35 Interesting College Student Statistics You Should Know

College Student Statistics 2024: Facts & Demographics

Published on: June 18, 2023
Last Updated: June 18, 2023

College Student Statistics 2024: Facts & Demographics

Published on: June 18, 2023
Last Updated: June 18, 2023

The college years create some of the most eventful and memorable chapters in students’ lives.

While not all college students leave home to attend college, for those who do, feelings of being homesick occur, but then they start to feel like adults who have more freedom than they ever had. 

The events, clubs, and activities that students of higher learning engage in provide a variety of life experiences.

The people one meets in college often have an impact on a student’s life one way or another. Likewise, many college students make life-long friends during these years.

The college experience is different for each student, which is why we gathered these shocking college student statistics. 

These stats should be informative for students about to begin their college journey, for parents to better understand what’s happening in colleges, and for professors and college board members who need to know what’s happening in their own schools.

Resource Contents show

Key College Student Statistics 2024

  • Depression is more common in today’s college students than ever.
  • On average, the median salary of a person with a college degree is 56% more than of people without a degree.
  • 4 out of 5 college students experience feeling overwhelmed by life.
  • 41% of college grads have jobs that don’t require a degree.
  • By 2030, the number of students with degrees will reach 300 million.
  • College grad stats show that first-generation college students go to two-year colleges.
  • One cause of suicide come from the pressure of college life.
  • Rape statistics in relation to college campuses shows that 1 out of 5 female American college students have been sexually assaulted.
  • The coming first-generation college students are likely to come from minorities with dependents.
  •  As of this year, college student debt has reached $1.56 trillion, which is a new record.

Detailed College Student Statistics 2024

This section will address basic statistics and facts in 2024.

1. College Enrollment Has Increased by 6% Among 18- to 24-Year Olds Between 2000 and 2018.

In 2019, the enrollment rate was higher among Asian college students at 62% than it was for students of two or more races at 47%, caucasians at 41%, African Americans at 37%, Hispanic at 36%, and Alaskan Native/American Indians at 24%. 

The overall enrollment rate among 18 to 24 year olds was 41% in 2019.

2. In America, There Are About 20 Million College Students.

Statistics show that The United States has experienced consistent growth in the rate of college students.

Stats from 2019 reports that there were 19.9 million students in the fall semester.

California seems to have the highest numbers with 2,714,051 and Alaska has the lowest numbers with 26,905.

3. 34% of American Citizens Have a Degree.

Each year, Americans are more educated. There are now more high school students than ever enrolling in higher education.

These students are intent on getting at least their bachelor’s degree.

4. 41% of Recent College Grads Have Jobs that Don’t Require a Degree.

The most recent stats show that 41% of recent college grads and 33.8% of all college grads are underemployed.

In this case, it means they are working in jobs where no college degree is required.

5. 30% of College Students Are Dropouts Before They Enter Their Second Year.

American college student statistics show that 30% of freshmen are apt to drop  out before they start their sophomore year.

In 2019, the overall dropout rate was 40% for a four-year degree. 2 out of 5 students also had parents who never finished their college education.

6. On Average, the Median Salary of A Person with A College Degree Is 56% More than Of People without A Degree.

If you consider income to be a measure of success, especially after getting a college degree, statistics show that college grads earn 56% more than their non-grad counterparts.

Other data shows that college grads are more likely to gain employment with better access to high paying jobs.

The latest reports say that only 5% of college grads need food stamps over 37% of those with only a high school diploma. 

7. By 2030, the Number of Students with Degrees Will Reach 300 Million.

Every year, the rate of college graduates rapidly rises. For instance, in 2013, the number of those holding a degree across the world was about 137 million.

Now the data shows it will reach 300 million within 10 years.

India and China, two developing countries with large populations and solid economic growth, are believed to become the biggest reasons for the increase.

These two countries alone will account for almost half of all college graduates within the same timeline.

8. As Of This Year, College Student Debt Has Reached $1.56 Trillion, Which Is a New Record.

It’s well-known that student college debt has escalated over the last couple of decades.

As you read this data, 44.7 million (or more) students have outstanding student loans in excess of $1.56 trillion. That’s an average of at least $32,731 per student borrower.

Student loans are second only to mortgage loans in the category of consumer debt.

9. In A Sampled Study, About 1 out Of 10 College Students Identified as Members of The LGBT Community.

It’s estimated that about 10% of the sampled college students identified as asexual, pan sexual, gay, bisexual, lesbian, trans, or questioning their preference in 2016.

The national average was 4.1%. 

10. 90% of All College Campus Rapes Come from Serial Rapists.

College rape statistics show that most campus rapes are levied by serial predators. An average of about six rapes for each miscreant. 

11. College Rape Statistics in Relation to College Campuses Shows that 1 out Of 5 Female American College Students Have Been Sexually Assaulted.

Unfortunately, sexual assaults happen everywhere, including college campuses. On American college campuses it’s reported that 1 in 5 female students have been sexually assaulted.

Women aren’t the only college students that are sexually assaulted. Male college students are said to be at risk as well, but at a rate of three times less than female students. 

Sadly, about 90% of campus sexual assaults are reported by the victim.

12. First-Generation College Students Go to Two-Year Colleges.

Most of today’s first-generation college students choose a two-year school. Most postsecondary college students go on to get their bachelor’s degree.

In 2011 and 2012, about 1 out of 4 first-generation students chose the four-year college path.

13. The Coming First-Generation College Students Are Likely to Come from Minorities with Dependents.

Many of today’s first-generation college students are from ethnic groups that are also from underprivileged backgrounds.

61% are represented by Hispanic students, 41% by African-American students, and 25% by Asian-American and Caucasian students. 

Out of these first-generation students about 60% have dependent children. They are also represented starting at an average age of 24. 

14. The Unemployment Rate of American College Grads Is Higher than Its General Population.

The data gathered from December 2021 reported that the unemployment rate of young adult Americans between 22 and 27 years old that have a bachelor’s degree was 3.9%.

That is just a little higher than that of the whole unemployment population which was 3.6% and included people from 16 to 65.

The overall unemployment rate for those aged 22 to 27 was 6.5%.

15. It’s Estimated that Only About 1 out Of 10 First-Generation, Low-Income Students Will Obtain Their College Degree Within Six Years of Enrollment.

About 11% of first-generation, low-income students will finish their education within six years of enrollment.

That is compared to 5 out of 10 of students who are not low-income or first-generation. The percentage of the contrasting college students is 55% who will go on to get their degrees. 

16. 50% of Students Enrolled in For-Profit Institutions Are First-Generation Students.

The high cost of for-profit educational institutions has a surprisingly high number of enrollments of first-generation, low-income students. 

College Student Loan Debt Statistics

Now let’s look at the statistics about student loan debt.

17. Only 30% of Students with Bachelor Degrees Graduate without Holding Any Debt.

While most college students incur large student loan debt, about 30% who graduate with a bachelor’s degree are free from that burden.

Nearly one-third of all college students get their degree without the burden of any debt. About 10% of students incur smaller loan debt of $10,000 or less.

18. Over 3 Million American College Students Have Student Loans Over $100,000.

It’s not unusual for student debt to affect some students more than others. However, there is an overwhelming number of students who are buried under debt.

Sadly, over 3 million American college students are struggling with student loan debts that are more than $100,000. 

19. In 2019, the Average Student Loan Was $29,900 in the U.S.

Student loans follow many students for several years after graduation. That debt follows them as they try to manage it along with the things that are required of adults.

Student loan statistics say that 69% of all students are taking out loans with an average of $29,900 per student.

20. Most Students Think that They Can Pay Off Their Loans Within Six Years.

There’s nothing wrong with being optimistic about paying off your student loans. However, this data comes as a surprise with the major student loan debt crisis as it stands now. 

Even with statistical data that shows that the average college student is able to pay off student loan debt within 20 years or less, students insist this data is skewed. 

College Students Mental Health Statistics

College Student Mental Health

These statistics will discuss mental health data in 2024.

21. Depression Is More Common in Today’s College Students than Ever.

Just over the course of a decade, mental disorders, and specifically depression have shockingly more than doubled among today’s college students.

Data indicators show that this trend started getting worse in 2012, which coincides with the more common use of smartphones and social media usage. 

The usage of such technology and social sites became a necessity among the youth instead of an option.

Sadly, students seem to turn to alcohol and drugs as a solution to their emotions and mental state, resulting in addiction.

22. 4 out Of 5 College Students Experience Feeling Overwhelmed by Life.

According to statistical data, 4 out of 5 college students feel overwhelmed by their own lives.

The data suggests that it’s due to expectations of students, their studies, finance management, and the inability for today’s college students to meet the everyday demands of their existence. 

80% of students reported that they felt overwhelmed by everything they had to do, and 45% said they felt totally helpless. 

23. One Cause of Suicide Come from the Pressure of College Life.

The aforementioned pressures of college life, which also includes external pressures as well, causes more stress and anxiety that result in students feeling so helpless that sadly, they feel suicide is their only option.

They are at least highly vulnerable to suicide. Suicides are second only to accidents as leading causes of college student deaths.

When college seems like it should be the best time of their lives, all that pressure and stress can take its toll. 

24. One of the Reasons Cited by Young Adults for Not Going to College Was Mental Health.

About 64% of young adults said that mental health is the reason they quit college or decided not to go to college.

Many former students who dropped out said that they found it hard to focus on their studies, or even function in school due to severe mental health issues.

25. 7 out Of 10 College Students Claimed They Required Additional Money to Manage Mental Health Issues.

Even though the mental health issue seems to get swept under the rug often, colleges are finally starting to learn how prevalent mental issues are in students today.

About 70% of colleges have reported they are getting better funding to help address and combat students’ mental health issues

26. Sadly, only 10% of Athletes in College Seek Counseling for Mental Health Problems.

About 33% of students suffer from anxiety and depression. However, only about one-third of them seek out counseling.

If that’s not bad enough, it seems that these issues are more prevalent in college athletes. Only 10% of depressed college students look for professional help.

College Student Health and Lifestyle Statistics

College Student Health

Now let’s tackle the health and lifestyle of college students.

27. An Estimated 80% of American College Students Have Abused Alcohol.

There are concerns about the alcohol and drug use by American college students today. Four-fifths of college students in America admit to having abused alcohol.

Could that number be higher if some of those who didn’t admit to it actually did? Generally speaking, the use of alcohol on college campuses has remained consistent since the 1970s.

28. 6 to 6.9 Hours Is the Average Sleep Cycle of College Students.

It’s been known for a long time that college students don’t usually get enough restful sleep.

As a matter of fact, many students are literally sleep deprived, lacking at least 8 hours of sleep per night.

While it seems like they aren’t missing a lot of sleep, it’s substantial enough to cause future health issues if sleep problems become habitual.

29. In the Fall of 2019, About 41% of Students Said Their Health Was Very Good.

Statistics say that an estimated 41% of college students reported very good health.

So, a large number of students consider themselves to be healthy. Only about 11% of students reported their health as poor. 

30. Average Coffee Intake for College Students per Day Is 173 Milligrams.

College students are usually coffee drinkers due to all-night cram or study sessions, or parties.

Today’s college student has taken it to a whole new level at the consumption of 173 milligrams of caffeine per day.

This is an interesting fact, not an alarming one for concern since the recommended daily dose of caffeine is up to 400 milligrams. 

31. The Average Student in College Receives Two Parking Tickets per Year.

Parking at college campuses is already at a premium due to high demand, but this statistic that shows that on average, each student gets two parking tickets per year seems egregious. 

32. Around 54% of College Students Are Living at Home.

Nowadays, it seems that more than half of today’s college students are choosing to live at home and attend college.

Many of these students come from families with an income of above $100,000 per year. It makes sense that a college student would want to save money while attending school. 

33. The Obesity Rate of College Students Is Currently About 35%.

Obesity in America is a problem. The fact that 35% of American college students are overweight or obese further proves it’s happening for this coming generation. 

34. College Students Who Drink a Lot of Milk Get Higher GPAs.

Drinking milk seems to coincide with higher GPAs among college students.

Among students who drank 11 glasses of milk per week, the average GPA was 3.5. 

35. 29% of Community College Students Have Children. 

Just over one-fourth of community college students are parents.

While most people think that community college students are wide-eyed youngsters, the truth is that 29% of them have kids and are trying to improve their career status for their families.   


What Is Causing Mental Illness in College Students?

The mental health of college students is a major concern in today’s colleges.

Some commonalities have proven to be highly detrimental to college students’ mental health.

One such common element is the increase in social media and essentially the digitization of our society.

While this is primarily an issue among the younger crowd, this kind of hyperconnectivity has resulted in information overload and mental fatigue among college students.

Social media may connect people via online resources, but it also results in a false viewpoint of reality. It can lead to unhealthy comparisons between people.

The constant exposure to negative, manipulative, and disturbing content can cause higher stress levels, worries, and anxiety.

This is worsened by the demanding and stressful environment of college life.

How Many College Students Manage to Graduate?

From what data we gathered, students enrolled in a conventional 4-year educational path towards getting a bachelor’s degree at public colleges, the percentage of those who manage to graduate is 33.3%.

For six-year programs, the rate is 57.6%. Private education institutions represent a rate of graduation of 52.8% among 4-year models and 65.4% among 6-year paths.

How Many College Students Are Female?

61.6% of women represent the demographic for associate degrees, 56.7% for bachelor’s degrees, 59.9% of master’s degrees, and 51.6% of PhDs.

How Many Students Are African-American?

African-American college students account for 37% of students. This figure is up from 36% from the year before.

Hispanics and Native Americans make up 24%. Caucasians make up 42% and Asians make up 59% of college students.

What Is the Most Common Sickness Among College Students?

According to the data, anxiety is the most common illness that plagues college students today.

It stands to reason with 41.6% reporting issues with anxiety and another 36.4% reporting depression.


Society is changing before our eyes.

This is especially noticeable in the college world. In some ways, college has become more challenging for students, and in other ways it’s easier. 

We hope you have enjoyed reading these statistics about college students for 2024 and have learned something from them. 

If you’re a college student, now you are aware of the concerns and challenges of college life. 

If you’re a parent of a college student, maybe you can understand their plight better. 

If you’re a college professor or administrator, we hope this helps you be more aware of the health and wellbeing of all your students. 


Addiction CenterAl-JazeeraAmerican Diabetes Association
Best CollegesBrookingsCappex
CDCCengageChadron State College
Classes and CareersCMCGlobalCSC
ForbesGallup ICEF
Inside Higher EdJournal of American College HealthLearning English
National Center for Education StatisticsNCESNCES 
PNPIPsychology Today Reuters
Saving for CollegeScience DirectSeed Scientific
Sleep AdvisorStudent Loan PlannerThe Christian Science Monitor
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Written by Kelly Indah

I’m a statistics researcher here at EarthWeb with a special interest in privacy, tech, diversity, equality and human rights. I have a master’s degree in Computer Science and I have my Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.