In addition to providing a fascinating profile of today’s undergraduate students, the Chronicle of Higher Education has compiled a wide range of miscellaneous statistics for its 2015 Almanac.
Some bits of trivia are entirely predictable but others leave even the most experienced professionals scratching their heads.
For example, it’s not surprising that business was the most popular field of study for earners of bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 2012. Health professions came in at a distant second.
And nearly three-quarters of last fall’s freshmen assess their academic ability in the highest 10 percent or above average, but more than half reported spending less than one hour per week reading for pleasure per week during their last year of high school.
Liberty University continues its mind boggling growth, increasing enrollment 865% in the ten-year period between 2002 and 2012—only to be outdone by Western Governors University which grew by 6020% in the same period. Both schools no doubt reap the benefits of a strong online presence.
For those who don’t have a subscription to the Chronicle of Higher Education, here are 15 “fun facts” you may find interesting or at least useful conversation starters:
- The most bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2012 went to business, management, marketing, and related support services (365,272); the fewest went to precision production (37) and military technologies and applied sciences (45).
- Among freshmen, 21.2% characterize themselves as “conservative,” while 27.7% are “liberal.”
- The highest paid presidents at public colleges (total compensation) were to be found at Ohio State ($6,057,615), Texas A&M ($1,636,274), the North Dakota University system ($1,311,095), and the University of Georgia ($1,295,954).
- Over 19% of college freshmen hope to earn a Ph.D., while 11% want to join the medical profession as doctors, vets, or dentists.
- Enrollment at 4-year private nonprofit institutions increased by 2% between spring 2013 and spring 2014.
- Among freshman enrolling at four-year colleges in the fall of 2013, 11.4%t reported spending less than an hour per week doing homework during their last year of high school.
- Full professors make the highest average salaries at Columbia University ($215,500), Stanford University ($215,200), University of Chicago ($210,700), Harvard University ($207,100), and Princeton University ($206,200).
- Slightly over 10% of freshman reported spending over 20 hours/week working “for pay” during their last year of high school.
- The average “sticker price” for an in-state student at a public institution was $8,893 (tuition and fees); the average “sticker price” for a private college student was $30,094.
- The most popular “probable” field of study/major among freshmen is biological science (14.7%), and the least popular is physical science (2.4%)
- Over 60% of freshmen reported tutoring another student in the past year.
- Well over half of new acquisitions at all academic libraries in the 2012 fiscal year were e-books.
- Slightly over 46% of freshmen lived more than 100 miles from home, while 12.5% reported living 10 or fewer miles from home.
- About 84% of freshmen expect to complete their degrees in four years—down 3% from the previous year’s survey and nowhere near close to reality.
- Out of all 50 states, Pennsylvania drew the most out-of-state freshmen with New Jersey, New York, and Maryland contributing the majority of these students.