Infographic: Education by the Numbers: Community College Trends | D2L
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Infographic: Education by the Numbers: Community College Trends

  • 3 Min Read

What you need to know to remain competitive and effective in higher education

Community colleges are becoming a vital component of student success in higher education. However, they need to stay competitive and effective in order for them and their students to achieve their goals. In this infographic, we show the trends and stats that demonstrate why community colleges need to consider next generation education technology.

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Community college trends infographic


Due to a variety of circumstances, the dependence on community colleges is becoming a national trend. At the same time, many social and personal pressures put getting an education at risk. Education technology can be part of the solution, but it first takes a mindset of change to make a real difference in student outcomes. We gathered the most dramatic statistical trends to reveal what community colleges need to know.

Top 5 types of online college students[1]

  1. Aspiring Academics
    1. 18-24 year-olds, focused mainly on academics
  2. Coming of Age
    1. 18-24 year-olds, exploring education among other options
  3. Academic Wanderers
    1. Older students unsure about attaining career goals
  4. Career Starters
    1. See college as part of a career-path
  5. Career Accelerators
    1. Older students looking to upgrade their career prospects

Community colleges are a desirable option

  • 42% of nation-wide undergraduates were enrolled in community colleges in 2014[2]
  • 46% of all students who completed 4-year degrees in 2014 attended community college at some point in the previous 10 years[3]

Completion and retention

  • National Average: 45% graduation rate among all students[4]
  • 24% graduation rate of part-time students[5]
  • 4% completion at public 2-year colleges[6]

Enrolment ups and downs

  • 73% Growth in overall enrolment between 2000-2010[7]
  • 72% Growth in enrolment in public, 2-year sector between 2000-2010[8]
  • 4% decrease in enrolment in community college (2010-2014)[9]
  • 3% decline in enrolment of first-time college students[10]
  • 13% decline in first-time students over the age of 24[11]
  • Good news – Overall enrolment in community college is trending up[12]

Rising cost of tuition (1987-2018)

  • 200% increase in 4-year non-profit institutions[13]
  • 300% increase in 4-year public institutions [14]
  • 80% of undergraduates applied for financial aid in 2012[15]
  • $1.4 trillion of student debt in US[16]

Rising cost of textbooks and materials

  • 186% increase in textbook costs between 1986-2004[17]
  • The average college student now pays about $1,200 on textbooks and course materials.[18]
  • 58% of faculty are unaware of Open Education Resources[19]

Growth in online programs

  • 70% growth in institutions offering online degrees from 2010-2017[20]
  • 8% growth in enrolment from 2016-2017[21]
  • 95% of institutions offer at least one online degree in 2017[22]
  • 89% of institutions offer online certificate programs in 2017[23]


The final tally

A next generation learning management system (LMS) provides the tools that can help colleges engage, retain, manage, and monitor student progress. Students with a more consistent and reliable experience with their education technology may be more satisfied with their overall education experience. See how an LMS is positively impacting enrolment at Pima Community College[24].



[3] Ibid.


[5] Ibid.



[8] Ibid.

[9] Ibid.


[11] Ibid.



[14] Ibid.







[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.


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