Compare the States

August 13, 2017

Explore the five sortable tables below to discover how the states and the District of Columbia compare in terms of their demographic challenges, the educational level of their residents, faculty pay, college enrollment, tuition costs, and much more. For an overview of higher education in the country, see the United States page. Return to the main Almanac page.

  • Overview
  • Enrollment
  • Graduation Rates
  • Finance
  • Demographics

About the data

Data cover all degree-granting institutions eligible to receive Title IV federal financial aid, unless otherwise specified. Data on state population, age distribution, educational attainment, the proportion of state residents who speak a language other than English at home, per capita income, and the poverty rate are from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2015 American Community Survey.

Overall enrollment and enrollment by race and ethnicity are from the U.S. Department of Education for the fall of 2015. Minority enrollment represents American Indians/Alaska Natives, Asians, blacks, Hispanics, Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders, and students of two or more races. Racial categories exclude people of Hispanic ethnicity, who are shown separately and may be of any race. "Nonresident aliens" are natives of foreign countries who are studying in the United States on a temporary basis.

Average pay of full-time professors is from the 2015-16 academic year, as reported to the U.S. Department of Education, and is adjusted to a standard nine-month work year. Medical-school faculty members are excluded. The number of degrees awarded is based on U.S. Department of Education data collected for the 2014-15 academic year. Professional degrees like medical and law degrees are included in the number of doctorates. Average tuition and fees cover undergraduate charges for 2015-16 and are weighted by the full-time-equivalent undergraduate enrollment in the previous year. Figures for public institutions represent charges to state residents. Six-year graduation rates are for first-time, full-time, degree-seeking students who entered degree-granting four-year institutions in the fall of 2009 and graduated within six years. Those figures are also from the U.S. Department of Education.

SAT scores are for 2016; figures are from the College Board. ACT scores are also for 2016. One-year change in state funds for higher-education operating expenses reflect the difference between 2015-16 and 2016-17; data are from the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University. Illinois data are being reviewed and are not yet available. Total state spending on student aid is for 2014-15; data are from the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs.

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