Chapter 2 | Higher Education in Science and Engineering
The U.S. Higher Education System
1 For a crosswalk between the Classification of Instructional Programs codes and the academic fields in completion tables, see https://webcaspar.nsf.gov/Help/
dataMapHelpDisplay.jsp?subHeader=DataSourceBySubject&type=DS&abbr=DEGS&noHeader=1&JS=No, accessed 1 March 2017.
2 Special tabulation from the Survey of Earned Doctorates.
3 Tribal colleges and universities (TCUs) are fully accredited academic institutions designated by law. TCUs include institutions cited in the Equity and in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 and any other institution that qualifies for funding under the Tribally Controlled Community College Assistance Act of 1978.
4 Being a high-Hispanic-enrollment institution (public and private nonprofit institutions whose undergraduate, full-time equivalent student enrollment is at least 25% Hispanic) is a factor in determining whether an institution is eligible for federal grants, contracts, or benefits to expand educational opportunities and improve the educational attainment of Hispanic students based on the Title V program under the Higher Education Act (also known as the Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program). Institutions participating in this federal program are called “Hispanic-Serving Institutions,” a term used by many scholars in this field. For additional information, see https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/idues/hsidivision.html (accessed 15 May 2017) and Núñez et al. (2015).
5 In addition to HHE, other MSIs defined by the proportion of students enrolled in them are Asian-serving; American Indian-serving; other minority-serving; and non-minority serving. For more detail on all these categories, see Li 2007.
7 For the 2015 National Survey of College Graduates (NSCG), recent graduates include those who received their most recent degree in the 5 years between 1 July 2008 and 30 June 2013.
8 Special tabulation from the 2015 NSCG.
9 Special tabulation from the 2015 NSCG.
12 In 2011–12, IPEDS began asking institutions whether they were exclusively a distance education institution (i.e., whether all their programs were offered via distance education, defined as “education that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously”). A distance education course is a course in which the instructional content is delivered exclusively via distance education. A distance education program is a program for which all the required coursework for program completion can be completed via distance education courses. Examinations, orientation, and practical experience components of courses or programs are not considered instructional content. For more details, see the IPEDS online glossary at https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/glossary/.
13 HarvardX and MITx are “collaborative institutional efforts between Harvard University and MIT to enhance campus-based education, advance educational research, and increase access to online learning opportunities worldwide” (Chuang and Ho 2016).
14 FTE enrollments are derived from the “Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity” section of the IPEDS Fall Enrollment survey. The FTE of an institution’s part-time enrollment is estimated by multiplying part-time enrollment by factors that vary by control and level of institution and level of student; the estimated FTE of part-time enrollment is then added to the institution’s FTE. The Department of Education uses this formula to produce the FTE enrollment data published annually in the Digest of Education Statistics.
15 For the definition of “net tuition revenue,” see Glossary. Definitions of standard revenue and expenditure categories are available in the Delta Cost Project data dictionary, available at http://www.deltacostproject.org/delta-cost-project-database.
16 Another large source of revenue for very high research institutions is “hospitals, independent operations, and other sources,” which includes revenue generated by hospitals operated by the institution and revenues independent of or unrelated to instruction, research, or public services.
17 Investment returns include realized and unrealized gains and losses. Institutions report the change in the value of their investment account, which is the reason behind the negative values under this category in Appendix Table 2-5. Thus, investment returns may not always represent revenue for the institution.
18 In 2015, income from private and affiliated gifts, investment returns, and endowment income at private very high research institutions was about $66,700 per FTE compared with about $27,700 in income from net tuition and $25,700 in income from federal appropriations (Appendix Table 2-5).
19 The 4-year and graduate institutions category includes the following 2010 Carnegie institution types: doctorate-granting universities—high research activity, doctoral/research universities, master’s colleges and universities, and baccalaureate colleges. The data in this section correspond to the public institutions.
20 Community colleges are the public “associate’s colleges” in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
21 Despite this variability in spending from year to year, as a percent of each year’s total expenditures, instruction and all other spending streams remained relatively constant between 2000 and 2015 for not only community colleges but all institution types.
22 The proportion of U.S.-trained doctorate holders employed at community colleges in adjunct positions grew from 12% in 1993 to 30% in 2015, according to estimates from the Survey of Doctorate Recipients. This suggests that one of the ways community colleges may have reined in expenses during this period was to increase their reliance on adjuncts.
23 In this study, “low-income” referred to high school seniors whose families are in the bottom quartile of the income distribution. “High-achieving” referred to a student who scores at or above the 90th percentile on the ACT comprehensive or the SAT I (math and verbal) and whose high school grade point average is A- or higher. In this research, a “selective college” meant colleges and universities included in the categories from “Very Competitive Plus” to “Most Competitive” in Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges (Hoxby and Avery 2013).
24 These percentages include students whose financial aid package included student loans in combination with grants or other student aid, as well as those who only had student loans.
25 Based on a special tabulation of the 2015 NSCG. A recent graduate is a respondent who received his or her most recent bachelor’s degree between 1 July 2008 and 30 June 2013.
26 In the case of public 4-year institutions, data were not available for the District of Columbia. In the case of private nonprofit 4-year or higher institutions, data were not available for Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
27 Although the survey frame included new institutions during this period, the impact of the new institutions was very small and did not affect the overall trends. For additional information, see https://nsf.gov/statistics/2016/nsf16314/.
28 The NSF/NCSES Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering does not collect separate data for the master’s and the doctoral level. For data on the primary source of financial support of doctorate recipients by broad field of study, see Appendix Table 2-14.
29 Special tabulations from the Survey of Earned Doctorates.
31 Clinical psychology programs and programs that emphasize professional practice (professional schools and PsyD programs) are associated with higher debt, but even in the more research-focused subfields of psychology, lower percentages of doctorate recipients were debt free, and higher percentages had higher levels of debt, than those in other S&E fields. For information on debt levels of clinical versus nonclinical psychology doctorates in 1993–96, see Psychology Doctorate Recipients: How Much Financial Debt at Graduation? (NSF 00-321) at https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/issuebrf/sib00321.htm. Accessed 5 May 2017.
32 Special tabulations from the Survey of Earned Doctorates.
Undergraduate Education, Enrollment, and Degrees in the United States
1 For the most recent nationally representative data on undergraduate student enrollment by disability status, see NSB 2016 and NSF/NCSES 2017a.
3 For details on freshmen intention to major in S&E by demographics, see NSB 2016.
4 The data in this section include international students pursuing both bachelor’s and associate’s degrees. The data come from the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS collects administrative data, including the numbers of all international students enrolled in colleges and universities in the United States. Data include students who are in the SEVIS database between April 16 and November 15 of each year.
5 The data include active foreign national students on F-1 visas in the SEVIS database, excluding those participating in optional practical training (OPT). Students with F visas have the option of working in the United States by engaging in OPT, temporary employment directly related to the student’s major area of study, during or after completion of the degree program. Students can apply for 12 months of OPT at each level of education. Starting in 2008, students in certain STEM fields became eligible for an additional 17 months of OPT. The number of students in OPT varies according to labor market conditions.
7 Special tabulation from the Beginning Postsecondary Student survey.
8 Based on a special tabulation of the 2015 NSCG. A recent graduate is a respondent who received his or her most recent degree between 1 July 2008 and 30 June 2013.
9 Some credentials in the form of certificates take up to a year to complete. Recent research on licenses and certification from the Census Bureau’s Survey of Income and Program Participation shows that the vast majority of these types of credentials are in health care, education, and trades; business/finance management; legal/social services; and other non-S&E fields. Only 2% of the licenses and certifications are in S&E, specifically in computer sciences (Ewert and Kominski 2014).
10 Data on degree completion from NCES were obtained from WebCASPAR (https://webcaspar.nsf.gov/). Data uploaded in WebCASPAR correspond to NCES provisional data, which undergo all NCES data quality control procedures and are imputed for nonresponding institutions. These data are used by NCES in its First Look (Provisional Data) publications.
11 Data for racial and ethnic groups are for U.S. citizens and permanent residents only.
12 Data on degree completion from NCES were obtained from WebCASPAR (https://webcaspar.nsf.gov/). Data uploaded in WebCASPAR correspond to NCES provisional data, which undergo all NCES data quality control procedures and are imputed for nonresponding institutions. These data are used by NCES in its First Look (Provisional Data) publications.
13 Data for racial and ethnic groups are for U.S. citizens and permanent residents only.
14 For details on the changes in the race and ethnicity categories in IPEDS, see https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/Section/ana_Changes_to_25_2007_169. Accessed 21 August 2017.
15 For patterns on S&E bachelor’s degrees awarded to minority men and minority women, see NSF/NCSES 2017a.
Graduate Education, Enrollment, and Degrees in the United States
1 The Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering (GSS) was redesigned in 2007. Because of methodological changes, the data collected after 2007 are not strictly comparable with those collected before 2007. To maintain some data continuity, the S&E data in this chapter excludes three new fields added in 2007 for all subsequent years. Beginning in 2008, a more rigorous follow-up was conducted with institutions to exclude reporting of practitioner-oriented graduate degree programs. Some or most of the declines in psychology and other health fields after 2008 are likely due to this increased effort rather than changes in actual enrollments. In 2014, the survey frame was updated, which resulted in adding 151 newly eligible institutions, and excluding two private for-profit institutions offering mostly practitioner-based graduate degrees because they were determined to be no longer eligible. This frame update increased the total number of science, engineering, and health graduate students by 2.5%, postdoctorates by 1.9%, and nonfaculty researchers by 1.9% over the previous frame. Because of these survey changes over time, data comparisons across years should be made with caution. For more information, please see Technical Notes, Data Comparability in the Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering, Fall 2015 (https://ncsesdata.nsf.gov/datatables/gradpostdoc/2015/#tabs-2/).
2 For additional data on graduate enrollment by sex and by race and ethnicity, please see data tables under Graduate enrollment in Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering (https://nsf.gov/statistics/2017/nsf17310/data.cfm/) and data tables in the GSS (https://nsf.gov/statistics/srvygradpostdoc/#tabs-2/).
3 See NSF/NCSES 2017a for more detail on enrollment of international students by sex.
4 The data include active foreign national students on F-1 visas in the SEVIS database, excluding those on OPT (temporary employment directly related to the student’s major area of study during or after completing the degree program).
5 For example, an international student who is about to earn a master’s degree and stays in the United States to pursue a doctoral degree would remain in the SEVIS database. It is not possible to determine the extent to which international students stay to pursue another degree because of the way the data are collected.
6 Data on degree completion from NCES were obtained from WebCASPAR (https://webcaspar.nsf.gov/). Data uploaded in WebCASPAR correspond to NCES provisional data, which undergo all NCES data quality control procedures and are imputed for nonresponding institutions. These data are used by NCES in its First Look (Provisional Data) publications.
7 Data for racial and ethnic groups are for U.S. citizens and permanent residents only.
8 Data on degree completion from NCES were obtained from WebCASPAR (https://webcaspar.nsf.gov/). Data uploaded in WebCASPAR correspond to NCES provisional data, which undergo all NCES data quality control procedures and are imputed for nonresponding institutions. These data are used by NCES in its First Look (Provisional Data) publications.
9 In 2008, NCES allowed optional reporting in three new doctoral degree categories: doctor’s—research/scholarship, doctor’s—professional practice, and doctor’s—other. Degrees formerly classified as professional degrees (e.g., MDs, JDs) could then be reported as doctoral degrees, most often as doctor’s—professional practice. Data for 2008 and 2009 included only those doctorates reported under the old category plus those reported as doctor’s—research/scholarship. Data for 2010 and 2011 included data reported as doctor’s—research/scholarship because the old category was eliminated. As a result of these methodological changes, doctor’s—research/scholarship degrees in other health sciences declined sharply between 2009 and 2010.
10 For the corresponding proportion in the 1990s, see NSB 2008.
International S&E Higher Education
2 The most recent data available from Canada correspond to 2012.
3 According to an international database compiled by the State University of New York at Albany’s Program for Research on Private Higher Education (2011), the United States and Japan have long-standing private higher education sectors, and Western Europe has an almost completely public higher education sector. Eastern and Central Europe and several African countries have recently seen growth in private higher education. In most countries in Latin America, more than half of all higher education institutions are private. In Asia, many governments have encouraged the expansion of private higher education as one of the strategies to deal with high enrollment growth (see sidebar Trends in Higher Education in Asia in NSB 2016). In 2011, about 80% of the students in South Korea and Japan and 60%–64% of the students in Singapore, the Philippines, Nepal, Indonesia, and Cambodia were enrolled in private institutions (UNESCO/UIS 2014).
4 These data are based on ISCED 2011 and are thus not comparable with data presented in earlier volumes based on ISCED 1997. These data are based on national labor force surveys and are subject to sampling error; therefore, small differences between countries may not be meaningful (OECD 2016).
5 Data in the international tables are not strictly comparable with those in previous editions of Science and Engineering Indicators because of a change in the aggregation of fields of study in data collected by UNESCO/UIS, OECD, and Eurostat. Data for the United States and other countries have been aggregated to match as much as possible.
6 Comparison with Germany covers 2005–14 because of ISCED 2011 changes.
7 Comparison for Australia covers 2000–11.
8 In international degree comparisons, S&E does not include medical or other health fields. This is because international sources cannot separate the MD degrees from degrees in the health fields, and the MDs are professional or practitioner degrees, not research degrees.
9 For international comparability, the estimated proportion of temporary residents here is based on the U.S. doctoral degree totals in Appendix Table 2-38, which are based on the ISCED 2011 taxonomy of fields (denominator). The numerator comes from the number of temporary residents in Appendix Table 2-32 but excludes the medical fields which are not included in international comparisons because some countries include medical degrees, which are professional rather than research degrees, under this category.
10 For a discussion on trends in higher education in Asia, see Indicators 2016 Chapter 2  section International S&E Higher Education  at https://nsf.gov/statistics/2016/nsb20161/#/report/chapter-2/international-s-e-higher-education.
12 This initiative is part of a broader effort from the Brazilian government to grant 100,000 scholarships to the best students to study abroad at the top universities around the world (IIE 2017a).
13 Internationally mobile students are those who have crossed a national or territorial border for the purposes of education and are now enrolled outside their country of origin. This concept is different from “foreign students,” who are those who are not citizens of the country where they are enrolled but may, in some cases, be long-term residents or have been born in the country (OECD 2012).
14 For the most recent data available on degree mobility, please see NSB 2016 for a discussion of this subject in Belyavina, Li, and Bhandari 2013.