If you're the parent of a high school student, here's some seemingly bad news:
College is more popular than at any time in the nation's history, according to new statistics released by the Pew Research Center. More teenagers are trying to get into college than ever before as millions of young adults view a bachelor's degree as necessary as oxygen. Close to 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 -- 11.5 million students -- are attending college, which is a new record.
Compared to a generation ago, the number of students attending college has skyrocketed. In 1973, for instance, only 24 percent of Americans between 18 and 24 were enrolled in college.
While college attendance is at an historic level, the number of students dropping out of high school is shrinking. About nine percent of Americans in this same age group ditched high school compared with roughly 16% in 1973.
Just because college has become a more popular destination doesn't mean, however, that your child will experience a tougher time getting into a good four-year school. The statistics indicate that community colleges are receiving most of the growth.
So relax. If you can.
Historic college enrollment image by cogdogblog. CC 2.0.