Enrollment in degree-granting post-secondary institutions increased by 18 percent between 1993 and 2003. Between 2003 and 2013, enrollment increased 20 percent, from 16.9 million to 20.4 million. Much of the growth between 2003 and 2013 was in full-time enrollment; the number of full-time students rose 22 percent, while the number of part-time students rose 18 percent. During the same period, the number of female students rose 19 percent, while the number of male students rose 22 percent. Although male enrollment increased by a larger percentage during this period, the majority (57 percent) of students in 2013 were female. Enrollment increases can be affected both by population growth and by rising rates of enrollment. Between 2003 and 2013, the number of 18- to 24-year-olds in the population increased from 28.9 million to 31.5 million, an increase of 9 percent, and the percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions rose from 38 percent in 2003 to 40 percent in 2013. In addition to enrollment in degree-granting institutions, about 472,000 students attended non-degree-granting, Title IV eligible, postsecondary institutions in fall 2013. These institutions are postsecondary institutions that do not award associate’s or higher degrees; they include, for example, institutions that offer only career and technical programs of less than 2 years’ duration.
Enrollment Trends in Higher Education