Undergraduate enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities grew by 5 million students between 2000 and 2009, according to a new report from the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). This increase is the largest in the undergraduate population in 30 years.
As most news stories this morning on The Condition of Education 2011 point out, one of the major themes in the report is the rise of for-profit higher education during the last decade (see The Chronicle of Higher Education). Growth in enrollment at for-profit institutions comprised 27 percent of the overall rise in the past decade, increasing from 23,000 in 1980 to 1.2 million in 2009.
Another 65 percent of the decade’s increase occurred at public institutions, with the remainder in the private non-profit sector.
The annual report, which is mandated by Congress, provides a snapshot of education from early childhood through the postsecondary level. Alongside enrollment information, it includes degrees conferred and analyzes the use of distance education, student financing and educational outcomes.