Helping Students Pursue Their College & Career Aspirations

The Facts About Who Goes to College

The U.S. Department of Education provides information pertaining to the make up of U.S. undergraduate students (Profile of Undergraduate Students) in 2-year and 4-year colleges and universities. The report provides important insights into who the students are, grades they earn, amount of financial aid they receive, and the numbers who move on from freshman year toward their degree.

Important highlights are:

  • Only American Indian and Pacific Islander students attend 4-year colleges at a rate greater than 50 percent
  • With the exception of Asians (79.4 percent), over 80 percent of all students attend college in their home state
  • The percentage of female college students outnumber males in all racial groups with the largest gap between Black females (63.1 percent) and Black males (36.9 percent)
  • Over 50 percent of all students receive financial aid and leave college with at least $5,500 in student loan debt
  • Over 30 percent of all college students take at least one remedial course

Where students attend college:

American Indian

  • 53.3 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 37.8 percent attend 2-year colleges

Asian

  • 42.5 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 45.5 percent attend 2-year colleges

Black

  • 46.6 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 42.9 percent attend 2-year colleges

Hispanic

  • 45.3 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 40.2 percent attend 2-year colleges

Pacific Islander

  • 55.8 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 32.7 percent attend 2-year colleges

White

  • 49.5 percent attend 4-year colleges
  • 40.9 percent attend 2-year colleges

The type of colleges students attend:

American Indian

  • 74.4 percent attend Public
  • 8.7 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 10.6 percent For-profit

Asian

  • 72.0 percent attend Public
  • 12.7 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 4.9 percent For-profit

Black

  • 65.9 percent attend Public
  • 11.3 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 15.9 percent For-profit

Hispanic

  • 67.0 percent attend Public
  • 11.6 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 13.2 percent For-profit

Pacific Islander

  • 69.0 percent attend Public
  • 13.6 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 8.5 percent For-profit

White

  • 70.9 percent attend Public
  • 14.5 percent attend Private nonprofit
  • 6.8 percent For-profit

Percentage of college enrollment by grade level:

American Indian

  • 46.6 percent first-year
  • 31.8 percent second-year
  • 9.1 percent third-year
  • 9.7 percent fourth-year

Asian

  • 36.9 percent first-year
  • 25.4 percent second-year
  • 12.7 percent third-year
  • 18.2 percent fourth-year

Black

  • 47.8 percent first-year
  • 27.3 percent second-year
  • 11.1 percent third-year
  • 11.4 percent fourth-year

Hispanic

  • 46.8 percent first-year
  • 27.3 percent second-year
  • 11.4 percent third-year
  • 11.4 percent fourth-year

Pacific Islander

  • 45.7 percent first-year
  • 26.6 percent second-year
  • 11.0 percent third-year
  • 11.3 percent fourth-year

White

  • 37.9 percent first-year
  • 27.5 percent second-year
  • 14.0 percent third-year
  • 16.6 percent fourth-year

Percentage of students who attend college in their own state:

  • American Indian: 82.6 percent
  • Asian: 79.4 percent
  • Black: 85.9 percent
  • Hispanic: 92.6 percent
  • Pacific Islander: 89.1 percent
  • White: 86.7 percent

Percentage of grades student receive:

American Indian

  • 15.3 percent Mostly A’s
  • 15.2 percent A’s and B’s
  • 24.1 percent Mostly B’s
  • 21.9 percent B’s and C’s
  • 11.7 percent Mostly C’s
  • 11.8 percent C’s and D’s or lower

Asian

  • 19.2 percent Mostly A’s
  • 23.6 percent A’s and B’s
  • 24.9 percent Mostly B’s
  • 16.0 percent B’s and C’s
  • 9.7 percent Mostly C’s
  • 6.6 percent C’s and D’s or lower

Black

  • 9.7 percent Mostly A’s
  • 17.4 percent A’s and B’s
  • 24.7 percent Mostly B’s
  • 21.4 percent B’s and C’s
  • 14.3 percent Mostly C’s
  • 12.6 percent C’s and D’s or lower

Hispanic

  • 12.6 percent Mostly A’s
  • 19.3 percent A’s and B’s
  • 26.9 percent Mostly B’s
  • 19.8 percent B’s and C’s
  • 11.6 percent Mostly C’s
  • 9.8 percent C’s and D’s or lower

Pacific Islander

  • 12.6 percent Mostly A’s
  • 18.5 percent A’s and B’s
  • 27.4 percent Mostly B’s
  • 18.0 percent B’s and C’s
  • 14.3 percent Mostly C’s
  • 9.2 percent C’s and D’s or lower

White

  • 19.2 percent Mostly A’s
  • 25.1 percent A’s and B’s
  • 24.7 percent Mostly B’s
  • 15.5 percent B’s and C’s
  • 8.8 percent Mostly C’s
  • 6.6 percent C’s and D’s or lower

Male and female college students by racial group:

American Indian

  • 54.9 percent female
  • 45.1 percent male

Asian

  • 53.6 percent female
  • 46.4 percent male

Black

  • 63.1 percent female
  • 36.9 percent male

Hispanic

  • 59.6 percent female
  • 40.4 percent male

Pacific Islander

  • 56.0 percent female
  • 44.0 percent male

White

  • 55.2 percent female
  • 44.8 percent male

Percent of dependent college students who receive financial aid:

American Indian

  • 70.8 percent receive financial aid
  • $5,500 in average loans

Asian

  • 53.4 percent receive financial aid
  • $6,600 in average loans

Black

  • 76.2 percent receive financial aid
  • $6,900 in average loans

Hispanic

  • 69.0 percent received financial aid
  • $6,700 in loans

Pacific Islander

  • 61.5 percent receive financial aid
  • $7,200 in average loans

White

  • 63.5 percent receive financial aid
  • $7,100 in average loans

Percent of college students who took at least one remedial course:

  • American Indian: 43.9 percent
  • Asian: 38.1 percent
  • Black: 47.3 percent
  • Hispanic: 45.1 percent
  • Pacific Islander: 40.6 percent
  • White: 33.1 percent

About Mychal Wynn

Mychal Wynn, Founder/CEO of the Foundation for Ensuring Access and Equity, is the author of 28 books (www.rspublishing.com) on parenting, student achievement, and college planning, and is the creator of the College Planning Cohort (TM) Program. He, together with wife, Nina, also serve as the Ministry Leaders for the Turner Chapel AME Church Education Ministry.
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