Postsecondary education includes academic, career and technical, and continuing professional education programs after high school. American colleges and universities and career/technical institutions offer a diverse array of postsecondary educational experiences. For example, a community college normally offers the first 2 years of a standard college curriculum as well as a selection of terminal career and technical education programs. A university typically offers a full undergraduate course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree, as well as programs leading to advanced degrees. A specialized career/technical institution offers training programs of varying lengths that are designed to prepare students for specific careers.
This chapter provides an overview of the latest statistics on postsecondary education, including data on various types of postsecondary institutions and programs. However, to maintain comparability over time, most of the data in the Digest are for degree-granting institutions, which are defined as postsecondary institutions that grant an associate’s or higher degree and whose students are eligible to participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs.1 These include almost all 2- and 4-year colleges and universities. Non-degree-granting institutions are those that offer only career and technical programs of less than 2 years’ duration and continuing education programs, and therefore do not award associate’s or bachelor’s degrees. The degree-granting institution classification currently used by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) includes approximately the same set of institutions as the higher education institution classification that was used by NCES prior to 1996–97.2 This chapter highlights historical data that enable the reader to observe long-range trends in postsecondary education in America.
Other chapters provide related information on postsecondary education. Data on price indexes and on the number of degrees held by the general population are shown in chapter 1. Chapter 4 contains tabulations on federal funding for postsecondary education. Information on employment outcomes for college graduates is shown in chapter 5. Chapter 7 contains data on college libraries. Further information on survey methodologies is presented in Appendix A: Guide to Sources and in the publications cited in the table source notes. See chapter 5 for information on adults’ participation in nonpostsecondary education, such as adult secondary education classes (e.g., to prepare for the GED test) or English as a Second Language (ESL) classes.
In 2018, some 19.6 million students were enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions. In addition to the students enrolled in degree-granting institutions, about 363,000 students attended non-degree-granting Title IV-eligible postsecondary institutions in fall 2018 (table 303.20). The remainder of this chapter focuses primarily on degree-granting institutions.
Fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions increased 32 percent between 1998 and 2008 (table 303.10 and figure 12). In 2018, fall enrollment in degree-granting postsecondary institutions (19.6 million) was 3 percent higher than in 2008 (19.1 million). However, during this period, enrollment reached a peak in 2010 (21.0 million or 10 percent higher than in 2008), followed by a decrease of 7 percent between 2010 and 2018. Similar patterns held for different groups of students, including by sex and enrollment status. For example, postsecondary enrollment was 3 percent higher in 2018 than in 2008 for both male and female students. For each, this overall increase reflects annual increases during the early part of the period followed by decreases during the most recent part of the period (a decrease of 7 percent for males and 6 percent for females from 2010 to 2018).
Such trends in overall enrollment are shaped both by the size of the college-age population and by rates of enrollment. While the traditional college-age population (18- to 24-year-olds) was about 1 percent higher in 2018 (30.5 million) than in 2008 (30.2 million), the percentage of this age group who enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions (41 percent) was not measurably different from the percentage in 2008 (tables 101.10 and 302.60). However, whereas percentage increases in total enrollment were similar for male and female students, trends in enrollment rates differed. Like the general population, the enrollment rate for male 18- to 24-year-olds in 2018 (38 percent) was not measurably different from the rate in 2008. For females, in contrast, the enrollment rate in 2018 (44 percent) was 2 percentage points higher than the rate in 2008 (42 percent). Additional differences in enrollment rates were observed by race. The enrollment rate for Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds rose from 26 percent in 2008 to 36 percent in 2018. The enrollment rate for Black 18- to 24-year-olds in 2018 (37 percent) was 5 percentage points higher than in 2008 (32 percent). Meanwhile, the rate for White 18- to 24-year-olds in 2018 (42 percent) was 2 percentage points lower than in 2008 (44 percent).
Although 18- to 24-year-olds are our best approximation of the college-age population, not all college students are part of this age group and trends in enrollment differ by age. The number of students under age 25 enrolled in degree-granting institutions was 6 percent higher in 2018 than in 2008, while the number of students age 25 and over decreased 2 percent (table 303.40 and figure 14). A similar pattern is expected to continue in the coming years. NCES projects that enrollment for students under age 25 will increase 5 percent between 2018 and 2029, while the enrollment of students age 25 and over will be 1 percent lower in 2029 than in 2018.
Postsecondary enrollment also differs across states. Overall, fall enrollment in degree-granting institutions declined 4 percent between 2013 and 2018, driven by declines across 40 states (table 304.10 and figure 13). The largest declines were in Alaska (-26 percent) and Iowa (-25 percent). In contrast, enrollment was higher in 2018 than in 2013 in 10 states and the District of Columbia. The largest increases were in New Hampshire (74 percent),3 followed by Utah (37 percent), Idaho (13 percent), the District of Columbia (10 percent), and Texas (7 percent). The overall enrollment decline in Iowa between 2013 and 2018 resulted primarily from declines among private for-profit institutions, while the enrollment increases in New Hampshire, Utah, and Idaho during the same period resulted primarily from increases among private nonprofit institutions (tables 304.15, 304.21, and 304.22).
As enrollment has changed at different rates for different groups of students, the composition of colleges and universities has shifted. The percentage of U.S. resident postsecondary students who are Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Black has been increasing (table 306.30). From fall 1976 to fall 2018, the percentage of Hispanic students rose from 4 to 20 percent of all U.S. residents enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, and the percentage of Asian/Pacific Islander students rose from 2 to 7 percent. The percentage of Black students increased overall from 10 percent in 1976 to 13 percent in 2018, but the 2018 percentage reflects a decrease since 2011, when Black students made up 15 percent of all enrolled U.S. residents. The percentage of American Indian/Alaska Native students in 2018 (0.7 percent) was about the same as in 1976 (0.7 percent). During the same period, the percentage of White students fell from 84 to 55 percent. Four percent of students in 2018 were of Two or more races. Race/ethnicity is not reported for nonresident aliens, who made up 5 percent of total enrollment in 2018 (table 306.10).
Nineteen percent of undergraduates in 2015–16 reported having a disability (table 311.10). In 2015–16, the percentage of undergraduates who reported having a disability was 19 percent for male students and 20 percent for female students. There were some differences in the percentages of undergraduates with disabilities by characteristics such as veteran status, age, dependency status, and race/ethnicity. For example, 26 percent of undergraduates who were veterans reported having a disability, compared with 19 percent of undergraduates who were not veterans. The percentage of undergraduates having a disability was higher among those age 30 and over (23 percent) than among 15- to 23-year-olds (18 percent). Among dependent undergraduates, 17 percent reported having a disability, which was lower than the percentages for independent undergraduates who were married (21 percent) or unmarried (24 percent). A lower percentage of Asian undergraduates (15 percent) had a disability than White, Hispanic, and Black undergraduates (21, 18, and 17 percent, respectively).
Of the 19.6 million students enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions in fall 2018, some 35 percent took at least one distance education course, including 17 percent who took their courses exclusively through distance education programs (table 311.15). Distance learning varied across the level and control of institutions. Twelve percent of students at public institutions took their coursework exclusively through distance education courses, compared with 20 percent of students at private nonprofit institutions and 63 percent of students at private for-profit institutions. Fourteen percent of undergraduates took their coursework exclusively through distance education courses, compared with 31 percent of postbaccalaureate students.
In fall 2018, the five institutions with the highest enrollment (including distance education as well as in-person enrollment) were Western Governors University (121,400 students); Southern New Hampshire University (104,100 students); University of Phoenix, Arizona (95,800 students); Grand Canyon University (90,300 students); and Liberty University (79,200 students; table 312.10). Enrollments in these institutions were predominantly students enrolled in distance learning only. Overall, despite the sizable numbers of small degree-granting postsecondary institutions, most students attend larger colleges and universities. Although only 14 percent of campuses enrolled 10,000 or more students, these institutions accounted for 61 percent of total postsecondary enrollment in fall 2018. In contrast, some 39 percent of institutions had fewer than 1,000 students; however, these campuses enrolled 3 percent of all postsecondary students (table 317.40).
Enrollment trends have differed at the undergraduate and postbaccalaureate levels. Undergraduate enrollment increased 47 percent between fall 1970 and fall 1983, when it reached 10.8 million (table 303.70 and Digest of Education Statistics 2016, table 303.70). Undergraduate enrollment dipped to 10.6 million in 1984 and 1985 but then increased each year from 1985 to 1992, rising 18 percent before stabilizing between 1992 and 1998. Undergraduate enrollment increased every year between 1998 and 2008. Undergraduate enrollment was 2 percent higher in 2018 (16.6 million) than in 2008 (16.3 million). This overall change reflects increases in undergraduate enrollment in 2008, 2009, and 2010 (when undergraduate enrollment reached 18.1 million), followed by an 8 percent decrease between 2010 and 2018.
Postbaccalaureate enrollment increased 34 percent between 1970 and 1984, with most of this increase occurring in the early and mid-1970s (table 303.80). Postbaccalaureate enrollment increased between 1985 and 2018, rising a total of 84 percent. During the last decade of this period, between 2008 and 2018, postbaccalaureate enrollment rose 11 percent, from 2.7 million to 3.0 million. Unlike undergraduate enrollment, which was lower in 2018 than in 2010, postbaccalaureate enrollment was higher in 2018 than in 2010.
Since fall 1988, the number of female students in postbaccalaureate programs has exceeded the number of male students (table 303.80). Between 2008 and 2018, the number of full-time male postbaccalaureate students increased 12 percent, compared with an 18 percent increase in the number of full-time female postbaccalaureate students. Among part-time postbaccalaureate students, the number of males enrolled in 2018 was 3 percent higher than in 2008, while the number of females was 6 percent higher.
The percentage of postbaccalaureate students who reported having a disability (12 percent) was lower than the percentage for undergraduates (19 percent).
Approximately 3.9 million people were employed in degree-granting postsecondary institutions in fall 2018, including 1.5 million faculty, 0.4 million graduate assistants, and 2.0 million other staff (table 314.20). Out of the 1.5 million faculty in 2018, about 0.8 million were full-time and 0.7 million were part-time. In 2019, the proportion of staff who were faculty was 39 percent, about the same as in 2009. During the same period, the proportion of staff who were graduate assistants increased from 9 to 10 percent. The proportion of staff who were not engaged in teaching—that is, staff in any occupational category except the faculty and graduate assistant categories—decreased from 52 percent in 2009 to 51 percent in 2018. The full-time-equivalent (FTE) student/FTE staff ratio at degree-granting institutions in 2018 (4.9) was lower than in 2009 (5.4; table 314.10 and figure 15). Also, the FTE student/FTE faculty ratio was lower in 2018 (13.8) than in 2009 (15.9).
Degree-granting postsecondary institutions differ in their practices of employing part-time and full-time staff. In fall 2018, some 45 percent of the employees at private for-profit 4-year institutions and 49 percent at public 2-year institutions were employed full time, compared with 61 percent at private for-profit 2-year institutions, 68 percent at public 4-year institutions, 69 percent at private nonprofit 4-year institutions, and 70 percent at private nonprofit 2-year institutions (table 314.30). Between 2009 and 2018, the number of full-time staff increased 7 percent, while the number of part-time staff was 2 percent higher in 2018 than in 2009 (table 314.20). For faculty specifically, the percentage employed full time was higher at public 4-year institutions (66 percent) than at private nonprofit 4-year institutions (56 percent), private nonprofit 2-year institutions (46 percent), private for-profit 2-year institutions (41 percent), public 2-year institutions (33 percent), and private for-profit 4-year institutions (18 percent; table 314.30). The number of full-time faculty increased 14 percent between 2009 and 2018, while the number of part-time faculty was less than 1 percent higher in 2018 than in 2009 (table 314.20). The number of part-time graduate assistants increased 12 percent during this period.
In fall 2018, some 9 percent of faculty at degree-granting institutions were Asian (based on a faculty count that excludes nonresident aliens and other persons whose race/ethnicity was unknown), 8 percent were Black, 6 percent were Hispanic, 1 percent were of Two or more races, 0.5 percent were American Indian/Alaska Native, and 0.2 percent were Pacific Islander (table 314.40). About 76 percent of all faculty were White: 38 percent were White males and 38 percent were White females. Staff who were Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, or of Two or more races made up 30 percent of graduate assistants and 32 percent of other staff in nonfaculty positions in 2018, compared with 24 percent of faculty. The proportion of total staff who were Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, and of Two or more races was similar at public 4-year institutions (29 percent), public 2-year institutions (28 percent), and private nonprofit 4-year institutions (27 percent), but the proportion was higher at private for-profit 2-year institutions (43 percent), private nonprofit 2-year institutions (36 percent), and private for-profit 4-year institutions (35 percent).
Faculty salaries generally lost purchasing power during the 1970s. In constant 2018–19 dollars, average salaries for faculty on 9-month contracts declined 16 percent during the period from 1970–71 ($81,000 in constant 2018–19 dollars) to 1980–81 ($68,100; table 316.10). During the 1980s, average salaries rose and recouped most of the losses. Between 1990–91 and 2018–19, there was a further increase in average faculty salaries, resulting in an average salary in 2018–19 ($88,700) that was 9 percent higher than the average salary in 1970–71. The average salary for male faculty in 2018–19 ($96,400) was 2 percent higher than in 2008–09 ($94,100). The average salary for female faculty in 2018–19 ($80,000) was 3 percent higher than in 2008–09 ($77,500). The average salary for male faculty was higher than the average salary for female faculty in all years for which data are available. In 2018–19, average salaries for male faculty were 20 percent higher than for female faculty, nearly the same percentage difference as in 2008–09 (21 percent).
The percentage of faculty with tenure has declined since 1993–94, both because of declines in the percentage of institutions with tenure systems and declines in the percentage of faculty receiving tenure at these institutions. The percentage of institutions with tenure systems in 2018–19 (57 percent) was lower than in 1993–94 (63 percent; table 316.80). Part of this change was due to the expansion in the number of for-profit institutions, relatively few of which have tenure systems (1.3 percent in 2018–19; tables 316.80 and 317.10). Between 1993–94 and 2011–12, the percentage of institutions with tenure systems decreased from 63 to 45 percent, while the number of for-profit institutions increased from 320 to 1,404. In more recent years, the growth of for-profit institutions has reversed, declining to 742 in 2018–19. During the same period as this decline, the percent of institutions with tenure systems increased from 45 percent in 2011–12 to 57 percent in 2018–19. In addition to the compositional change in postsecondary institutions, there was also an increase in the percentage of public institutions with a tenure system, from 71 percent in 2009–10 to 74 percent in 2018–19.
At institutions with tenure systems, the percentage of full-time faculty with tenure decreased from 56 percent in 1993–94 to 45 percent in 2018–19 (table 316.80). Among these institutions, there were differences between males and females in the percentage of full-time instructional faculty having tenure: 54 percent of males had tenure in 2018–19, compared with 40 percent of females. In 2018–19, about 49 percent of full-time instructional faculty had tenure at public institutions with tenure systems, compared with 44 percent at private nonprofit institutions with tenure systems and 13 percent at private for-profit institutions with tenure systems.
During the 2018–19 academic year, 4,042 accredited institutions offered degrees at the associate’s level or above (table 317.10). These included 1,636 public institutions, 1,664 private nonprofit institutions, and 742 private for-profit institutions. Of the 4,042 degree-granting institutions, 2,703 were 4-year institutions that awarded degrees at the bachelor’s or higher level, and 1,339 were 2-year institutions that offered associate’s degrees as their highest award. In 2017–18, associate’s degrees were awarded by 2,457 institutions, bachelor’s degrees by 2,335 institutions, master’s degrees by 1,884 institutions, and doctor’s degrees by 1,011 institutions (table 318.60). In addition to degree-granting institutions, 2,096 institutions offered postsecondary education in 2018–19 but did not grant degrees at the associate’s level or higher (web-only table 317.30).
A growing number of people are completing postsecondary degrees. Between 2007–08 and 2017–18, the number of associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees that were conferred increased (table 318.10). During this period, the number of associate’s degrees increased 35 percent (from 750,000 to 1,011,000), the number of bachelor’s degrees increased 27 percent (from 1,564,000 to 1,981,000), the number of master’s degrees increased 30 percent (from 631,000 to 820,000), and the number of doctor’s degrees increased 23 percent (from 149,000 to 184,000). The doctor’s degree total includes most degrees formerly classified as first-professional, such as M.D. (medical), D.D.S. (dental), and J.D. (law) degrees. In addition to degrees awarded at the associate’s level or higher, 955,000 certificates were awarded by postsecondary institutions participating in federal Title IV financial aid programs in 2017–18 (table 320.20).
Since the mid-1980s, more females than males have earned associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees (table 318.10). Beginning in 2005–06, the number of females earning doctor’s degrees has also exceeded the number of males. Between 2007–08 and 2017–18, the numbers of associate’s and master’s degrees awarded to males increased at higher rates than the numbers awarded to females, while the numbers of bachelor’s and doctor’s degrees have increased by higher percentages for females. The number of associate’s degrees awarded to males increased 41 percent during this period, while the number awarded to females increased 31 percent. The number of master’s degrees awarded to males increased 31 percent, while the number awarded to females increased 30 percent. In contrast, the number of bachelor’s degrees awarded to males increased 26 percent, while the number awarded to females increased 27 percent. Also, the number of doctor’s degrees awarded to females increased 30 percent between 2007–08 and 2017–18, while the number awarded to males increased 17 percent.
Of the 1,981,000 bachelor’s degrees conferred in 2017–18, the greatest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of business (386,000), health professions and related programs (245,000), social sciences and history (160,000), engineering (122,000), biological and biomedical sciences (119,000), psychology (116,000), communication, journalism, and related programs (92,000), and visual and performing arts (89,000; table 322.10). At the master’s degree level, the greatest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of business (192,000), education (146,000), and health professions and related programs (125,000; table 323.10). At the doctor’s degree level, the greatest numbers of degrees were conferred in the fields of health professions and related programs (80,300), legal professions and studies (34,500), education (12,800), engineering (10,800), biological and biomedical sciences (8,200), psychology (6,300), and physical sciences and science technologies (6,200; table 324.10).
In recent years, the numbers of bachelor’s degrees conferred have followed patterns that differed significantly by field of study. While the number of bachelor’s degrees conferred increased 27 percent overall between 2007–08 and 2017–18, there was substantial variation among the different fields of study, as well as shifts in the patterns of change during this time period (table 322.10 and figure 16). For example, the number of degrees conferred in foreign languages, literatures, and linguistics increased 3 percent between 2007–08 and 2012–13 but then decreased 22 percent between 2012–13 and 2017–18. Also, the number of degrees in social sciences and history increased 6 percent between 2007–08 and 2012–13 but then decreased 10 percent between 2012–13 and 2017–18. In a number of other major fields, the number of bachelor’s degrees increased by higher percentages in the second half of the 10-year period than in the first half. The number of bachelor’s degrees conferred in the combined fields of engineering and engineering technologies increased 23 percent between 2007–08 and 2012–13 and then increased a further 37 percent between 2012–13 and 2017–18. Also, computer and information sciences increased 32 percent between 2007–08 and 2012–13 and then increased 56 percent between 2012–13 and 2017–18. Some other major fields had smaller increases between 2012–13 and 2017–18 than between 2007–08 and 2012–13. For example, the number of degrees conferred in agriculture and natural resources increased 39 percent between 2007–08 and 2012–13 and then 17 percent between 2012–13 and 2017–18. The number of degrees conferred in health professions and related programs increased 62 percent between 2007–08 and 2012–13 and then 35 percent between 2012–13 and 2017–18. Also, the number of degrees conferred in public administration and social services increased 36 percent between 2007–08 and 2012–13 and then 12 percent between 2012–13 and 2017–18. The other field with a large number of degrees (over 10,000 in 2017–18) that showed increases of 25 percent or more between 2012–13 and 2017–18 was parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies (26 percent). Some other fields with sizable numbers of degrees saw decreases during the 2012–13 to 2017–18 period. For example, the number of degrees in philosophy and religious studies decreased 25 percent between 2012–13 and 2017–18. Also, the number of degrees in English language and literature/letters decreased 24 percent; the number of degrees in education decreased 21 percent; and the number of degrees in visual and performing arts decreased 9 percent. Additionally, the number of degrees in liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities was 5 percent lower in 2017–18 than in 2012–13, and the number of degrees in homeland security, law enforcement, and firefighting was 4 percent lower in 2017–18 than in 2012–13.
Among first-time students who were seeking a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent and attending a 4-year institution full time in 2012, about 44 percent completed a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent at that institution within 4 years, while 59 percent did so within 5 years, and 62 percent did so within 6 years (web-only table 326.10). These graduation rates were calculated as the total number of completers within the specified time to degree attainment divided by the cohort of students who first enrolled at that institution in 2012. Graduation rates were higher at private nonprofit institutions than at public or private for-profit institutions. For example, the 6-year graduation rate for the 2012 cohort at private nonprofit institutions was 67 percent, compared with 61 percent at public institutions and 25 percent at private for-profit institutions. Graduation rates also varied by race/ethnicity. At 4-year institutions overall, the 6-year graduation rate for Asian students in the 2012 cohort was 75 percent, compared with 66 percent for White students, 58 percent for students of Two or more races, 57 percent for Hispanic students, 49 percent for Pacific Islander students, 42 percent for Black students, and 41 percent for American Indian/Alaska Native students.
For the 2018–19 academic year, annual current dollar prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board were estimated to be $18,383 at public institutions, $47,419 at private nonprofit institutions, and $27,040 at private for-profit institutions (table 330.10). Between 2008–09 and 2018–19, prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board at public institutions rose 28 percent, and prices at private nonprofit institutions rose 19 percent, after adjustment for inflation. In contrast, the price for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board at private for-profit institutions were 6 percent lower in 2018–19 than in 2008–09, after adjustment for inflation.
In 2015–16, about 86 percent of full-time undergraduate students received financial aid (grants, loans, work-study, or aid of multiple types; table 331.10). About 70 percent of full-time undergraduates received financial aid in 2015–16 from federal sources, and 67 percent received aid from nonfederal sources. (Many students receive aid from both federal and nonfederal sources.) Section 484(r) of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended, suspends a student’s eligibility for Title IV federal financial aid if the student is convicted of certain drug-related offenses that were committed while the student was receiving Title IV aid. For 2016–17, less than 0.01 percent of postsecondary students had their eligibility to receive aid suspended due to a conviction (table C).
|Table C. Suspension of eligibility for Title IV federal student financial aid due to a drug-related conviction or failure to report conviction status on aid application form: 2007–08 through 2016–17|
|Award year||No suspension of eligibility||Suspension of eligibility|
|For full award year|
#Rounds to zero.
NOTE: It is not possible to determine whether a student who lost eligibility due to a drug conviction otherwise would have received Title IV aid, since there are other reasons why an applicant may not receive aid. Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding.
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), unpublished data.
In 2017–18, total revenue was $409 billion at public institutions, $248 billion at private nonprofit institutions, and $13 billion at private for-profit institutions (tables 333.10, 333.40, and 333.55 and figures 17, 18, and 19). The category of student tuition and fees typically accounts for a significant percentage of total revenue and was the largest single revenue source at both private nonprofit and for-profit institutions in 2017–18 (31 and 94 percent, respectively). Tuition and fees accounted for 20 percent of revenue at public institutions in 2017–18. Public institutions typically report Pell grants as revenue from federal grants, while private institutions report Pell grants as revenue from tuition and fees; this difference in reporting contributes to the smaller percentage of revenue reported as tuition and fees at public institutions compared with private institutions. At public institutions, the share of revenue from tuition and fees in 2017–18 (20 percent) was higher than the share from state appropriations (18 percent), while in 2007–08 the share from tuition and fees (18 percent) was lower than the share from state appropriations (25 percent; table 333.10). In 2017–18, tuition and fees constituted the largest single revenue category at private nonprofit 2-year and 4-year institutions, private for-profit 2-year and 4-year institutions, and public 4-year institutions (tables 333.10, 333.40, and 333.55). At public 2-year institutions, tuition and fees (16 percent) constituted the third-largest revenue category, below state (26 percent) and local (21 percent) appropriations.
Average total expenditures per full-time-equivalent (FTE) student in 2017–18—shown in constant 2018–19 dollars throughout this paragraph—varied by institution control and level, as did changes in average total expenditures per FTE student between 2009–10 and 2017–18 (after adjustment for inflation). In 2017–18, average total expenditures per FTE student at public degree-granting institutions were $37,200, reflecting an increase of 22 percent from $30,600 in 2009–10 (table 334.10). At public 4-year institutions, the average total expenditures per FTE student were $46,200 in 2017–18, compared with $16,900 at public 2-year institutions. At private nonprofit institutions, the average total expenditures per FTE student increased 14 percent between 2009–10 and 2017–18, from $53,600 to $60,900 (table 334.30). In 2017–18, average total expenditures per FTE student at private nonprofit institutions were $61,400 at 4-year institutions and $19,500 at 2-year institutions. The average total expenditures per FTE student at private for-profit institutions in 2017–18 ($16,500) were 6 percent higher than in 2009–10 ($15,700; table 334.50). In 2017–18, average total expenditures per FTE student at private for-profit institutions were $16,400 at 4-year institutions and $17,000 at 2-year institutions. This difference in expenditures per FTE student between 4-year and 2-year private for-profit institutions was relatively small compared with the differences between 4-year and 2-year institutions in the public and private nonprofit sectors, due to relatively low spending at 4-year private for-profit institutions.
At the end of fiscal year 2018, the market value of the endowment funds of colleges and universities was $648 billion, reflecting an increase of 9 percent since the beginning of the fiscal year, when the total was $597 billion (web-only table 333.90). At the end of fiscal year 2018, the 120 institutions with the largest endowments accounted for $482 billion, or about three-fourths of the national total. The five institutions with the largest endowments at the end of fiscal year 2018 were Harvard University ($39 billion), the University of Texas System ($31 billion), Yale University ($29 billion), Stanford University ($26 billion), and Princeton University ($25 billion).
1 Title IV programs, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Education, provide financial aid to postsecondary students.
2 Included in the current degree-granting classification are some institutions (primarily 2-year colleges) that were not previously designated as higher education institutions. Excluded from the current degree-granting classification are a few institutions that were previously designated as higher education institutions even though they did not award an associate’s or higher degree. The former higher education classification was defined as including institutions that were accredited by an agency or association that was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education or recognized directly by the Secretary of Education. The former higher education institutions offered courses that led to an associate’s or higher degree or were accepted for credit toward a degree.
3 Enrollment growth in New Hampshire was primarily driven by increases in online enrollment at Southern New Hampshire University.