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Interesting Facts about American Colleges Today

America’s higher education system is an intriguing one as illustrated by the following revelations from the Chronicle of Higher Education’s annual almanac;

here are some interesting facts about American colleges today:

1. Less than one-third of Americans hold at least a bachelor’s degree, but at least 30 percent of adults in 16 states-mostly on the coasts- have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. The three interior states are Utah, Illinois, and Minnesota.

2. During a 10 year span ending in 2009, undergraduate enrollment jumped 38 percent, with some of the highest growth occurring in Arizona (149 percent), Georgia (77 percent), West Virginia (56 percent), and Florida (54 percent).

3. Between 1999 and 2009, undergrad enrollment at for-profit schools soared 539 percent compared with 32 percent for public institutions.

4. The largest state university in the country is Arizona State University in Tempe with 46,994 full-time and 9, 568 part-time undergraduates. The largest non-profit private university is New York University with 20,815 full-time and 1,282 part-time undergraduates.

5. While 347, 985 students earned undergraduate business degrees in 2009, only 15,496 walked away with a degree in mathematics.

6. One of the fastest growing degrees is in park, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies. During a 10-year period, the number of students earning degrees in this major (31,667) jumped 92 percent.

7. Among common majors, education experienced the biggest drop in interest among undergrads. In a 10 year period, the number of students earning an education degree declined five percent.

8. Twenty-three percent of full-time undergrads, who are 24 or younger, work 20 hours or more a week.

9. About 9 percent of students attend flagship universities and other state institutions that conduct intensive research.

10. Seventy-three percent of all students attend all types of public colleges and universities.

11. Just 16 percent of students attend private non-profit colleges and universities.

12. Nineteen percent of college freshman hope to earn a Ph.D., and 10.2 percent would like to become a medical doctor.

13. Between 1999 and 2009, undergraduate enrollment at for-profit schools soared 539 percent compared with 32 percent for public institutions.

14. About 3 percent of undergrads are veterans and 1 percent are on active military duty or reserves.

15. Twenty percent of all first-time undergraduates take at least one remedial course.


David Dickson is a counselor for Top Test Prep’s program. Top Test Prep = private tutoring and expert test prep with admissions counselors who help you gain admission to your top private schools, colleges and graduate schools. Call (800) 501-Prep or visit Top Test Prep’s contact page and enter your information to learn more.

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