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2011 Spotlight

A Closer Look at Postsecondary Education by Institution Level and Control


Increasing participation in postsecondary education in the United States has become an issue of vital importance to policymakers. Several indicators in this volume describe the current state of postsecondary education and others describe how it has been changing in recent decades. In this section, we take a closer look at postsecondary education in the United States by examining these indicators by institution level and control, primarily for undergraduate students. These institutional characteristics were selected because postsecondary education in the U.S. has been undergoing changes along these dimensions. Specifically, postsecondary education has traditionally been divided into public and private not-for-profit institutions, but in recent years private for-profit institutions have entered the marketplace in growing numbers. This has created additional opportunities for students seeking a postsecondary education, but it has also brought to light differences in how students pursue and pay for that education.

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