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Postsecondary Education - Introduction

Four teenage students smiling

The indicators in this chapter of The Condition of Education examine features of postsecondary education, many of which parallel those presented in the previous chapter on elementary and secondary education. The indicators describe enrollment, student characteristics, programs and courses of study, institutional financial resources, student costs, and degrees conferred.

Postsecondary education is characterized by diversity in both institutional and student characteristics. Postsecondary institutions vary by the types of degrees awarded, control (public or private), and whether they are operated on a nonprofit or for-profit basis. In addition, postsecondary institutions have distinctly different missions and provide students with a wide range of learning environments.