While the percentage of students enrolling in college right after high school has grown since the early 1970s, only 58 percent of first-time freshmen in four-year colleges earn a bachelor’s degree within six years, according to the latest edition of The Condition of Education.
Published each year by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, the report provides up-to-date statistics on a wide range of educational issues, from preschool to school finance.
On the college-enrollment front, the report found that college-access gaps remain between students of different income levels and racial and ethnic groups. When it comes to enrolling in college immediately after high school, for example, the report shows that students from low- and middle-income families trailed behind their high-income peers by more than 10 percentage points each year from 1972 and 2007.
The report also documents growth in the percentages of students being home-schooled, attending a public charter school, and earning academic degrees from private, for-profit higher education institutions.
A version of this article appeared in the June 10, 2009 edition of Education Week