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Annual Reports and Information Staff (Annual Reports)
Postsecondary Education

Characteristics of Postsecondary Students

(Last Updated: May 2021)

In fall 2019, some 74 percent of the 11.0 million undergraduate students at 4-year institutions were enrolled full time, compared with 37 percent of the 5.6 million undergraduate students at 2-year institutions.

In fall 2019, there were 16.6 million undergraduate students and 3.1 million postbaccalaureate (graduate) students attending degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the United States.1,2 Unless otherwise noted, enrollment includes both U.S. resident students and nonresident alien students. The characteristics of students, such as their age and race or ethnicity, varied among public, private nonprofit, and private for-profit 2- and 4-year institutions.

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Figure 1. Percentage distribution of U.S. resident undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level and control of institution and student race or ethnicity: Fall 2019
Figure 1. Percentage distribution of U.S. resident undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level and control of institution and student race or ethnicity: Fall 2019

# Rounds to zero.

NOTE: Data in this table represent the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2020, Fall Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 306.50.

Figure 2. Percentage distribution of full-time undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level and control of institution and student age: Fall 2019
Figure 2. Percentage distribution of full-time undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level and control of institution and student age: Fall 2019

NOTE: Data in this table represent the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Percentage distributions exclude students whose age is unknown. Enrollment includes both U.S. resident students and nonresident alien students. Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2020, Fall Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 303.50.

Figure 3. Percentage distribution of part-time undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level and control of institution and student age: Fall 2019
Figure 3. Percentage distribution of part-time undergraduate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level and control of institution and student age: Fall 2019

NOTE: Data in this table represent the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Percentage distributions exclude students whose age is unknown. Enrollment includes both U.S. resident students and nonresident alien students. Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2020, Fall Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 303.50.

Figure 4. Percentage distribution of U.S. resident postbaccalaureate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control of institution and student race or ethnicity: Fall 2019
Figure 4. Percentage distribution of U.S. resident postbaccalaureate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control of institution and student race or ethnicity: Fall 2019

# Rounds to zero.

NOTE: Data in this table represent the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Race categories exclude persons of Hispanic ethnicity. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2020, Fall Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 306.50.

Figure 5. Percentage distribution of full-time and part-time postbaccalaureate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control of institution and student age: Fall 2019
Figure 5. Percentage distribution of full-time and part-time postbaccalaureate enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control of institution and student age: Fall 2019

NOTE: Data in this table represent the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Percentage distributions exclude students whose age is unknown. Enrollment includes both U.S. resident students and nonresident alien students. Degree-granting institutions grant associate’s or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on unrounded data.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), Spring 2020, Fall Enrollment component. See Digest of Education Statistics 2020, table 303.50.


1 Data in this indicator represent the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

2 For more information on how postsecondary enrollment has changed over time, see indicators Undergraduate Enrollment and Postbaccalaureate Enrollment.

3 Throughout this indicator, comparisons by race/ethnicity exclude nonresident alien students.

4 Throughout this indicator, students of unknown ages are excluded from the age analysis.

5 Detail does not sum to totals because of rounding.

Supplemental Information

Table 303.50 (Digest 2020): Total fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level of enrollment, control and level of institution, attendance status, and age of student: 2019;
Table 303.60 (Digest 2020): Total fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by level of enrollment, sex of student, level and control of institution, and attendance status of student: 2019;
Table 306.50 (Digest 2020): Total fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control and classification of institution, level of enrollment, and race/ethnicity of student: 2019;
Table 306.50 (Digest 2019): Total fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by control and classification of institution, level of enrollment, and race/ethnicity of student: 2018
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