Descriptive Summary of 2003-04 Beginning Postsecondary Students: Three Years Later

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National Center for Education Statistics

Most first-time students who begin their post-secondary education at four-year institutions are 19 or younger (85 percent), compared with 54 percent of students who begin at two-year institutions and 32 percent who begin at less-than-two-year institutions, finds this report on differences in the background, academic preparation, and experiences of students who began post-secondary study between July 2003 to June 2006.

About half of students under age 24 who began at a four-year institution had a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher, and about one-fourth had earned credit for courses taken at a college while still in high school. Eighteen percent of the students who began at a four-year institution in 2003-04 transferred from another institution. The report also discusses rates of persistence, program completion, transfer and attrition. Free, 239 pages. (202) 502-7300,