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American colleges and universities enrolled 20.2 million students in fall 2016, employed nearly four million faculty and staff members, and had 2.2 billion collected works in their libraries, according to federal data released by the U.S. Education Department last week. The data were part of an annual report from the National Center for Education Statistics. Among the highlights:

  • The 20,224,069 students enrolled at colleges that award federal financial aid included 14.692 million at public institutions, 4.095 million at private nonprofit colleges, and 1.435 million at for-profit colleges; 13.751 million at four-year institutions, 6.2 million at two-year colleges, and 267,000 at less-than-two-year institutions; and 17.252 million as undergraduates and 2.972 million in graduate programs. The total was down from 20.4 million enrolled students in fall 2015.
  • The nearly 3.991 million employees at Title IV-eligible institutions in 2016 included 2.565 million full-time and 1.425 million part-time employees; 1.463 million of the employees are engaged in instruction, and 376,000 are graduate assistants. There were slightly fewer employees at these institutions -- 3.983 million -- in 2015.