Sep 13, 2013

Higher Ed Trivia: 15 Fun Facts for 2013

In addition to providing a compelling profile of today’s undergraduate students, the Chronicle of Higher Education has compiled a wide range of miscellaneous statistics for its annual Almanac. 

Some bits of trivia are entirely predictable but others leave even professionals scratching their heads.

For example, it’s not surprising that the number of education majors has taken a real hit—down six percent in 20 years—but would you have guessed that during the same period majors in park, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies rose by 734% percent?

Or did you know that Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia, grew by 940% in the ten-year period ending in 2011?

For those who don’t have a subscription to the Chronicle of Higher Education, I am sharing 15 "fun facts" you may find interesting or at least useful conversation starters:

  1. The most degrees awarded in 2011 went to business, management, marketing, and related support services (369,042); the fewest went to military technologies and applied science (64).
  2. Among freshmen, 21.1 percent characterize themselves as “conservative," while 26.8 percent are "liberal."
  3. In 2011-12 the median total compensation for public-college presidents rose to $441,392, an increase of 4.7 percent from 2010-11
  4. Over 19 percent of college freshmen hope to earn a Ph.D., while 10.4 percent want to join the medical profession as doctors, vets, or dentists.
  5. After a decade-long surge, postsecondary enrollment dropped by two-tenths of a percent in fall of 2011, to 21.6 million undergrad and graduate students.
  6. Among freshman enrolling at four-year colleges in the fall of 2012, 38.4 percent reported spending six or more hours per week doing homework during their last year of high school.
  7. The average salary across all faculty ranks at private colleges was $99,771 in 2012-13, compared with $80,578 at public colleges.
  8. Slightly over 10 percent of freshman reported spending over 20 hours/week working “for pay” during their last year of high school.
  9. The average in-state student living on campus at a public institution paid 8,655 in tuition and fees and $9,205 in room and board; the average private college student living on campus paid $29,056 in tuition and fees and $10,462 in room and board.
  10. The most popular “probable” field of study/major among freshmen is business (14.4%) and, the least popular is physical science (2.5%)
  11. The fastest growing field in terms of growth in bachelor’s degrees awarded is “construction trades,” which went up by a whopping 1,267 percent in 20 years.
  12. Slightly over 46% of freshmen lived more than 100 miles from home, while 12.4%  reported living 10 or fewer miles from home.
  13. More than two-thirds of college students expressed confidence in their overall academic ability, though less than half considered themselves above average in mathematical or writing skills.
  14. Almost 87% of freshmen expect to complete their degrees in four years or less.
  15. The fastest-growing public research institution in the country is Texas Women’s University which increased by 85.7% from fall 2001 to fall 2011, while the fastest growing public master’s institution was Florida Gulf Coast University which grew by over 200%.

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