Opportunity Gap

Diversity, Access, and the American Dream
PSCUs provide millions of students with the specific skills-based education they need to excel in many high-demand occupations—from information technology to medical professions. These institutions offer predominantly nontraditional students a means to improve their own financial outlook and that of their families. Eighty-six percent of students who attend private sector colleges and universities receive some form of need-based aid, and 63 percent receive Pell Grants.

Undergraduates who attend PSCUs have the following characteristics: 

  • 63 percent are age 24 or older
  • 76 percent are independent from their parents
  • 31 percent are single parents, compared with 16 percent of community college students and 7 percent of students attending traditional four-year institutions
  • 51 percent have parents who attained a high school diploma or less 
  • 21 percent of independent undergraduates at degree-granting PSCUs have an annual income of less than $10,000; 53 percent have an annual income of less than $30,000
  • 46 percent are either African American or Hispanic

As they juggle work, family, and school, our students need the focused academic programs and flexible schedules PSCUs provide. And as college costs continue to rise everywhere, increases in tuition and fees at private sector institutions do so at a lower rate than at other colleges and universities.


APSCU Statement on the Conclusion of Negotiated Rulemaking

Best Practices APSCU published best practices.

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PSCUs open doors to many of the 9 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.