Fast Facts

Postsecondary snapshot

Of the 7,177 Title IV institutions in the United States as of July 2016, 3,089 are 4-year institutions, 2,085 are 2-year institutions, and the remaining 2,003 are less-than-2-year institutions. Nearly 59 percent of the roughly 3.2 million students receiving degrees at 4-year Title IV institutions received a bachelor’s degree. This percentage varies by type of institution, with bachelor’s degree received by 65 percent of the 1.8 million students at public institutions, 53 percent of the roughly 1.0 million students at private nonprofit institutions, and 40 percent of the roughly 326,000 students at for-profit institutions. Total enrollment is about 27.4 million individual students. Of these, roughly 23.6 million are undergraduates, and approximately 3.8 million are graduate students.

Scott A. Ginder and Janice E. Kelly-Reid, “Postsecondary Institutions and Price of Attendance in 2015-16; Degrees and Other Awards Conferred: 2014-15; and 12-Month Enrollment: 2014-15: First Look (Provisional Data),” NCES 2016112REV, The National Center for Education Statistics, November 15, 2016, (retrieved August 8, 2017).

Science news

“At a time when scientific information is increasingly at the center of public divides, most Americans say they get science news no more than a couple of times per month, and when they do, most say it is by happenstance rather than intentionally, according to a new study by Pew Research Center. Most Americans rely on general news outlets for science news, but a minority says they get the facts right about science.”

Cary Funk, Jeffrey Gottfried, and Amy Mitchell, “Science News and Information Today,” Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, September 20, 2017, (retrieved October 10, 2017).

Academic library spending

On average, libraries at doctoral degree-granting institutions spent 70.9 percent of their materials budgets on ongoing commitments to subscriptions in 2016. “The 2016 data show that expenditures for salaries and wages accounted for 57.2 percent of the total library expenditures on average. Salaries and wages constituted 76.5 percent of total library expenditures for associate-degree granting institutions, 52.3 percent for baccalaureates, 55.7 percent for comprehensive schools, and 44.5 percent for doctoral/research institutions.”

ACRL “New ACRL publication: 2016 Academic Library Trends and Statistics,” News and Press Center, American Library Association, July 20, 2017, (retrieved October 10, 2017).


“Deep inequities remain in state-level public health preparedness, though preparedness has improved on a national scale since last year, according to the annual National Health Security Preparedness Index. Released in April, the index found the nation scored a 6.8 on a 10-point scale for preparedness, which represents a 1.5 percent improvement over 2016 and 6.3 percent improvement since the index began four years ago. Released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the index examines more than 130 measures, such as hazard planning in schools, food and water safety, flu immunization rates and 911 capabilities. While about two-thirds of states showed improvements in preparedness, a gap of 21 percent separates the highest-scored state of Vermont and the lowest-scored state, Alaska.”

Kim Krisberg, “Preparedness Varies across US States,” The Nation’s Health; Washington 47 (5): 13, (retrieved October 11, 2017).

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