Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools

SIC 8221

Companies in this industry

Industry report:

This classification covers colleges, universities, seminaries, and professional schools offering academic courses and granting academic degrees. The minimum requirement for admission is a high school diploma or equivalent general academic training.

Industry Snapshot

The U.S. higher education system has long been the envy of the developed world. It plays a critical role in U.S. social and economic life and is a cornerstone of the nation's competitiveness on the world stage. By the twenty-first century, U.S. colleges and universities increasingly resembled traditional business entities by streamlining operations and aggressively competing for students and finances as a way of maintaining their vitality.

Colleges and universities are institutions of higher learning that admit postsecondary students for education and training in a vast number of disciplines. No central governing body oversees the administration of these institutions, although governments contribute financial aid in the form of loans and grants to both students and schools. Private corporations donate substantial sums of money to colleges, universities, seminaries, and professional schools in the United States. Corporations supplement public subsidies as a way of investing in research and development and traditionally recruit employees from these institutions. Although primarily mandated to impart skills and knowledge to students, many colleges and universities are also major research institutions and have made significant contributions to medicine, technology, engineering, and a number of other fields.

According to the U.S. government, approximately 20.4 million students were enrolled in colleges and universities in 2010. Women accounted for 57 percent of those students, while 43 percent were men, a trend that had been reversed in the early 1980s. About 71 percent of students were enrolled in public institutions and the remainder attended private schools. There were 4,495 postsecondary schools in the United States, of which 1,721 were two-year community, junior, and technical colleges. In 2010 approximately 975,000 associate's degrees, 1.9 million bachelor's degrees, 839,000 master's degrees, 121,900 first professional degrees, and 97,900 doctoral degrees were awarded.

Tuition rose steadily throughout the 1990s and first decade of the 2000s. Private four-year colleges and universities demanded the highest annual tuition, followed by independent two-year institutions. Public four-year institutions came next, and two-year public schools charged the lowest tuition. During the 2011-12 school year, the average tuition for a four-year public school was $12,657; for a four-year private school, tuition averaged $25,940. In 2012 Columbia University in New York was the most expensive private school in the nation, with tuition and fees of $45,290, followed by Vassar College ($44,705), Trinity College ($44,070), St. John's College ($44,056), and Connecticut College ($43,990). The most expensive public school for out-of-state students was the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor at $37,265, followed by the University of Virginia ($36,570), the University of California at Irvine ($35,780), the University of California at Davis ($35,672), and the College of William and Mary ($35,409)

U.S. colleges and universities receive significant endowment funding. In 2011 the greatest beneficiaries included prestigious research universities like Harvard University, with an endowment of $31.72 billion; Yale University, with $19.37 billion; University of Texas, with $17.14 billion; Stanford University, with $17.1 billion; and Stanford University, with $16.5 billion.

Organization and Structure

Colleges and universities are either public or private. Public institutions secure funding from government sources, whereas private institutions rely on tuition and private donations to operate. Universities are different from colleges in that they provide a greater number of areas of study, are larger in size, and are more involved in research activities. Universities grant graduate, doctoral, and professional degrees in addition to undergraduate degrees, which colleges may or may not bestow.

The structure of a college or university is in large part determined by the needs of the population it serves. Underscoring the objectives and operating strategies of every U.S. institution of higher learning is the fundamental belief that every interested and capable high school graduate should have the opportunity to attend postsecondary school. This philosophy has distinguished higher education in the United States and serves as a central tenet of its structure and organization.

Population growth, particularly the significant growth of the college-age population in the 1960s and 1970s, put increased pressure on institutions of higher learning. Private and public donations also increased the number and diversity of programs offered, along with the quality of teachers and technology available. The overall landscape of the industry is remarkable for its sheer diversity and its ability to meet the needs of students, whether they are seeking a well-rounded liberal arts education or hands-on training in the most advanced computer sciences.

In terms of broad structure, coordinating boards are the primary feature in most colleges and universities. These boards, which may be elected or appointed, may govern only senior institutions, while others may govern all the institutions in a state or are charged with compiling and analyzing data that is related to enrollment, curricula, staff appointments, institution investments and disbursements, and other issues related to the administration and management of the schools. Some states employ statewide governing boards charged with overseeing specific or all institutions of higher learning. An additional administrative arm of colleges and universities is voluntary consortia, both public and private. These advisory and governing bodies address such areas as faculty composition, teaching facilities, and library materials.

Background and Development

The development of higher education in the United States had its origins as far back as 1636, when the first colleges in the colonies accepted students. These institutions had close ties to religious organizations, a condition that remained prevalent until the early twentieth century when a number of these universities were secularized in administration and curriculum. Many U.S. colleges and universities, however, continued to cultivate a relationship with religious bodies. At the end of the eighteenth century, professional studies were first incorporated into these schools.

Harvard, the first institution of higher learning in the United States, was founded in 1636. The first colonial colleges attempted to foster the advance of learning and the training of clergymen. These colleges offered curricula that featured classical studies, such as rhetoric, mathematics, and logic. It was not until the university emerged that emphasis shifted to the total education of the individual, and the liberal arts education, with its emphasis on diversity of subject matter, had a prominent role in higher learning.

Professional schools, often referred to as technical or polytechnical schools, emerged alongside the growing popularity of liberal arts colleges. Professional schools were intended to provide students with "practical skills" that would prepare them for employment in a specialized field when they graduated. Prototypes of these applied science institutions included the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and Cooper Union and agricultural schools in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. The experimental professional schools were so successful that traditional institutions, which had ignored practical skills training, began incorporating those skills in their programs. The federal government also recognized the utility of such training and indicated its approval by requiring institutions participating in the Morrill Land-Grant College Act of 1862 to include agriculture and the mechanical arts in their curricula. A key piece of legislation in the history of U.S/ higher education, the Morrill Act which permitted public lands to be appropriated by individual states in order to establish the state agricultural and mechanical schools that were forerunners of the modern state university.

The Land-Grant College Act of 1862 granted each state 30,000 acres of land or its equivalent for each senator and representative in Congress as of the 1860 census. This allowed colleges and universities, particularly those that specialized in training students in agriculture and mechanical arts, enormous growth potential. The land-grant colleges and universities benefited the curriculum and overall structure of higher education in the United States in general. Most notable was the recognition by states of the practical and long-term benefit of continued underwriting of institutions of higher learning. In addition, the breadth of subjects available at these schools became increasingly diverse as the institutions improved and expanded their faculties.

Normal schools, which traditionally trained teachers, appeared around 1840. As the training of elementary and secondary instructors became more specialized, teachers' colleges emerged and eventually became an integral part of the industry.

During the mid-1800s, states began to exert more influence on colleges and universities and promote them as private, nonsectarian institutions of learning. State funding and development of colleges and universities heralded the end of the era of the public college and ushered in the industry of colleges and universities in a format continued into the 2010s. The Universities of Georgia (1785), North Carolina (1789), and Vermont (1791) were the first state-chartered schools. The trend for state schools increased dramatically around the time of the Civil War, until state colleges and universities became the standard route to higher education across the nation. It was not until the late nineteenth century, however, that states began to assume financial responsibility on an ongoing basis for colleges and universities. Municipal colleges/universities, which were managed by city governments and partially funded by municipal taxes, came into being around this time.

The industry had become so specialized that colleges exclusively for women and for African Americans began operating in the nineteenth century. The overall trend in higher education, however, was for co-education. In the twenty-first century, admittance discrimination based on gender, race, or religion is outlawed. Nevertheless, there were more than 100 single-sex colleges (men- or women-only) in the United States and over 100 historically black colleges.

Universities as institutions of higher learning and scholarship became fully entrenched after the founding of Johns Hopkins in 1876. The last quarter of the nineteenth century was a renaissance in higher education in the United States. Yale, Columbia, Harvard, and the Universities of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California opened their doors. Endowments and grants from major corporations also established these institutions as the focus of corporate investment. With such fiscal leverage at their disposal, these universities quickly became forces to be reckoned with, both in academics and in the overall economy. Research and the training of highly specialized professionals positioned the nation's universities as one of the primary resources big business and government relied on for a constant supply of technology and skilled labor. In addition, communities where colleges and universities were located became increasingly dependent on those institutions for the community's economic health and well-being.

Higher education became an even more dominant part of the U.S. experience after World War II. Virtually anyone who qualified for the G.I. Bill of Rights and who held the necessary academic requirements was admitted to a college or university. Financial subsidies from the government increased attendance enormously, and postsecondary institutions realized substantial growth in revenues. The surge in the popularity and fiscal growth of these institutions is reflected in enrollment statistics. Enrollment between fall semester 1950 and 1990 for all students in institutions of higher education increased from 2.6 million to 13.8 million.

The exponential growth of two-year trade schools, or junior or community colleges, is indicative of the diversity that characterizes higher education in the twenty-first century. Popular since the middle of the twentieth century, American Universities and Colleges reported that these two-year programs enrolled 217,572 students in 527 institutions in 1950-51, growing to approximately 5.4 million in more than 1,600 institutions by the 1998-99 academic year.

By the beginning of the twenty-first century, colleges and universities emphasized practical skills and knowledge for as diverse a student body as possible. The technological and computer revolution supplanted a traditional liberal arts education, stressing the importance of skills and knowledge that made students marketable in an age of computers. There also was a strong emphasis on removing financial and racial barriers to higher education. Government loan programs and equal opportunity initiatives were very successful in these areas.

The higher educational system began the twenty-first century poised for a wide range of challenges and some significant transformations. Many colleges and universities were financially troubled. Operating costs continued to soar in all areas, including scholarships, administration, student services, faculty, research, and maintenance. As a result, tuition and room and board costs grew, typically higher than the rate of overall inflation. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, most universities attempted to mitigate these pressures by cutting marginal expenses, including for maintenance and staff, while raising tuition prices and boosting fundraising efforts. An increasingly competitive industry, college and university leaders found that to maintain a competitive edge in this crowded field, they would need to begin thinking strategically as if they were typical corporations.

The presence of corporate America thus became highly visible on U.S. campuses. Marketing contracts, research funding, and other such deals between schools and powerful business skyrocketed in the mid- and late 1990s. Pennsylvania State University, for example, signed a contract with Pepsi-Cola Co. whereby Pepsi agreed to donate $14 million to the university over 10 years in exchange for granting the soft drink company exclusive rights to market and sell its products on the school's campuses. Coca-Cola, Nike Inc., Rite Aid Corp., and a host of other firms have made similar deals with colleges and universities across the country. Other corporations have donated money to build academic facilities on campuses in exchange for the right to occupy parts of the buildings for their own operations.

As businesses invested more heavily in colleges and universities, curricula became increasingly tailored to prepare students for careers with the firms donating the money. The National Science Foundation in 1998 facilitated more than 20 partnerships between businesses and community colleges designed to get students ready for jobs in the high-technology sector. As schools competed, offering top-notch programs to attract the highest caliber of students, they were projected to rely more on corporate investment to propel their research programs.

As postsecondary education began to adopt a traditional business model, institutions were increasingly under pressure to streamline their operations and eliminate bureaucracies. By the end of the 1990s, faculty was a key example of cost cutting. Although colleges and universities traditionally prized the tenure status of professors, which guarantees permanent employment and allows professors to concentrate on research, by the late 1990s, tenure itself was under attack. Critics complained that tenure encouraged professors to diminish productivity and lose sight of their teaching responsibilities. However, cost pressures were widely recognized as the reason for the decreased emphasis on tenured faculty. The temptation to save money by filling vacancies with part-time faculty proved to be very powerful in the mid- and late 1990s.

The proliferation of qualified teachers made the transition to part-time, or adjunct, faculty especially attractive. The large potential employment pool from which departments and administrators could draw resulted in a tremendous market for low-cost part-time teachers. The tendency for fiscal austerity was most marked in the humanities and other liberal arts programs. These conditions did not bode well for the record numbers of students enrolled in graduate programs in these areas. The number of adjunct faculty members leaped 30 percent between 1991 and 1995, while over the long term, the hiring of part-time teachers escalated 266 percent between 1970 and 1995, as the number of full-time faculty members declined 49 percent. A total of 10,732 new full-time faculty appointments were made in 1996, down 25 percent from 1989. By 1998, 45 percent of all faculty at U.S. postsecondary schools were part-time and at community colleges, that figure jumped to 63 percent.

By the late 1990s, efforts to organize adjunct faculty members were intensifying in an effort to gain some leverage throughout the higher education system, including demand for health benefits. Adjuncts typically were remunerated according to the number of credit hours they taught each semester, usually between $1,200 and $2,000 for a three-credit course. This usually translated into annual earnings of less than $12,000 per year. About 70 percent of part-time teachers, therefore, supplemented their income with other employment, which they had to balance with recurrent job applications for their next teaching position. It was not uncommon for adjunct faculty to commute between positions at two or three schools in a region.

As a whole, tuition rose at twice the rate of inflation in the 1980s and 1990s. In the late 1990s, tuition costs rose about 4 percent annually for all types of postsecondary institutions. For instance, the average annual tuition at a four-year private institution was $13,664 during the 1997-98 academic year compared to $10,994 in 1993-94 and $8,120 in 1984-85. Similarly, four-year public institutions cost $3,111 in 1997-98, up from $2,543 in 1993-94 and $1,748 in 1984-85. When combined with room and board costs, total basic expenses at private schools reached $18,745 in 1997-98, compared to $6,788 at public institutions. These costs do not include books and supplies, health insurance, and personal expenses, which included traveling between school and home. At public community colleges, tuition averaged $1,501 in 1997-98, up from $1,114 in 1993-94.

According to a March 1997 Time magazine special investigation by Erik Larson, tuition hikes could be attributed to high growth and expansion in the 1950s and 1960s, the slowing of federal funding in the mid-1970s, the rising energy costs of the late 1970s, high inflation in the 1970s and 1980s, and a phenomenon called the "Chivas Regal effect" in the 1980s, when universities and parents began to equate higher tuition with higher educational quality, especially among the very competitive Ivy League schools. In the 1990s, financial aid and the expense of keeping up with technological advances were among the reasons for rising costs.

Pressure caused a slowing of tuition increases. Some Ivy League schools might have lost many top-notch students who were unable to afford or were unwilling to pay exorbitant tuition costs. In addition, the financial aid process grew increasingly convoluted. Nevertheless, beginning in the 1980s, a college education was perceived to be a necessity due to the significantly increased value an employee with a college degree commands in the job market. By the late 1990s, a college diploma was worth an average of 52 percent more in wages compared to an applicant with only a high school diploma. Moreover, real wages in some sectors, including certain manufacturing fields, were actually lower than their 1960 level for those with only a high school education. Those with professional degrees, such as legal, medical, or business certificates, typically garnered the highest salaries, followed by doctoral and master's degrees. As job security diminished in all fields, a degree from a prestigious university was increasingly valued as insurance against layoffs.

During the late 1990s, the federal government underwrote about 72 percent of the approximately $60 billion in financial aid benefits offered annually by federal, state, institutional, and private institutions. Lower-income students and families received assistance paying for higher education through Pell Grants and Hope Scholarship tax credits. For adult students, the Lifelong Learning tax credit supplemented employment income during retraining to upgrade their skills.

The Student Body.
The composition of the student body has changed dramatically. In 1970 women made up 41 percent of the college and university student body, increasing to more than 53 percent by 1998. Minority enrollment rose as well, along with the number of minority high school students pursuing college degrees by enrolling in college preparatory classes in secondary schools. Observers noted that individuals with parents who attended college were far more likely to attend college themselves.

Racial and ethnic demographics shifted significantly in the 1990s. Although African Americans have come to enjoy nearly proportional enrollment in postsecondary education, the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education reported that enrollment at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) rose 11 percent between 1990 and 1998. Nevertheless, white enrollment at these institutions increased 16 percent during this period, while African-American enrollment rose 6 percent. Analysts surmised that most of this growth was due to the schools' lower average tuition cost ($6,600) compared to other private schools, as well as the expanding number of degree offerings at HBCUs. Those schools, meanwhile, greatly intensified their recruitment efforts in an attempt to more readily meet their financial needs and to attract the best students.

Diversity became a key component of the college curriculum. With the rising presence of minority students on college campuses came the demand for more ethnic studies and foreign language courses, as well as for more minority instructors. According to the National Center for Education Statistics and the Asian-American Studies Program at Cornell University, in 1996 about 90 of 2,200 four-year colleges in the United States offered majors in African-American studies, 20 in Latino studies, 17 in Asian American studies, and 12 in Native American studies. Some conservatives challenged the academic legitimacy of these courses, fearing they de-emphasized the core curriculum, whereas supporters questioned the assumptions that kept such studies out of the traditional curriculum and noted that students could benefit only by diversifying their range of knowledge. Nevertheless, students of all races and ethnicities made ethnic studies popular, and these classes often had long waiting lists. Moreover, many businesses emphasized the growing need for greater cultural awareness as the business community grew more international in character.

Most institutions of higher learning attempted to tailor their programs according to the needs of students who would be job hunting in the twenty-first century. Land-grant universities in particular were urged to combine vocational training with general education. Institutions across the country found that applications for admission increased proportionate to the ability to offer instruction in such areas as advanced business training, computer sciences, health sciences, engineering, and other professions that would be looking for qualified graduates.

Indicative of the situation facing college students who would be seeking employment in an environment where many blue-collar and white-collar skills were becoming obsolete, vocational colleges and two-year trade schools reported increasing enrollment for several years. Since the 1960s and 1970s, these institutions have become a staple in most communities.

An important and increasingly popular component of the training these schools offered was upgrading and remedial education, which appealed to a U.S. population that was discovering the value of re-education. Remedial skills training, taught in a wide variety of evening, weekend, summer, and other adult education programs, appealed to students who might have enrolled in a liberal arts college a decade or two earlier.

Government Financial Assistance.
In the meantime, retraining and educational upgrading become priorities for both federal and local governments in the United States. Both the technical revolution, particularly related to the computer industry, and the obsolescence of many white-collar, middle-, and upper-management jobs, engendered a revolution in retraining in the United States. The public sector committed substantial amounts of money to the re-education of Americans who had minimal training in the skills required in the modern job market. In 1998 federal funds for education and related activities amounted to more than $60 billion.

Early Years of the First Decade of the 2000s.
By the early years of the first decade of the 2000s, weak economic conditions resulted in business closures, massive workforce reductions, and decreasing tax bases throughout the United States. This led to state budget shortfalls, which in turn affected funding for colleges and universities. During the boom years of the late 1990s, state appropriations for higher education averaged 7 to 8 percent. However, according to Educational Marketer, the Center for Higher Education at Illinois State University reported that funding for higher education at the state level increased a mere 1.2 percent in 2002-03, reaching almost $64 billion. Fourteen states cut funding, and another eight kept funding at the previous year's level or increased appropriations less than 1 percent. The most significant reductions occurred in Oregon, which implemented cuts of 11 percent, followed by Missouri with 10 percent cutbacks.

In 2006 a $12.7 billion cut in federal student aid was initiated to take place over five years. As government funding continued to decrease, colleges and universities increased tuition. Tuition increased an average of 10.5 percent in 2004-05 at public four-year institutions. This followed the steepest annual increase in public college tuition in 30 years, 14.1 percent, set in 2003-04. At private schools in 2004ndash;05, tuition and fee increases averaged about 6 percent. Compounding this problem was a lack of financial aid. In 2004-05, federal Pell grants were reported to provide $12.6 billion to some 4.5 million low-income students, but this covered only 40 percent of tuition at public universities, compared to 77 percent in 1979. In 2006 the Center for the Study of Education Policy reported that postsecondary education appropriations rose 6 percent to $66.6 billion, the biggest leap recorded in the first decade of the 2000s.

Amid these financial pressures, college enrollment increased, but access for low-income students decreased. From 2001 to 2006, average in-state tuition rose 35 percent, faster than the rate of inflation, with costs ranging from $3,210 to $9,800, depending on the state. The average cost of $5,836 in 2006 was still less than half the average private school cost of $30,367. According to U.S. News and World Report, between 80,000 and 140,000 individuals who qualified for financial aid did not apply for college because they feared the costs were too high. Compounding the issue was the increase of merit-based aid and the corresponding decrease of need-based aid in many schools.

Competition for admission into college was fierce in the middle of the first decade of the 2000s. For example, in 2006, 3.1 million people graduated from high school. Applications became easier to send out in mass quantities at the touch of a button due to technology, as opposed to the traditional process of completing individual applications. In 2006 schools like the University of Pennsylvania accepted 17 percent of applicants, while 30 years earlier they had accepted 60 percent.

By the end of the 2000s, for-profit colleges were beginning to make a mark in the United States. Industry leader University of Phoenix served primarily nontraditional, working students at nearly 2,000 brick-and-mortar locations and led in advancing the use of online course material. Including online students, the University of Phoenix had a record enrollment of 600,000 in 2010. For-profit college system Corinthian Colleges, Inc., had more than 96,000 students and about 100 campuses across the United States in 2012. Its Everest campuses offered diploma or degree programs in the fields of health care, business, and computer technology, and its WyoTech campuses trained students in the automotive, diesel, motorcycle, watercraft, HVAC, electrician, and plumbing fields. The for-profit educational segment was highly condensed with just nine companies controlling 90 percent of the market.

For-profit educational institutions were not the only campuses implementing online learning. According to the Sloan Consortium, an organization that promotes online education, in the fall of 2007 almost 4 million students took at least one online course, up from 1.6 million in the fall of 2002. Proponents of distance learning argued that online courses had several advantages that enhanced traditional learning. The Sloan Consortium noted in October 2009, "The growth of online programs, especially at public institutions, continues to be based largely on the anticipation that such programs are the wave of the future in terms of broadening access and increasing enrollment--and they will be at least solvent, if not cash cows." However, teachers and professors resisted distance learning because they were not convinced that online learning was qualitatively comparative to face-to-face classroom learning. A 2009 survey conducted by the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) found that 70 percent of the faculty considered online courses inferior to traditional classroom learning.

Although the public and nonprofit private college and university system remained securely in control of the nation's overall educational process, the economic recession at the end of the first decade of the 2000s highlighted the worrisome trend of decreasing state and federal funding available to colleges and universities. For example, while spending for Medicaid increased between 1987 and 2006 nationwide from 10.2 to 21.5 percent of state budget expenditures, respectively, during the same period the percentage of state apportionments for state-run universities fell from 12.3 percent to 10.4 percent. As tuition prices increased to offset rising costs, the United States fell behind in the number of diplomas awarded. According to the APLU, the United States, which had been first in the proportion of college-educated 20- to 29-year-olds, ranked fourteenth. The graduation rate among U.S. colleges and universities was 55 percent.

States spent about $79 billion on higher education in 2008, and U.S. News & World Report reported that the approximate 5 percent decline ($4 billion) in the amount states gave to postsecondary schools was caused by the recession. Federal stimulus money helped replace some of that loss in the short term, but some states in particularly dire financial straits, such as California, found it difficult to keep enough teachers in the classrooms. The University of California system reduced its incoming freshman class in 2009 by 2,300 to cut costs. The state of Washington reduced its higher education budget $168 million in 2009 (almost 11 percent) and raised tuition at public universities almost 14 percent to make ends meet. Although some states were hit harder than others, most felt the effects of decreased state revenues and increasing demands on that revenue.

Schools also cut costs in other ways, such as increasing class size and limiting class offerings. Some eliminated low-enrollment courses, such as foreign languages, and others cut expensive lab-related science courses. Nonmoney-making sports like tennis, baseball, skiing, wrestling, and cross country, as well as other extracurricular activities like band and cheerleading squads were cut. Schools also used the recession as an opportunity to reduce waste and slim down to run more effective and efficient programs. Some states, including Texas, North Dakota, and Alaska, were buoyed by strong local economies and increased state-level commitment to higher education.

Current Conditions

Although the trend in the early 2010s in U.S. postsecondary education was for higher enrollments, there was also a general move to increase tuition. According to The New York Times, 68 percent of students who graduated from high school in 2010 were enrolled in college by October 2011. The number of women going to college continued to increase, and in 2010, 72 percent of recent female high school graduates went to college, compared to 62 percent of male graduates. The U.S. Labor Department also reported that large gaps in ethnicity continued in enrollment in U.S. colleges and universities. For example, among recent high school grads, Asians had the highest incidence of college attendance, with 85 percent of Asian students going on to college. Sixty-nine percent of white graduating students, 61 percent of black graduates, and 60 percent of Hispanic graduates enrolled in college. Meanwhile, as government funds for post-secondary education shrank, tuition rose at almost every institution. The federal government reported that the cost of tuition at all four-year institutions rose an average of 3 percent nationwide from 2009 to 2010.


In 2010 approximately 2.85 million people were employed in U.S. colleges and universities. The 1.14 million faculty members, the largest and most visible component of the workforce, assumed a number of diverse roles in higher education. Duties typically included teaching, appointment, and promotion of colleagues, conferring tenure, curriculum planning, and student admission evaluations. Faculty usually operated within specific academic or administrative departments and were represented in faculties, senates, committees, and, in some cases, bargaining or arbitration units.

Salaries remained dependent on experience, standing, and tenure. Among all positions, faculty at private schools tended to earn higher salaries. The highest paying fields included medicine, law, and engineering, whereas the lowest salaries were earned by those in the humanities and education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, law professors earned an average of $110,920, computer science professors earned an average of $89,260, and sociology professors earned an average of $75,130.

America and the World

Higher education in the United States has a great deal of prestige around the world. After the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, the number of foreign students in the United States declined primarily due to tighter restrictions on visas. However, by the end of the first decade of the 2000s and early 2010s, the number of foreign students had rebounded to reach record levels. According to the Institute of International Education, in 2011 the number of international students in the U.S. postsecondary school system increased to 723,277, up from about 624,000 in 2008. China accounted for the most international students (22 percent), followed by India (14 percent) and South Korea (10 percent).

© COPYRIGHT 2018 The Gale Group, Inc. This material is published under license from the publisher through the Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan. All inquiries regarding rights should be directed to the Gale Group. For permission to reuse this article, contact the Copyright Clearance Center.

News and information about Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools

University Affiliation Services for the Degree of Doctor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies with A Major in Emergency Medicine (Dscpas-Em)
Mena Report; January 21, 2018; 354 words
...2018 Classification Code: U education & training services NAICS Code: Educational services/ colleges, Universities, And professional schools Response Date: Jan 26, 2018 4:00 pm Central Major organization : DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY Address...
Request for Information (Rfi)/sources Sought - Expeditionary Warfare Masters Degree Program
Mena Report; October 22, 2017; 309 words
...2017 Classification code: U education & training services Naics code: Educational services/ colleges, universities, and professional schools Response date: nov 03, 2017 4:00 pm eastern Major organization : DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY Address...
Virginia Tech Work
Mena Report; October 22, 2017; 306 words
...2017 Classification code: U education & training services Naics code: Educational services/ colleges, universities, and professional schools Response date: nov 06, 2017 4:00 pm eastern Major organization : DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY Address...
Immigrants and the Economy
Alaska Business Monthly; April 1, 2017; 700+ words
...foreign-born workers in Alaska are shown below. 74% Seafood and Other Miscellaneous Foods 25% Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 25% Traveler Accomodation 18% Waste Management and Remediation Services 16% Child Day Care Services...
Labor Productivity Growth in Elementary and Secondary School Services: 1989-2012
Monthly Labor Review; June 1, 2016; 700+ words
...largest component industry in the education sector by employment and receipts, after NAICS 6113, colleges, universities, and professional schools. (6) This is the first detailed industry in the education sector for which BLS has developed...
Eurasia University
Mena Report; March 4, 2016; 700+ words
Region : East Asia and the Pacific Sector : T-AB - Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools Department : Gbl Ind, Manufact, Agribus & Services Environmental category : B Date SPI disclosed : February 26, 2016 Projected...
Atma Jaya Uni
Mena Report; April 14, 2016; 700+ words
Region : East Asia and the Pacific Sector : T-AB - Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools Department : Gbl Ind, Manufact, Agribus & Services Environmental category : B Date SPI disclosed : April 13, 2016 Projected...
Value of Value-Added Models Based on Student Outcomes to Evaluate Teaching
The Journal of Faculty Development; September 1, 2016; 700+ words
...have bubbled to the top of debates about how to evaluate teaching in community and liberal arts colleges, universities, and professional schools, but even more international attention has been riveted on how outcomes are being used to evaluate...

Search all articles about Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools