Student/Staff Ratio in Postsecondary Institutions over Time

The number of full-time equivalent (FTE) students per non-instructional staff member has increased slightly over time in the public and private nonprofit sectors; it has declined in the for-profit sector, where student/staff ratios are much higher.

Figure 20A: Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Students per FTE Staff Member in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 1995, Fall 2005, and Fall 2015

Figure 20A represents Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) Students per FTE Staff Member in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 1995, Fall 2005, and Fall 2015. For a corresponding Section 508-compliant data table, download the Excel spreadsheet.

Notes & Sources 

NOTE: Other staff refers to all non-instructional staff. Includes Title IV participating institutions. Full-time-equivalent staff is the number of full-time staff members plus one-third of the number of part-time staff members.

SOURCE: NCES, Digest of Education Statistics 2016, Tables 314.10 and 314.30.

  • In 2015, the number of FTE students per instructional staff member (faculty and graduate assistants) ranged from an average of 9.6 at private nonprofit and 13.7 at public institutions to 21.3 at for-profit institutions.