How has the college enrollment rate immediately following high school graduation varied over time?
Of the 2.9 million high school completers in 2014, some 2.0 million, or 68 percent, enrolled in college by the following October. This rate, known as the immediate college enrollment rate, is defined as the annual percentage of high school completers (including GED recipients) ages 16 to 24 who enroll in 2- or 4-year colleges in the fall immediately following high school. The immediate college enrollment rate increased 8 percentage points from 1990 (60 percent) to 2014 (68 percent) and 5 percentage points between 2000 (63 percent) and 2014. The 2014 rate was not significantly different from the corresponding rate in 2013.
The immediate college enrollment rate at 4-year colleges (44 percent) was higher than the rate at 2-year colleges (25 percent) in 2014, and has been each year since 1990. The immediate college enrollment rate of high school completers at 2-year colleges increased from 1990 (20 percent) to 2014 (25 percent); however, the rate in 2014 was not measurably different from the rate in 2000 and 2013. At 4-year colleges, the immediate college enrollment rate in 2014 (44 percent) was not measurably different from the rate in 1990, 2000, and 2013.
Percentage of recent high school completers who were enrolled in 2- or 4-year colleges by the October immediately following high school completion, by level of institution: 1990–2014
NOTE: Includes individuals ages 16 to 24 who graduated from high school or completed a GED during the calendar year.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2016). The Condition of Education 2016 (NCES 2016-144), Immediate College Enrollment Rate.
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