June 24, 2015

U.S. Department of Education Releases Statistics on the Condition of Higher Education

The Hechinger Report spotlighted newly-released statistics from the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) on higher education trends as part of its annual “The Condition of Education” report.  Overall, they reveal a decline in enrollment and degree completion and slight gains in retention.

DOE reported the following losses and stagnant progress, among others in higher education:
  • One-third of 25- to 64-year-olds had bachelor’s degrees last year, the same as the year before.
  • College and university enrollment has fallen from 17.7 million in 2012-13 to 17.5 million in 2013-14.
  • The average annual earnings of 25- to 34-year olds with bachelor’s degrees or higher declined from $50,700 to $50,000 between 2012 and 2013.
  • The proportion of high school students who immediately attend college after graduating declined from a high of 70% in 2009 to 66% in 2013.
A few gains appeared in the DOE’s report, however:
  • The proportion of students who remained in their college or university through both freshman and sophomore year rose from 79% to 80%.
  • The percentage of students who graduate from a higher education institution within six years increased from 59.2% to 59.4%.