Michele Owens works before her fifth-grade students start arriving for the first day of school at Brinson Elementary School in New Bern, N.C. (AP Photo/The New Bern Sun Journal, Chuck Beckley)

Here is everything you didn’t know you didn’t know about the 2014-15 school year, getting under way in earnest around the country this week. This information comes directly from the U.S. Education Department’s Nation Center for Education Statistics:

What are the new Back to School statistics for 2014?

Elementary and Secondary Education


In fall 2014, about 49.8 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools. Of these, 35.1 million will be in prekindergarten through grade 8 and 14.7 million will be in grades 9 through 12. An additional 5.0 million students are expected to attend private schools (source). The fall 2014 public school enrollment is expected to remain near the record enrollment level of fall 2013.

Of the projected 49.8 million students attending public elementary and secondary schools in fall 2014, White students will account for 24.8 million. The remaining 25.0 million will be composed of 7.7 million Black students, 12.8 million Hispanic students, 2.6 million Asian/Pacific Islander students, 0.5 million American Indian/Alaska Native students, and 1.4 million students of two or more races (source). The national percentage of students who are White is projected to be less than 50 percent in 2014. The percentage of White students is expected to continue declining as the enrollments of Hispanics and Asians/Pacific Islanders increase through at least fall 2023, the last year for which projections are available (source).

About 1.3 million children are expected to attend public prekindergarten in fall 2014; enrollment in public kindergarten is projected to reach approximately 3.7 million students (source).

In fall 2014, about 4.1 million public school students are expected to enroll in 9th grade—the typical entry grade for many American high schools (source).


Public school systems will employ about 3.1 million full-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers in fall 2014, such that the number of pupils per FTE teacher—that is, the pupil/teacher ratio—will be 16.0. This ratio is not measurably different from the 2000 ratio of 16.0. A projected 0.4 million FTE teachers will be working in private schools this fall, resulting in an estimated pupil/teacher ratio of 12.5, which is lower than the 2000 ratio of 14.5 (source).

Schools and Districts

In 2011–12, there were about 13,600 public school districts (source) with over 98,300 public schools, including about 5,700 charter schools (source). In fall 2011, there were about 30,900 private schools offering kindergarten or higher grades (source).


Current expenditures for public elementary and secondary schools are projected to be $619 billion for the 2014–15 school year. These expenditures include such items as salaries for school personnel, benefits, student transportation, school books and materials, and energy costs. The current expenditure per student is projected at $12,281 for the 2014–15 school year (source).


About 3.3 million students are expected to graduate from high school in 2014–15, including 3.0 million students from public high schools and about 0.3 million students from private high schools (source).

The percentage of high school dropouts among 16- through 24-year-olds declined from 10.9 percent in 2000 to 6.6 percent in 2012 (source). Reflecting the overall decline in the dropout rate between 2000 and 2012, the rates also declined for Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics (source).

The percentage of students enrolling in college in the fall immediately following high school completion was 66.2 percent in 2012 (source). Females enrolled at a higher rate (71.3 percent) than males (61.3 percent) (source).

College and University Education


In fall 2014, some 21.0 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities, constituting an increase of about 5.7 million since fall 2000 (source).

Females are expected to account for the majority of college students: about 12.0 million females will attend in fall 2014, compared with 9.0 million males. Also, more students are expected to attend full time than part time (an estimated 13.0 million, compared with about 8.0 million, respectively)(source).

About 7.3 million students will attend 2-year institutions and nearly 13.7 million will attend 4-year institutions. Some 18.0 million students are expected to enroll in undergraduate programs and about 3.0 million will enroll in postbaccalaureate programs (source).

Increases in the traditional college-age population and rising enrollment rates have contributed to the increase in college enrollment. Between 2000 and 2012, the 18- to 24-year-old population rose from approximately 27.3 million to approximately 31.4 million (source). The percentage of 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college also was higher in 2012 (41.0 percent) than in 2000 (35.5 percent) (source).

In 2012, there were about 13 million students under age 25 and 8 million students 25 years old and over. Both the number of younger and older students increased between 2000 and 2012 (source).

Increasing numbers and percentages of Black and Hispanic students are attending college. Between 2000 and 2012, the percentage of college students who were Black rose from 11.7 to 14.9 percent, and the percentage of students who were Hispanic rose from 9.9 to 15.0 percent (source). Also, the percentage of Black 18- to 24-year-olds enrolled in college increased from 30.5 percent in 2000 to 36.4 percent in 2012, and the percentage of Hispanics enrolled increased from 21.7 to 37.5 percent (source).


For the 2012–13 academic year, the average annual price for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board was $15,022 at public institutions, $39,173 at private nonprofit institutions, and $23,158 at private for-profit institutions. Charges for tuition and required fees averaged $5,899 at public institutions, $28,569 at private nonprofit institutions, and $13,766 at private for-profit institutions (source).


During the 2014–15 school year, colleges and universities are expected to award 1.0 million associate’s degrees; 1.8 million bachelor’s degrees; 821,000 master’s degrees; and 177,500 doctor’s degrees (source). In 2011–12, postsecondary institutions awarded 1.0 million certificates below the associate’s degree level, 1.0 million associate’s degrees, 1.8 million bachelor’s degrees, 754,000 master’s degrees, and 170,100 doctor’s degrees (source).

In 2012, about 73 percent of young adults ages 25–34 with a bachelor’s or higher degree in the labor force had year-round, full-time jobs, compared with 65 percent of those with an associate’s degree, 59 percent of those with some college education, 60 percent of high school completers, and 49 percent of those without a high school diploma or its equivalent (source). In 2013, a smaller percentage of young adults with a bachelor’s degree or higher were unemployed than were their peers with lower levels of education (source).

In 2012, the median earnings for full-time year-round working young adults ages 25–34 with a bachelor’s degree was $46,900, while the median was $22,900 for those without a high school diploma or its equivalent, $30,000 for those with a high school diploma or its equivalent, and $35,700 for those with an associate’s degree. In other words, young adults with a bachelor’s degree earned more than twice as much as those without a high school diploma or its equivalent (105 percent more) and 57 percent more than young adult high school completers. Additionally, in 2012 the median earnings for young adults with a master’s degree or higher was $59,600, some 27 percent more than the median for young adults with a bachelor’s degree (source).