This appears to be about the right range. Due to the variations in how dual enrollment and other early college access are handled by states, counties and school districts, it’s hard to nail the exact number down and thus have a 99.99% estimate. But about 1 in 10 matches up with the available surveys and estimates on educational attainment.
For under-18s, girls are often slightly more likely to secure the 4 year degrees than boys, but it’s not consistently so. For 18-20yos, boys are mostly ahead compared to girls on that. Currently 15-17yos get a small but consistent chunk of early degrees, but we have yet to see them cross 100k/yr average as a group. Maybe 60k tops by now annually.
Right around 4 million BAs and higher degrees are completed each year by the under 25 crowd, and the split is around 5% to 20yos, 2-3% to 18-19yos and 1-2% to 15-17yos. I only have pure anecdotes and social media scraping to add in under-15, but they could be as high as half a percentage point to these totals, which would be 20k preteens with bachelor’s degrees. It’s impossible to say though without more technical social media deep digging, and that’s probably the ceiling anyhow.
The interesting thing is that it appears we are at or near the tipping point in which college education (including the college prep high school and junior high system) must transmute under the strain of being secured at increasingly early ages. What’s ahead?
The problem is that a big chunk of it is college-educated knowledge workers having their wages driven downwards and not understanding that they have class interests. Instead, many of them buy into titles-over-pay and are happy to receive lower pay over time adjusted for inflation so long as they earn just a bit more than non-college workers. And it is “just a bit” after you’ve bothered to adjust for the costs of the education ratchet and the fact that increasingly these knowledge workers are talking themselves into 2-3 degrees before getting that first job.
It doesn’t have to be this way, they could demand to be paid in money rather than ego-boost of making a few pennies more than those despised not-college types who probably don’t even have decent politics. But it would mean they’d been bad at being smart and were instead talked into, er, voting against their own interests.
This is, by the way, misleadingly represented on the fringe socialist left as “professional managerial class” or “pmc”.
The title says it all. The most current estimates hover around 30% nationwide. Dual enrollment refers to any instance of high school students taking coursework that is college-credit equivalent. This is usually AP classes or arrangements with local colleges to offer college coursework to high school students (either at the local high schools or via online access or via special access to local colleges).
The average amount of credit completed varies by state from a semester to around a year of college. This means, of course, that a substantial fraction of high schoolers are normalizing taking up to a year’s worth of college classes while being under age 18. Kind of puts a lot of claims about what a college degree measures into different perspective. In some parts of the country, most students are taking a year of college coursework in high school.
The steady rise in dual enrollment is related to my previous post about the increase in youthful PhDs. There is a growing pool of students who are responding to credential pressure by simply starting much earlier in the process. The interesting question is how far we are from the tipping point of something like 1/5 or even 1/3 of college students getting BAs before 20. It’s hard to say.