degree earned 114 percent more than young adults without a high school diploma or its equivalent, 50 percent more than young adult high school completers, and 22 percent more than young adults with an associate’s degree (indicator 49).
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National Center for Education Statistics -
U.S. Department of Education