How has the college enrollment rate immediately following high school graduation varied over time?
Of the 3.1 million recent high school completers1 in 2016, some 2.2 million, or 70 percent, enrolled in college by the following October. The annual percentage of high school completers who enroll in 2- or 4-year colleges in the fall immediately following high school completion is known as the immediate college enrollment rate. The overall immediate college enrollment rate increased from 63 percent in 2000 to 70 percent in 2016, though the 2016 rate was not measurably different from that in 2010.
Higher percentages of high school completers immediately enrolled in 4-year colleges than in 2-year colleges in every year from 2000 to 2016. In 2016, about 46 percent of high school completers enrolled in a 4-year college and 24 percent enrolled in a 2-year college. The immediate college enrollment rates for 4-year and for 2-year colleges in 2016 were not measurably different from 2000.
Percentage of high school completers who were enrolled in 2- or 4-year colleges by the October immediately following high school completion, by level of institution: 2000 through 2016
NOTE: High school completers are individuals ages 16 to 24 who graduated from high school or completed a GED or other high school equivalency credential prior to October of the calendar year.
1 High school completers are individuals ages 16 to 24 who graduated from high school or completed a GED or other high school equivalency credential prior to October of the calendar year.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). The Condition of Education 2018 (2018-144), Immediate College Enrollment Rate.
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