Skip Navigation
small NCES header image

Chapter 6: Postsecondary Education

Indicator 34: Entry Into Postsecondary Education

Among 2004 high school graduates, a higher percentage of females (83 percent than males (76 percent) had ever attended a postsecondary institution by 2006. Higher percentages of females also enrolled immediately in a postsecondary institution (74 percent) and enrolled in moderately or highly selective institutions (41 percent) than did males (67 and 36 percent, respectively).

By 2006, about 80 percent of 2004 high school graduates had ever attended a postsecondary institution. Among the graduating class, 71 percent enrolled immediately after graduation from high school, and 9 percent delayed enrollment. A higher percentage of females (83 percent) than males (76 percent) had ever attended a postsecondary institution by 2006 a pattern that was also observed among White (85 vs. 78 percent, respectively) Hispanic (76 vs. 68 percent, respectively), and Asian (92 vs. 88 percent, respectively) high school graduates. The percentage of females with immediate postsecondary enrollment (74 percent) was higher than that of males (67 percent). This pattern held for White, Hispanic, and Asian students as well.

Overall racial/ethnic differences were also found. For example, the percentages of Black and Hispanic graduates who had ever attended a postsecondary institution by 2006 were lower than those of Whites and Asians (76 and 73 percent vs. 82 and 90 percent, respectively). A similar pattern was found among these groups concerning immediate postsecondary enrollment. In addition, lower percentages of American Indian/Alaska Native students than Asian students had ever attended a postsecondary institution (70 vs. 90 percent), and lower percentages of American Indian/Alaska Native students had enrolled in postsecondary education immediately after high school graduation (52 percent) than did their Asian and White counterparts (85 and 74 percent, respectively).

Postsecondary institutions include 4-year institutions, 2-year institutions, and less-than 2-year institutions. Among 2004 high school graduates, 48 percent first attended a 4-year institution, 30 percent first attended a 2-year institution, and 2 percent first attended a less-than 2-year institution. Overall, female high school graduates first attended 4-year institutions at a higher rate than males (50 percent vs. 46 percent, respectively). This pattern by sex was also observed among White and Asian high school graduates. No measurable differences by sex were found among Black, Hispanic, or American Indian/Alaska Native graduates or among high school graduates of two or more races. Across racial/ethnic groups overall, Blacks (44 percent), Hispanics (29 percent), and American Indians/Alaska Natives (35 percent) first attended 4-year institutions at lower rates than Whites (52 percent) and Asians (61 percent). However, Black high school graduates first attended 4-year institutions at a higher rate than their Hispanic counterparts.

Among the 2004 high school graduating class, some 16 percent of graduates first attended a highly selective 4-year institution by 2006. Twenty-three percent first attended a moderately selective 4-year institution, 6 percent attended an inclusive 4-year institution, and 4 percent attended a 4-year institution of unknown selectivity. The percentage of males attending moderately or highly selective 4-year institutions (36 percent) was lower than the percentage of females (41 percent) who did. This pattern by sex held for Whites (42 vs. 49 percent, respectively), Hispanics (15 vs. 21 percent, respectively), and Asians (49 vs. 57 percent, respectively). Across racial/ethnic groups, Black and Hispanic students attended moderately or highly selective 4-year institutions (23 and 18 percent, respectively) at lower percentages than did Whites, Asians, and those of two or more races (45, 53, and 37 percent, respectively). Black students attended moderately or highly selective 4-year institutions at a higher percentage than did Hispanic students.

Technical Notes

Respondents are considered to have immediate enrollment if they reported that they enrolled in their first postsecondary institution in December 2004 or earlier. Respondents are considered to have delayed enrollment if they reported that they enrolled in their first postsecondary institution in January 2005 or later. The selectivity of institutions is defined according to the definition used in NCES’s Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, which is based on the 2005 Carnegie Classification of Institutions. The “inclusive,” “moderately selective,” and “highly selective” categories correspond to 25th percentile ACT-equivalent scores of students who were accepted to the institution. The score ranges for the categories are less than 18, between 18 and 21, and greater than 21 points, respectively.

Top


Figure 34-1 Percentage of 2004 high school graduates who immediately enrolled in first postsecondary institution, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2006

Figure 34-2 Percentage of 2004 high school graduates who first attended a 4-year postsecondary institution, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2006

Figure 34-3 Percentage of 2004 high school graduates who first attended a moderately or highly selective postsecondary institution, by race/ethnicity and sex: 2006

Table E-34-1 Percentage of academic year 2004 high school graduates, by the timing of first postsecondary enrollment, sex, and race/ethnicity: 2006

Table E-34-2 Percentage of academic year 2004 high school graduates, by the level of postsecondary institution first attended, sex, and race/ethnicity: 2006

Table E-34-3 Percentage of academic year 2004 high school graduates, by the selectivity of the first postsecondary institution attended, sex, and race/ethnicity: 2006


  
Would you like to help us improve our products and website by taking a short survey?

YES, I would like to take the survey

or

No Thanks

The survey consists of a few short questions and takes less than one minute to complete.