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A Factual Look at Higher Education In Nebraska

August 2003

The Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education annually provides statistical data and analytical summaries of including higher education enrollment, degrees awarded, institutional finance, and faculty summaries for Nebraska’s public and independent colleges and universities. In addition, data are gathered and presented for enrollment and degrees awarded for some of the private career colleges of Nebraska.

Nebraska’s public and independent colleges and universities provide the data annually to fulfill requirements from the U. S. Department of Education. The private career colleges also complete a more limited survey for the U.S. Department of Education. Survey data for the U. S. Department of Education are collected through the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System [IPEDS]. The Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education is designated as the State administrator for IPEDS, with responsibilities for verifying all data before the data are finalized.  

The Coordinating Commission has modified A Factual Look at Higher Education to provide a more user-friendly format. This year, A Factual Look at Higher Education has been revised to include a more detailed analysis of data relating to race/ethnicity, gender and higher education, including the addition of diversity analyses based on the USA Today Diversity Index.  The supporting data for all analyses in this document are presented separately and are available upon request by contacting the Coordinating Commission at (402) 471-2847 or via the Coordinating Commission’s website: http://www.ccpe.state.ne.us.

A Factual Look at Higher Education (August, 2003) includes data and analyses on Fall 2001 enrollment for total headcount and full and part-time enrollments. Enrollment data also track the growth in race/ethnicity, gender, and age categories over the past ten years.

Analyses are also provided for degrees awarded in 2000-2001, including total awards and awards by level of enrollment. Graduation rate data is also presented.  

Finance data for the public and independent colleges and universities are provided for both revenue and expenditures. Faculty salary data are provided, by rank, for Nebraska’s public and independent colleges and universities.

In future editions of A Factual Look, the Coordinating Commission anticipates presenting  data on workforce development, secondary education statistics and other facts regarding higher education in Nebraska

Executive Summary

  • Total headcount for Nebraska's public and independent colleges and universities was 112,135:  an increase of 4% from 1991 to 2001. In addition, 2,772 students were enrolled at private career colleges.
  • The University of Nebraska had the largest percentage of students enrolled: 41% of the total or 46,291 students.
  • The public institutions' share of total students declined slightly from 82.5% in 1991 to 80% in 2001 despite substantial percentage increases to the Community College enrollments.
  • Overall, the number of full-time students increased 3.1% from Fall, 2000 to Fall, 2001. The total of full-time headcount enrollment was 71,762.
  • The Community Colleges posted the greatest percentage increase in full-time headcount enrollment from 1991-2001 with 42.7%, followed closely by the independent colleges and universities with a 31.7% increase.
  • The Community Colleges also accounted for the greatest percentage of part-time students, with nearly 54% of the 40,373 part-time enrollees.
  • The number of part-time students decreased in all sectors between 1991 and 2001 with the exception of the community colleges, which saw a 18.2% gain during this period.   All sectors saw a decrease in part-time enrollment between 1996 and 2001, ranging from a decrease of 2.0% at the community colleges to a decrease of 18.2% at the University of Nebraska.
  • Minority students comprised 9.0% (10,132 students) of the total enrollment for the public and independent colleges and universities in Fall, 2001, compared to 5.9% (6,408 students) in Fall, 1991. Private career colleges enrolled a higher percentage of minorities than any other sector of higher education: 14%.
  • Women students comprised 53.0% of the full-time enrollments and 58.6% of the part-time enrollments at the public and independent colleges and universities in Fall 2001.  Women students outnumbered the men in every race/ethnicity category. At the private career colleges, women comprised 56% of the enrollments in Fall 2001, while in the public and independent sectors women were 54.9% of total enrollments.
  • In Fall 2001, nearly 64.8% of all students were age 24 or younger. The percentage of students age 30 or older declined from 26.9% in 1995 to 22.7% in 2001.
  • The number of public and independent college and university degrees awarded increased from 17,207 in 1991-1992 to 20,334 in 2000-2001, a 18.2% increase. The number of degrees awarded at independent colleges and universities increased 46.1%, from 3,764 to 5,500 degrees. The next highest percentage gain was at the Nebraska State Colleges: 33.9%. Degrees at private career colleges numbered approximately 1,232 in 2000-2001
  • Bachelor's degrees accounted for 53.3% of all degrees, or 10,846 degrees, awarded by public and independent colleges and universities in 2000-2001.
  • Minority students received 7.3% of all degrees awarded by public and independent colleges and universities in 2000-2001. Black, non-Hispanic students received 2.7% of all degrees, followed by Asian students with 2.1% of all degrees.
  • The highest number of baccalaureate degrees were conferred in Business (27.2%), Social Sciences (16.8%), Education (12.9%) and Humanities (12.8%).
  • Of the education degrees, the University of Nebraska conferred 678 degrees and the three State Colleges conferred a total of 330 degrees. The Independent College and University sector conferred a combined total of 388 degrees in education.
  • The average graduation rate for all Nebraska public and independent colleges and universities in 2001 was 46.2%. The average graduation rate for students at independent colleges and universities was 62.7%. The University of Nebraska's average graduation rate was 46.1%.  At the State Colleges, the average graduation rate was 39.5%, while the average graduation rate at community colleges was 38.8%
  • Revenue at Nebraska's public postsecondary institutions increased 26.1% from 1996-1997 to 2000-2001 (excluding hospital and auxiliary enterprise revenue). State appropriations constituted 47.0% of the revenue at the public institutions.  Revenue for Nebraska's independent colleges and universities increased 0.6% between 1999-2000 and 2000-2001.
  • Instruction was the primary expenditure at Nebraska's public postsecondary institutions, accounting for 38.8% of all expenditures (excluding hospital and auxiliary enterprise expenditures).  Research expenditures accounted for the next greatest percentage of expenditures at public institutions with 14.0%
  • Professors and associate professors comprised 47.3% of the 4,537 full-time faculty in Nebraska's public and independent colleges and universities in Fall, 2001.
  • The average annual salary for full-time faculty at the University of Nebraska, excluding pre-clinical and clinical faculty at UNMC, was $61,669, compared to $46,184 at the State Colleges, $38,591 at the Community Colleges and $50,144 at the independent colleges and universities