College enrollment up among 2009 high school grads

April 28, 2010

Of the 2.9 million youth age 16 to 24 who graduated from high school in January through October 2009, 2.1 million (70.1 percent) were enrolled in college in October 2009. This was a historical high for the series, which began in 1959.

College enrollment rate of recent high school graduates age 16 to 24, October 1959–2009
[Chart data]

For 2009 graduates, the college enrollment rate was 73.8 percent for young women and 66.0 percent for young men. The college enrollment rate of 2009 Asian graduates (92.2 percent) was higher than for recent white (69.2 percent), black (68.7 percent), and Hispanic (59.3 percent) graduates.

The labor force participation rate (the proportion of the population working or looking for work) for recent high school graduates enrolled in college was 42.1 percent. The participation rates for male and female graduates enrolled in college were about the same (40.8 percent and 43.2 percent, respectively).

Among recent high school graduates enrolled in college in October 2009, 91.6 percent were full-time students. Recent graduates enrolled as full-time students were about half as likely to be in the labor force (38.7 percent) than their peers enrolled part time (79.3 percent).

About 6 in 10 recent high school graduates who were enrolled in college attended 4-year institutions. Of these students, 30.9 percent participated in the labor force, compared with 59.2 percent of recent graduates enrolled in 2-year colleges.

This information is from a supplement to the October 2009 Current Population Survey. Additional information is available from "College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2009 High School Graduates" (HTML) (PDF), news release USDL-10-0533.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, College enrollment up among 2009 high school grads on the Internet at (visited September 25, 2016).


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