Imagine America Foundation Releases Fact Book 2012

Washington, D.C. (February 23, 2012) – For nearly two years now, career colleges or “for-profit” schools have been assailed in a constant – and deliberate – wave of attacks beginning on Capitol Hill and playing out in the media. Lost in the accusations about these school’s tuition costs, share of federal financial aid dollars, and alleged aggressive recruiting practices is the true importance career colleges have in our nation’s higher education system and our economy.

The Imagine America Foundation is pleased to announce the release of its Fact Book 2012: A Profile of Career Colleges and Universities. Prepared by leading industry analysts, the Fact Book contains research and analysis of important trends in the career college sector of higher education. The Fact Book presents a comprehensive look at the for-profit and career college sector of higher education, as well as a comparison of public and private two- and four-year institutions.

The 2012 edition presents an abundance of important facts about career colleges, which the Foundation has highlighted in a Top 10 format below. While many of the following facts are well known among career college leaders and industry professionals, they offer an insightful look at the impact and contributions of an often derided sector of career education:

1.    The percentage of minority students attending career colleges was 42% in 2010-11, compared with 33% at public institutions and 24% at private, not-for-profit institutions.

2.    At four-year career colleges, 79% of career college students are 25 years or older, compared with 37% of students at private, not-for-profit institutions and 30% of students at public institutions.

3.    Forty percent of degrees conferred in 2009-2010 at career colleges were awarded to minorities, compared with 20% at public institutions and 16% at private, not-for-profit institutions.

4.    Seven of the 10 four-year postsecondary institutions conferring the largest number of Bachelor’s degrees in computer and information sciences to minority graduates in 2009-2010 were career colleges.

5.    Twenty-nine percent of Associate degrees earned by African-American students and 20% of those earned by Hispanic students in 2009-2010 were awarded by career colleges.

6.    Students who attain certificates or degrees at career colleges within six years of enrollment report having approximately the same chance to earn higher salaries, take on more job responsibilities, and experience better job opportunities as do public college students who graduate within six years.

7.    Students at career colleges attained certificates eight-and-a-half months sooner and Associate degrees nearly seven months sooner than students who were enrolled at public colleges.

8.    Forty-five percent of career college students are enrolled in high-growth fields, compared with public (19%) and private, not-for-profit (15%) institutions.

9.    Seventeen of the 20 fastest-growing occupations are in the healthcare and computer/data processing industries. An estimated 1.8 million jobs are projected to be created in these fields through 2018.

10.    Career colleges have an annual net cost to taxpayers of $183 per student, compared with $13,249 per public postsecondary student and $16,669 per private, not-for-profit student.

For more information about the Fact Book 2012 or other Imagine America Foundation award programs, contact Robert L. Martin, President of the Imagine America Foundation at (202) 336-6758 or

About the Imagine America Foundation
The Imagine America Foundation (IAF), established in 1982, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing scholarships for education, research and training support for the career college sector. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided over $50 million in scholarship and award support for graduating high school seniors, adult learners and U.S. military personnel attending career colleges nationwide through its award-winning Imagine America® programs. The Foundation also publishes vital research publications for the higher education sector, honors achievement in career education and offers faculty development training. For more information about the Imagine America Foundation’s programs, please visit

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