The higher education sector itself is an important piece of the U.S. economy. In the fall of 2013, institutions of higher education that participated in Title IV federal financial aid programs employed almost 4 million people. The higher education sector also confers a large advantage to the United States in the global market for talent. In the 2015–16 academic year, more than 1 million international students studied at U.S. colleges and universities. These students contributed more than $32 billion to the economy and supported more than 400,000 jobs .
Fact 1: The median lifetime earnings for individuals with bachelor’s degrees are twice that of those with high school diplomas.
Fact 2: Federal tax credits generally do not increase college enrollment.
Fact 3: For the past twenty years, women have outpaced men in college attendance and degree attainment.
Fact 4: More than a quarter of low-income students who enroll in a four-year institution drop out by the end of the second year.
Fact 5: Student financial aid has increased dramatically over the past 15 years, while state direct aid to institutions has stagnated.
Fact 6: Two thirds of undergraduate borrowers receive less than $20,000 in loans and 90 percent borrow less than $40,000.
Fact 7: In 2015, 3.5 million students over the age of 30 were enrolled in higher education.
Fact 8: The vast majority of defaulters have less than $10,000 in student loan debt.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at Eight economic facts on higher education | Brookings Institution