Freshman enrollment at the nation’s 6,100 four-year colleges, community colleges and trade schools spiked by 144,000 students from fall 2007 to fall 2008. Almost three-quarters of the growth came from minority freshman enrollment, according to a Pew Research Center analysis published in June 2010.
The 6 percent increase in freshman enrollment was the largest in 40 years. From 2007 to 2008 (the first year of the recession), the freshman enrollment of Hispanics at postsecondary institutions grew by 15 percent, of blacks by 8 percent, of Asians by 6 percent and of whites by 3 percent. The boom has not been spread evenly across the nation’s postsecondary institutions. Two-year institutions saw the greatest increase at 11 percent. The increase at four-year institutions was 4 percent and the increase at less-than-two-year institutions (i.e., trade schools) was 5 percent.
The data are primarily based on fall freshman enrollment counts in the National Center for Education Statistics annual census of postsecondary institutions, the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System.
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