Just in time for the college admissions decisions season, the National Center for Education Statistics, part of the U.S. Department of Education, has released the data it collected on the costs, financial aid, and graduation rates of 4-year colleges and universities nationwide. The report, called "Enrollment in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 201; Financial Statistics, Fiscal Year 2010; and Graduation Rates, Selected Cohorts, 2002-2007" analyzes information culled during the spring of last year from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems.
The report includes information on the costs, pre- and post-financial aid for the different classes of 4-year institutions in the United States.
For those attending public 4-year institutions, average price before aid was approximately $16,900 and net price was about $10,200; for those attending nonprofit 4-year institutions, average price before aid was roughly $32,700 and net price was about $16,700; and for those attending for-profit 4-year institutions, average price before aid was approximately $27,900 and net price was about $23,800,
The report has found that 19 million undergraduates enrolled in various accredited colleges and universities in the fall of 2010, with 56% of them enrolling in 4-year schools, while the majority of the rest enrolled in 2-year schools. Only 2% of students chose to enroll in programs less than two years in length.
Nearly 60% of those who chose to pursue a four-year bachelor's degree, obtained that degree within 6 years of first starting it.
Those who attended college full time had better outcomes and were more likely to attain a degree than those who chose to enroll only part time. After the first year, 72% of full-timers were still pursuing a degree, virus 44% of part-timers.
Overall, while year-to-year the number of people enrolling in college is continuing to increase, but the rate of increase has slowed and the data shows that for-profit colleges are becoming increasingly attractive for students seeking a degree.
For-profit colleges are becoming increasingly popular, with their enrollments growing by about 8 percent, while public universities and private nonprofit colleges increased by about 2 percent.