Tag Archives: High school

College Enrollment and Graduation Rates

14 Dec

Here are some interesting facts about college enrollment and graduation rates.

Graduation Rates
High school graduates per year                                  3 million
High school graduates enrolling in college            70% (2.1 million)
Bachelor’s degree graduates (in 2008-09)              1.6 million

Undergraduate enrollment rates
Total                           17.5 million
Male                            45%
Female                       55%
Full-time                   11 million
Part-time                  6.5 million

Public                                          13.5 million
Private (not-for-profit)        2.5 million
Private (for profit)                 1.5 million

4-year                                          10 million
Full time: 8 million / Part time: 2 million
Public: 6.2 million / Private: 3.8 million

2-year                                          7.5 million
Full time: 3.2 million / Part time 4.3 million
Public: 7.1 million / Private: 0.4 million

Income Level
Low income                        55%
Middle income                  67%
High income                       84%

Asian                90%
White                71%
Black                 63%
Hispanic          62%

Male             45%
Female        55%

Completion Rates
Completed a bachelor’s degree in 6 years    57%
White                                     57%
Hispanic                               44%
Black                                       39%
Public                                    55%
Private not-for-profit     65%
Private forprofit                22%

Related readings
College Completion


Driven To Succeed

28 Nov
The Overachievers

Last week, I read the book Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins. The author follows eight high schoolers over a course of a few weeks and tells the story of their achievements, struggles, aspirations, and more. These kids, belonging to a high performing school in Maryland, struggle to cope with the stress of school, homework, extracurricular activities, and peer and parental pressure, primarily to build a resume that would help them get into prestigious universities. It’s a sad commentary on the state of our education system and the hypercompetitive admissions process that overemphasizes the SAT scores, GPAs, and the amount of extracurricular activities. We can’t really blame the universities because there has to be some mechanism for selecting incoming students. Many people blame the US News college rankings for this mad rush to get into a top-ranked college without realizing that it might not be the best fit for a kid.

I understand this struggle because I’ve been part of a similar experience in India. India has a system of entrance exams whrein the kids’ physics, chemistry, biology, and math skills are tested. Any extra-curricular activities are not taken into account that leads to engineers and doctors who are brilliant but not innovators or sportspersons or community servers.

There are many kids driven by an immense desire to succeed in every field and eventually burn out. They sacrifice their childhood to get accepted to a selective university. Research has shown that a large majority is depressed and many attempt suicide. Even if they succeed, they are not happy. Because achievement doesn’t always correlate to happiness.

Stanford School of Education professor and psychologist, William Damon says today’s young people miss a sense of purpose, a feeling of meaningful existence that should be our main concern (full report here: Getting Off The Treadmill).

I don’t know how to make my kids’ lives meaningful without getting into this race, but I’ll be thinking about it. A lot.