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Annual Reports and Information Staff (Annual Reports)
Postsecondary Education

College Enrollment Rates

(Last Updated: May 2021)

The overall college enrollment rate for 18- to 24-year-olds was 41 percent in 2019. The college enrollment rate in 2019 was higher for 18- to 24-year-olds who were Asian (62 percent) than for those who were of Two or more races (47 percent), White (41 percent), Black (37 percent), Hispanic (36 percent), and American Indian/Alaska Native (24 percent).

The overall college enrollment rate of 18- to 24-year-olds (ages in which students traditionally enroll in college) was 41 percent in 2019. In this indicator, college enrollment rate is defined as the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students in 2- or 4-year institutions. The Immediate College Enrollment Rate indicator, in contrast, presents data on the percentage of high school completers who enroll in 2- or 4-year institutions in the fall immediately following high school.

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Figure 1. College enrollment rates of 18- to 24-year-olds, by level of institution: 2010 through 2019
Figure 1. College enrollment rates of 18- to 24-year-olds, by level of institution: 2010 through 2019

NOTE: Includes 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college or graduate school. Data are based on sample surveys of the civilian noninstitutionalized population, which excludes persons in the military and persons living in institutions (e.g., prisons or nursing facilities).

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October Supplement, 2010 through 2019. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 302.60.

Figure 2. College enrollment rates of 18- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 2010 and 2019
Figure 2. College enrollment rates of 18- to 24-year-olds, by race/ethnicity: 2010 and 2019

NOTE: Includes 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college or graduate school. Data are based on sample surveys of the civilian noninstitutionalized population, which excludes persons in the military and persons living in institutions (e.g., prisons or nursing facilities). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October Supplement, 2010 and 2019. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 302.60.

Figure 3. College enrollment rates of 18- to 24-year-olds, by sex and race/ethnicity: 2010 and 2019
Figure 3. College enrollment rates of 18- to 24-year-olds, by sex and race/ethnicity: 2010 and 2019

1 Includes other racial/ethnic groups not shown separately.

NOTE: Includes 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college or graduate school. Data are based on sample surveys of the civilian noninstitutionalized population, which excludes persons in the military and persons living in institutions (e.g., prisons or nursing facilities). Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (CPS), October Supplement, 2010 and 2019. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 302.60.


Supplemental Information

College Participation Rates [Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups]
Snapshot: College Participation Rates for Racial/Ethnic Subgroups [Status and Trends in the Education of Racial and Ethnic Groups]
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Table 302.60 (Digest 2020): Percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college, by level of institution and sex and race/ethnicity of student: 1970 through 2019
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