The United States does not have a national system of education. Education considered to be a matter for the people of each state. Although there is a federal Department of Education, its function is merely to gather information, to advise, and to help finance certain educational programs. Education, Americans say is "a national concern, a state responsibility, and a local function".
According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics, 69 percent of U.S. students who complete secondary education go directly to a degree-granting university. Student enrollment in degree-granting two-and four-year postsecondary U.S. institutions has more than doubled since 1970 from just over 7 million to almost 15 million in 2005. But the 1970s saw other major changes in U.S. institutions of higher education.
Since 1970, women’s undergraduate enrollment has increased more than three times as quickly as men’s. Actually, it surpassed men’s enrollment in 1978. Women made up 42 percent of undergraduate enrollment in 1970, some 50 percent in 1977 and 57 percent in 2005. Experts expect women’s undergraduate enrollment to continue growing more quickly than men’s enrollment and to make up 60 percent of enrollment in 2016.
Today, U.S. college students are enrolled part time than in 1970 (37 percent versus 28 percent). More college students are at two-year colleges (43 percent versus 31 percent). There are proportionately older students on campus as well: 39 percent of all postsecondary students were 25 years or older in 1999, compared with 28 percent in 1970.
To cut a long story short, because of quickly changing job markets and flexible educational opportunities, education is an ongoing, lifelong process in the United States.
to consider smth to be a matter for smb — считать что-либо главным для кого-либо
merely — просто
a national concern — национальная забота, забота нации
a degree-granting university — университет, выдающий диплом о высшем образовании и получении определенной степени (бакалавр, магистр)
major changes — главные изменения
undergraduate — студент, студенческий
an enrollment — зачисление, прием
proportionately — соразмерно, соответственно
flexible educational opportunities — гибкие возможности для образования
an ongoing, lifelong process — длительный процесс, на протяжении всей жизни