Ten-Year Percentage Increase in Total Public Enrollment by State

Total full-time equivalent enrollment in public colleges and universities in the United States increased by 13% between 2004 and 2014 — from 9.2 million to almost 10.5 million. However, changes across states ranged from a decline of 4% in Illinois to an increase of 24% in Georgia.

Figure 21A: Percentage Change in Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Enrollment in Public Institutions by State, Fall 2004 to Fall 2014

Notes & Sources 

Sources: NCES, IPEDS fall enrollment data, 2004 and 2014; calculations by the authors.

  • California and Texas (which together enrolled 22% of the nation’s public college students in both 2004 and 2014) accounted for 28% of the national increase in students over the decade.
  • Between 2004 and 2014, rates of enrollment growth varied across states within each region of the country. In New England, public college enrollment growth ranged from 1% in Maine to 21% in Massachusetts. In the West, growth ranged from 7% in Montana to 23% in Oregon. In the South, the change in public enrollment ranged from a decline of 3% in Louisiana to a 24% increase in Georgia.