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40 University Statistics You Must See in 2020: Analysis of Enrollment & Funding

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Future career, academic interest, and social life are just some of the reasons why students consider going to universities. Meanwhile, some believe that a college degree is not necessary and that they can use their time for something else. No matter where you lie in this spectrum, you’ll still find value in these fascinating university statistics.

Through this, you’ll know the success rate of college graduates in real-life. You can also see how much the average expenditure of university students is. Furthermore, using college demographics statistics, you’ll see what types of students are there in your neighborhood. These are just a few of the information included in this compilation of statistics.

This article lists a number of interesting facts and figures, which relate to universities in various ways. It shows the market shares, enrollment rates, funding, rankings, etc. of universities in the US and around the world. This will furnish you with more information regarding universities in general.

critical university statistics 2020

General University Statistics

Unlike in high school, where you learn a broad range of disciplines, regardless of your interest, college can be more focused. As a result, a lot of people are thinking of going to universities to pursue their passion. Relevant college statistics reveal that there are 2.6 million college graduates each year in the US. That number alone is proof of how bustling the degree earning sector is. Therefore, there is also a wealth of information that we could derive from it. Here are some of them:

  • There are 5,300 universities and colleges in the US. (EducationUnlimited, 2019)
  • In 2019, the completion rates of six-year and eight-year courses in universities reached an all-time high of 60% and 62%, respectively. (NSC Research Center, 2019)
  • The annual tuition and other fees of a full-time university in the US can reach as high as $61,850. (U.S. News & World Report)
  • Around 3.95 million higher education degrees were earned in the US by students in 2019. (NCES)
  • California has the highest number of higher education institutions in the US, with 269 and 172 four-year and two-year schools, respectively. (NCES)
  • Out of all the people aged 18 years and above in the US in 2018, 3.2 million were able to earn a professional degree, and 4.487 million received a master’s degree. (US Census Bureau)
  • In 2019, the average cost to attend universities was $49,870 for private nonprofit four-year school and $12,720 for public two-year schools. (US Dept. of Education)

breakdown of colleges and universities in the US

College and Universities Enrollment Statistics

As mentioned, students receive more focused learning in universities and colleges. Moreover, they can earn higher degrees, which could help them secure a better future. Some go for the most expensive degrees from top US universities to pursue their interests. With the variety of higher education programs, it’s no wonder that universities attract different types of students. So, we’ve collected some of the interesting data about these various programs and the number of students who enroll in the post-secondary level. In this next list, we will show the college enrollment statistics by university, ethnicity, gender, and more.

  • There are 21.9 million students enrolled in US colleges and universities in 2019. (College Board)
  • Higher-income high school students are 25% more likely to enroll in college and universities right after high school compared to students from low-income schools. (NSC Research Center, 2019)
  • About 800 private colleges in the US have an enrollment figure of no more than 1,000 students. (EducationUnlimited, 2019)
  • In 2018, the number of undergrads who enrolled in US universities was 21.9 million. (College Board)
  • Moreover, there’s a solid ethnic diversity for post-baccalaureate students who enrolled in a US university in 2018. Of the total number of students, there are 1.6 million Caucasians, 365,000 African-Americans, 292,400 Hispanics, 228,000 Pacific Islanders/Asians, and 13,600 Alaskan Natives/American Indians. (NCES)
  • It’s projected that by 2020, there will be 1.8 million female and 1.2 million male post-baccalaureate students who will enroll in a US university. (NCES)
  • It’s estimated that 9.4 million female undergrad students will enroll in US universities by 2020. Meanwhile, there will be 7.4 million male students. (NCES)
  • Lastly, the University of Florida has the most number of enrollees in the US in 2019, with 58,913 students. Second to it is Texas A&M University with 53,743. It is then followed by Florida International University with 48,439 enrollees. (U.S. News & World Report)

Source: NCES

Top Universities Statistics

Using university enrollment data, ranking rubrics, and other factors, award-giving bodies can determine which among universities stand out from the rest. This is an honor that each institution aspires to achieve. After all, the prestige that comes from this recognition will boost the number of their enrollees. Furthermore, they can gain more sponsors and funding so long as they prove how effective their educational system is. And what better way to do that than to enter the ranks of top universities that will give them the acknowledgment they need.

  • The number one university in the world, according to QS World University Rankings, is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). (Quacquarelli Symonds)
  • The top three universities in the US as of 2019 are MIT, Stanford University, and Harvard University. (Quacquarelli Symonds)
  • The top universities worldwide, according to Times Higher Education Rankings in 2020, are the University of Oxford, California Institute of Technology, and University of Cambridge. (Times Higher Education)
  • King Abdullah University of Science & Technology, Indian Institute of Science, Princeton University, California Institute of Technology, and Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology are all tied in first place for being the top universities according to Citations Per Faculty. (Quacquarelli Symonds)
  • With 79,152 students, Liberty University from Lynchburg, VA, has the highest number of enrollees for both the Grad and Undergrad programs for A.Y. 2017–2018. (College Express)
  • In 2019, the university with the highest average GPA of 3.71 was Brown University. (Ripple Match)
  • Stanford University is the hardest university to get in to with an acceptance rate of 4% for A.Y. 2018–2019. (Ingenius Prep)

Leading University Worldwide

Best Universities According to Features

Ranking universities, according to their academic prowess, is indeed the best measure of their competence. However, students don’t just study in schools, not 24/7, at least. They also spend their time there socializing, resting, attending extra-curricular activities, and more. Thus, we’ve compiled a list that ranks universities and colleges in aspects that aren’t strictly adherent to academics.

  • The top three US universities with the best dorms are Washington University, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, and Texas Christian University. (Insider, 2019)
  • Washington University is regarded as the best university in the US with the best college dining, according to students. (Business Insider)
  • The University of California, Washington University in St. Louis, and Virginia Tech are three of the universities with the best college campuses in America. (Niche)
  • The best university library in the world is St. John’s College Old Library at the University of Cambridge. (Uniplaces)
  • Furthermore, Forbes ranks the University of Chicago in Illinois as the top university with the most expensive tuition fee, amounting to $75,735. (Forbes, 2019)
  • Meanwhile, Forbes considers Brigham Young University as the best value college in America. (Forbes, 2019)

University Funding, Revenue, and Expenditure Statistics

Universities, in some ways, function similarly to businesses. For instance, there’s a full suite of employees working for the institution. Also, they have expenditures to think about, and these numbers are not minimal. After all, providing quality learning materials and experiences to thousands of students can’t be cheap. 

Some universities even provide dorms and housing facilities for their students. Moreover, these places where enrollees stay also need to keep up with the latest student housing trends, such as the creation of modern spaces for student housing, which further extends their expenses. Because of all these, universities must have their way of earning revenues and funds. This next set of statistics sheds light on how and how much money universities earn and spend.

  • The market size of universities and colleges in the US, measured by revenue, in 2020, reached $520.6 billion. (IBISWorld)
  • US Department of Health and Human Services provided research programs at universities with funds amounting to $18.31 billion. (NCES)
  • 1.7% — the growth rate of US universities’ and colleges’ market size in 2020. (IBISWorld)
  • Besides, the annual market size growth of US universities and colleges from 2015 to 2020 is 2.6%. (IBISWorld)
  • The three richest universities in the US by endowment funds market value are Harvard University ($39.43 billion), The University of Texas System ($30.96 billion), and Yale University ($30.31 billion). (NACUBO)
  • In 2019, the amount of higher education outlays in the US is $33 billion. (CBD)
  • Lastly, in 2017, the average expenditure of private universities reached $219 billion and $389 billion for public universities. (NCES)

Source: IBISWorld

Post-University Graduate Statistics

After graduating from universities, most students desperately seek out jobs. Thus, being underemployed for first jobs right after leaving school became the norm. However, according to Strada Institute for the Future of Work and Burning Glass Technologies, the first job is critical. That’s because 87% of workers who held employment positions matching their levels of education are still in that job five years later. Here are more interesting facts about what comes after university.

  • 91% of workers that are appropriately employed in their first job still hold that level 10 years later. (Strada Institute, 2018)
  • 16% of higher-income school students earn STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) degrees six years after high school graduation. That’s double of their low-income counterpart’s 8%. (NSC Research Center, 2019)
  • 47% of female graduates and 37% of male graduates are underemployed in their first jobs. (Strada Institute, 2018)
  • Moreover, 43% of workers are underemployed in their first jobs. And among them, 66% are still in the same state after five years. (Strada Institute, 2018)
  • Besides, the employment rate of young adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 86%. (NCES)

Disparity in earnings of graduates

The State of Universities in this Modern Time

If anything, one insight you can gain from this set of statistics is how the universities are faring in these modern times. In a world where everything can be found online, is a university still a good and practical choice to spend four years in? The answer is definitely yes. There are millions of students in the US alone who graduate each year. Students from different walks of life and races flock in there to learn and earn their degrees. As also stated here, degree holders are generally more successful than those without.

True, it might not be for everyone. However, for someone who yearns to learn in this educational institution in today’s standard, they can do so with confidence that their time there can be productive. After all, universities aren’t being left out in modern times. For instance, schools use LMS for learning, which is one of the very definitions of a modern way of knowledge acquisition.

Also, if you’re looking for more interesting articles related to higher education, you can go ahead and read this one about student loans. This is especially useful if you have some student loans to pay yourself. That’s because it provides helpful tips, such as how you can pay off your debt. 

Louie Andre

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. From pitch deck to exit strategy, he is no stranger to project business hiccups and essentials. He has been involved in a few internet startups including a digital route planner for a triple A affiliate. His advice to vendors and users alike? "Think of benefits, not features."

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