Information Brief 2013-30

Preferred Type of Postsecondary Institution by Family Income Level

Almost three-quarters of ACT-tested 2013 high school graduates reported that they would prefer to attend a public 4-year college or university over other types of postsecondary institutions. The chart below illustrates the differences between preferred type of postsecondary institution at various family income levels. While the percentage of students who hope to attend a public 4-year college or university stays relatively constant across income levels, preferences for other types of postsecondary institutions vary by family income level.

Preferred Type of Postsecondary Institution by Family Income Level

Family Income LevelPublic 4-YearPrivate 4-YearPublic 2-YearCareer/
Technical School
Less than $36,00072.88%10.81%9.1%4.06%
$36K–$100K73.61%15.84%5.99%2.7%
Greater than $100,00070.88%24.53%2.47%1.06%
All Students72.78%16.04%6.27%2.8%

Note: Data based on 1,264,101 ACT-tested 2013 high school graduates who reported annual family income and provided information about their preferred type of college or university.


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