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Title:  Differential Characteristics of 2-Year Postsecondary Institutions
Description: Two-year institutions, including community colleges and career schools, have become increasingly important in American higher education. Many classification systems for 2-year institutions use a wide array of characteristics and perspectives to differentiate between 2-year institutions. This report uses a classification system for 2-year institutions that uses number of variables available on the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to identify seven groups of 2-year institutions: small publics; medium-sized publics; large publics; allied health not-for-profits; other not-for-profits; degree-granting for-profits; and other for-profits. The report presents brief profiles for each classification type, then focuses on four broad topic areas (institutional resources, student characteristics, institutional affordability, and measures of student success) to highlight the key differences that set a particular institutional type apart. The analysis found that among public institutions, small and large institutions differed in key areas; for example, large public schools tended to offer lower tuition and more services and to be located in urban areas. Private for-profit schools appear quite similar to one another with the exception of the types of credentials offered and completed, which reflect the classification itself. In most other aspects---such as tuition, location, finances, student characteristics, and student financial aid---these institutions exhibited few differences. Other not-for-profits appeared to be similar to for-profits, but slightly more traditional. Allied health institutions differed from other not-for-profit institutions---and the other institutions in the classification system---in terms of the programs offered, funding streams, student characteristics, student costs and the types of awards granted. These schools appeared to be between public institutions and other private schools in terms of affordability and financial aid. Students at allied health institutions were more likely to be older, independent with dependents, and female than their counterparts at other 2-year schools.
Online Availability:
Cover Date: July 2007
Web Release: August 10, 2007
Print Release:
Publication #: NCES 2007164REV
General Ordering Information
Center/Program: NCES
Type of Product: Statistical Analysis Report
Survey/Program Areas: Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS)
Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS)
Questions: For questions about the content of this Statistical Analysis Report, please contact:
NCES WebMaster.