21 August :According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 69 percent of U.S. students who complete secondary education go directly to a degree-granting university.
Student enrollment in degree-granting two- and four-year postsecondary U.S. institutions has more than doubled since 1970, from just over 7 million to almost 15 million in 2005. But the 1970s saw other major changes in U.S. institutions of higher education.
Since 1970, women’s undergraduate enrollment has increased more than three times as quickly as men’s, surpassing men’s enrollment in 1978. Women made up 42 percent of undergraduate enrollment in 1970, some 50 percent in 1977 and 57 percent in 2005. Experts expect women’s undergraduate enrollment to continue growing more quickly than men’s enrollment and to make up 60 percent of enrollment in 2016.
Today, more U.S. college students are enrolled part time than in 1970 (37 percent versus 28 percent), and more are at two-year colleges (43 percent versus 31 percent). There are proportionately more older students on campus as well: 39 percent of all postsecondary students were 25 years or older in 1999, compared with 28 percent in 1970. Because of quickly changing job markets and flexible educational opportunities, education is an ongoing, lifelong process in the United States.
The "traditional" undergraduate — someone who earns a high school diploma, enrolls full time immediately after finishing high school, depends on parents for financial support, and either does not work during the school year or works part time — is becoming the exception rather than the rule. In the 1999-2000 academic year, 73 percent of all undergraduates were in some way "nontraditional."