College Enrollment Statistics: 2022 Data by State, Race, Gender & Age

College Enrollment Statistics: 2022 Data by State, Race, Gender & Age
Imed Bouchrika by Imed Bouchrika
Chief Data Scientist & Head of Content

College enrollment statistics show that fewer and fewer students aim to acquire higher education. Some may forgo a college education because of financial difficulties, the desire to go straight to employment, or simply to use their money for other relevant activities. 

According to the National Clearinghouse Research Center, the average college enrollment in the country continues to decline (Nietzel, 2021). The number of enrolled college students this 2021 spring decreased by 600,000 as compared to 2020. 

This article will provide statistical data on college enrollment per degree and per state. This report will also highlight college student demographics, with emphasis on student ethnicity, gender, and age. It is hoped that policymakers, school directors, teachers, and students will find this guide helpful to their undertaking.

College Enrollment Statistics Table of Contents

  1. College Enrollment by Degree
  2. College Enrollment by State
  3. College Enrollment via Online Education
  4. College Student Demographics

College Enrollment by Degree

The overall college enrollment this spring is only 16.9 million students, which is a 3.5% decrease from 2020. Data shows that enrollment at the undergraduate level is at 727,000, which is a 4.9% decrease from last year.

Associate Degree

  • There are 4.25 million students seeking an associate degree across all institutions.
  • Associate degree enrollments dropped by 10.9%.
  • There is a 9.5% decrease in the enrollment rate in community colleges. This is equivalent to 476,000 fewer students. 
  • Community colleges lost 65% of their total undergraduate enrollment.
  • The largest decrease in college enrollment is in the field of visual and performing arts, which is at 18.1%.
  • A 16.7% decrease in college enrollment is reported in the field of security services.
  • A 14.1% decrease in college enrollment is reported in the field of interdisciplinary studies.
  • A 4.8% increase in college enrollment rate is reported in the field of legal professions.
  • A 0.8% increase in college enrollment is reported in the field of psychology.

Bachelor’s Degree

  • Bachelor’s degree enrollment dropped by 2.2%.
  • Most majors declined in college enrollment by 5%.
  • The largest decrease in college enrollment per major is in English, which is at 10.2%.
  • An 8.7% decrease in college enrollment was reported in the field of communications and journalism.
  • College enrollment rates in physical sciences dropped by 7.6%.
  • A 7.4% decrease in college enrollment rate is reported in liberal arts and humanities majors.
  • The largest increase in college enrollment per major, which is at 4.8%, is in the field of psychology, followed by a 3% increase in the field of computer sciences.

Graduate Degrees

  • Master’s degree enrollment increased by 5.2%.
  • Doctoral degree enrollment increased by 3.6%.
  • 124,000 more students, equivalent to a 4.6% increase, enrolled in the graduate level. 
  • An 8.2% increase in enrollment rates is reported in education doctoral degree programs.
  • A 3.7% increase in enrollment rates is reported in education master’s programs.

Source: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, 2021

College Enrollment by State

Most states had a decline in college enrolment both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. The steepest decline in college enrollment was reported in the West, with a 7.3% drop. This is followed by a 6.9% decrease in the Northeast and a 6.2% decrease in the Midwest.

In terms of college student population, the picture is slightly different. Grawe (2018) reported in JHU: “The college-aged populations in most Northeast and Midwestern states will substantially decline, while the same populations in Mountain, Western North Central, and South Atlantic states will increase.”

Northeast

Maine

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 81%, which is a 6% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage of a four-year degree in a public institution is at 95.1%, which is a 2.1% increase from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage of a two-year degree in a public institution is at 83.7%, which is a 10.2% drop from last year.

Connecticut

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 79.7%, which is a 2.0% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 98.7%, which is a 1.5% drop from last year.

Vermont

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 87.2%, which is a 1.0% increase from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 87.9%, which is a 3.3% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 92.4%, which is a 4.4% drop from last year.

Massachusetts

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 73.1%, which is a 0.3% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 96.5%, which is a 3.4% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 88.8%, which is a 15.2% drop from last year.

New Hampshire

  • The largest increase in college enrollment was reported in New Hampshire, which is at 10.8%.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 78.6%, which is a 2.8% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 96.8%, which is a 9.5% drop from last year.

New Jersey

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 83.3%, which is a 4.0% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 83.6%, which is a 1.5% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 83%, which is a 14.6% drop from last year.

New York

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 86%, which is a 4% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 80%, which is a 2.5% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 89.7%, which is a 15.2% drop from last year.

Pennsylvania

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 79%, which is a 2.4% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 88.8%, which is a 14.1% drop from last year.

Rhode Island

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 81.7%, which is a 1.8% drop from last year

Source: EducationData.org, 2021

Southeast

Alabama

  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 92.8%, which is a 0.1% increase from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 71.3%, which is a 9% drop from last year.

Arkansas

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 89.6%, which is a 1.4% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 87.8%, which is a 3.9% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 71.3%, which is a 9% drop from last year.

Arizona

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 89.1%, which is a 3.3% drop from last year
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 98.4%, which is a 3.9% increase from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 87.6%, which is a 15.8% drop from last year

Delaware

  • A 7.7% decrease in college enrollment is reported in Delaware.

Florida

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 75.9%, which is a 0.4% increase from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 94.9%, which is a 3.4% drop from last year
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 70.4%, which is a 10.6% drop from last year

Georgia

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 75.4%, which is a 2.3% drop from last year
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is 82.4%, which is a 2.5% increase from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 83.9%, which is a 12.6% drop from last year.

Kentucky

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 96.7%, which is a 2.1% increase from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 72.4%, which is a 0.6% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 97.5%, which is a 14.6% drop from last year.

Louisiana

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 94.1%, which is a 0.2% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 71.7%, which is a 3.1% increase from last year.

Maryland

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 78.1%, which is a 6% increase from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 67.3%, which is an 8.5% drop from last year.

Mississippi

  • Enrollment in graduate programs increased in 41 states. The highest growth rate is in Mississippi, with an 18.8% increase.
  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 86.3%, which is a 3.6% increase from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 81.9%, which is an 11.2 drop from last year.

North Carolina

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 89.8%, which is a 1.1% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 83.3%, which is a 0.3% drop from last year.

South Carolina

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 67.9%, which is a 2.5% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 98.9%, which is a 0.2% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 69.7%, which is a 7.7% drop from last year.

Tennessee

  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 87.6%, which is a 0.6% increase from last year

Virginia

  • A 1.3% increase in college enrollment was reported in Virginia.
  • A 12.6% increase in enrollment in graduate programs was reported in Virginia.
  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 80.4%, which is a 6.1% increase from last year

West Virginia

  • College enrollment rates increased by 2.8% in West Virginia.
  • Enrollment in graduate programs increased by 11.7% in West Virginia.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 92%, which is a 2.6% drop from last year
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 97.2%, which is a 13.1% drop from last year

Source: EducationData.org, 2021

Midwest

Illinois

  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 97.7%, which is a 1.6% increase from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 80.9%, which is a 13% drop from last year.

Indiana

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 69.4%, which is a 2.3% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 75.7%, which is a 4.5% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 97.2%, which is a 10.1% drop from last year.

Iowa

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 83.2%, which is a 2.2% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 99.8%, which is a 4.5% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage of for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 95.4%, which is a 9.3% drop from last year.

Kansas

  • The college enrollment rate in Kansas decreased by 6.3%.
  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 76.1%, which is a 13.1% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 96.5%, which is a 3.3% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 91.4%, which is a 10.2% drop from last year

Michigan

  • The enrollment rate in Michigan declined by 6.4%.

Minnesota

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 92.1%, which is a 2% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 99.3%, which is a 3.7% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 87.5%, which is a 7.9% drop from last year

Missouri

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 76.9%, which is a 4.1% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 97.5%, which is a 2.5% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 78.9%, which is a 10.7% drop from last year.

Nebraska

  • A 2.4% increase in college enrollment was reported in Nebraska.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 99.1%, which is a 2.2% increase from last year.

North Dakota

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 92.7%, which is a 1.1% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 97.8%, which is a 1.6% drop from last year.

Ohio

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 83.7%, which is a 2.7% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 97.6%, which is a 3.3% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 90.2%, which is a 9.1% drop from last year.

South Dakota

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 91.1%, which is a 3.7% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 83%, which is a 2.3% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 95.9%, which is a 2.9% drop from last year.

Wisconsin

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 85.4%, which is a 5.8% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 76.9%, which is a 2.0% drop from last year.

Source: EducationData.org, 2021

Southwest

New Mexico

  • The largest decline in college enrollment, which is at 11.4%, is seen in New Mexico.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 85.7%, which is a 7.4% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 86.3%, which is a 17.4% drop from last year.

Oklahoma

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 82%, which is a 2.8% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 92.3%, which is a 1.7% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 96.1%, which is a 10.8% drop from last year.

Texas

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 89.6%, which is a 1.4% increase from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 90.5%, which is a 0.9% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 74.6%, which is an 8.2% drop from last year.

West

California

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 66%, which is a 3.8% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 68.6%, which is a 12.3% drop from last year.

Colorado

  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 91.9%, which is a 4.4% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 97.5%, which is a 12.8% drop from last year.

Montana

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 72.1%, which is a 10.9% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 92.3%, which is a 4.5% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 85.7%, which is a 2.9% drop from last year.

Nevada

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 98%, which is a 7.9% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a four-year degree in a public institution is at 95.1%, which is a 4.3% drop from last year.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 97.6%, which is a 10.8% drop from last year.

Oregon

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 74.7%, which is a 9% drop from last year.

Utah

  • College enrollment rates increased by 4.7% in Utah.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 93.5%, which is a 6.5% drop from last year.

Washington

  • Enrollment coverage in private, non-profit institutions is at 84.5%, which is a 4.2% drop from last year.

Wyoming

  • A 6.2% decrease in college enrollment rate was seen in Wyoming.
  • Enrollment coverage for a two-year degree in a public institution is at 88.8%, which is a 9.7% drop from last year.

Source: EducationData.org, 2021

College Enrollment via Online Education

Many colleges and universities offer online education as an alternative to traditional schooling. At present, there are more than 275 online universities that are accredited in the country.

  • Six million students are enrolled in online education.
  • 68% of students enrolled in online education are returning students and working adults.
  • Only 46% of online students are full-time students.
  • 22% of graduate students pursue their degrees through online education.
  • 30% of college students have enrolled in one or more online courses.
  • There was a 7% increase in college enrollment in online institutions.
  • 39% of college freshmen prefer to take their online classes at home, while 30% want to take classes in a hybrid setup
  • 33% of online students completed their coursework using their smartphones and tablets

online students' preference

College Student Demographics

The breakdown of student demographics per race, gender, and age is as follows.

Race

  • 55% of enrolled college students are White.
  • The enrollment rate of Native Americans dropped by 13%.
  • The enrollment rate of Black Americans dropped by 8.8%.
  • The enrollment rate of White Americans dropped by 8.5%.
  • The enrollment rate of Latin Americans dropped by 7.3%.
  • The enrollment rate of Asians dropped by 4.8%.    

Gender

  • College enrollment of men aged 18 to 20 years old decreased by 9.8%.
  • College enrollment of men aged 21 to 24 years old decreased by 7%.
  • College enrollment of men aged 25 to 29 years old decreased by 9.8%.
  • College enrollment of men aged 29 years old and above decreased by 9.5%.
  • Female enrollment decreased by 2% or a decrease of 203,000 female enrollees.
  • College enrollment of women aged 18 to 20 years old decreased by 5.8%. 
  • College enrollment of women aged 21 to 24 years old decreased by3.4%.
  • College enrollment of women aged 25 to 29 years old decreased by 2.1%.
  • College enrollment of women aged 29 years old and above decreased by 2.0%.

Age

  • Students aged 18 to 20 years old comprise 40% of all college undergraduates.
  • The enrollment rate of college students aged 18 to 20 years old declined by 7.2%.
  • The enrollment rate of 18-to-20-year-old college students in community colleges declined by 14.6%.
  • The enrollment rate of college students aged 18 to 24 years old declined by 5%. 
  • The enrollment rate of college students in community colleges declined by 13.2%.
  • The enrollment rate of adult college students aged 25 years and up declined by 1.2% or 75,000 students.
  • The enrollment rate of adult college students in four-year colleges increased by 2%.

Source: EducationData.Org. 2021

Enrolling in College

Enrolling in postsecondary education can result in long-term financial security and job stability. It also gives you the opportunity to enhance your skills and make professional connections with other people. It is never too late to direct your energy towards a postsecondary education. You can start exploring what four-year or two-year degrees in your chosen college or university will best suit your personal and career goals.

 

References:

  1. Grawe N.D. JHU Press; 2018. Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education. []
  2. Hanson, M. (2021). College Enrollment & Student Demographic Statistics. EducationData,org. https://educationdata.org/college-enrollment-statistics
  3. Hanson, M. (2021). Online Education Statistics. EducationData.org. https://educationdata.org/online-education-statistics
  4. National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (2021). Current Term Enrollment Estimates. https://nscresearchcenter.org/current-term-enrollment-estimates/
  5. National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (2021). Stay Informed with the Latest Enrollment Information. https://nscresearchcenter.org/stay-informed/
  6. Nietzel, M. (2021). Latest Numbers Show Largest College Enrollment Decline In A Decade. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaeltnietzel/2021/06/10/updated-numbers-show-largest-college-enrollment-decline-in-a-decade/?sh=1126adbd1a70
  7. Whitford, E. (2021). Spring Enrollment Keeps Slipping. Inside Higher Ed, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2021/03/11/colleges-continue-losing-undergraduate-enrollment-spring-even-graduate-enrollment
  8. United States Census Bureau. (2021). Number Enrolled in College by Type of School and Attendance Status, 1970 to 2019. https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/visualizations/time-series/demo/school-enrollment/FigureA-7_2019.pdf
  9. University of the Potomac. (2021). Online Learning vs Traditional Learning. https://potomac.edu/learning/online-learning-vs-traditional-learning/
  10. UTEP Connect. (2021). The who, what, when and why behind online education. https://www.utep.edu/extendeduniversity/utepconnect/blog/january-2018/the-who-what-when-and-why-behind-online-education.html

Newsletter & Conference Alerts

Research.com uses the information to contact you about our relevant content. For more information, check out our privacy policy.