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The Diversity of American Higher Education

This is not a post about the diversity of American college students, but rather about the diversity of institutions.

Recently, on a list discussion I subscribe to, someone made a point about non-selective or open institutions in the US: That there were many more of them than you might think.  So that got me thinking about our collective fascination with the most selective colleges and universities.  But even that visualization only looked at four-year, degree granting, freshman-enrolling institutions.  And of course, despite what popular culture might suggest, there are "many things in heaven and on earth that are not dreamt of in your philosophy."

So, this: Just about all of the over 7,000 post-secondary educational institutions in the US, shown a couple of ways: Control (Public, Private not-for-profit, and Private, for-profit: Open- and non-open admissions policies; and bachelor's-awarding or not.

Use the filters at right to select a subset, and you'll see how many institutions and how many freshmen we're talking about; the bottom chart shows by state, in case you're interested in that.

Surprised? You're almost certainly not alone.



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