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Postsecondary Education - Introduction

Male teacher and students

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 characteristics of postsecondary students, postsecondary programs and courses of study, finance and resources, and postsecondary completions.

Postsecondary education is characterized by diversity both in the types of institutions and in the characteristics of students. 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.