September 17, 2008

Census: College Enrollment Up 17 Percent

U.S. college enrollment rose by 17 percent to 17.1 million undergraduates and 3.4 million graduate students from 2000 to 2006, statistics show.

The statistics, released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes two- and four-year colleges and universities and for the first time combines figures compiled from the bureau's Current Population Survey and the American Community Survey, census officials said in a release.

Also revealed in the survey was that there were more students in college and high school, but fewer in nursery school, kindergarten and elementary school in 2006 than six years earlier. Officials said that reflects the changing composition of school enrollment by age in the United States.

Further results from the census count showed that more than half of undergraduates (56 percent) as well as graduate students (59 percent) were women; and that 4.7 million children age 3 and over were enrolled in nursery school or preschool in 2006.