Fun Facts to Celebrate National Higher Education Day

In Brief:

  • June 6 is National Higher Education Day in the United States.

  • It’s also a day to bring awareness to those looking into funding opportunities for their education.

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June 6 is National Higher Education Day! To celebrate, here are some fun facts about higher education in the United States:

  • Nationwide, more than 17 million students enrolled in colleges and universities in fall 2021.
  • The word “Alumni” comes from the Latin “Alumnus” which means “One who is being (or has been) nourished.”
  • The term “Alma mater” comes from two Latin words meaning “nourishing or bountiful mother,” and was used as a term by the ancient Romans to describe their goddesses. By the early 18th century, it referred to one’s university.
  • The first Greek student society was Phi Beta Kappa, founded by John Heath at the College of William and Mary in 1776. The first Greek sorority, now known as Alpha Delta Pi, was founded in 1851 at Wesleyan Female College.
  • Not only is Harvard the oldest higher education institution in the US, founded in 1636, it also has the largest university library. As of 2019, it had over 19.2 million texts in holding.
  • As of 2022, Texas A&M University – College Station has one of the largest enrollments of any US higher education institution with nearly 70,000 students.
  • Compass College of Cinematic Arts has the smallest enrollment of any US higher education institution with only 72 students.
  • An unusual commencement speaker was Kermit the Frog at Southampton College in 1996. He also received a “doctorate of amphibious letters.”
  • One of the strangest sports mascots is “The Tree” from Stanford University. The most common mascot is a bulldog, which represents 14 schools in Division I.
  • The winningest program in college football history belongs to the Michigan Wolverines with 976 wins. Also, they have the largest sports stadium with a capacity of 107,601.


While these facts about higher education are fun, today is also about bringing awareness to those looking into funding opportunities for their education. At Nelnet Campus Commerce, we offer a variety of Payment Plans to support nearly every student on campus, no matter their situation. To learn more about our tuition management options, visit

Natalie Schwarz
Author: Natalie Schwarz

Natalie Schwarz is a former Content Marketing Writer for Nelnet Campus Commerce. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing and has over a decade of professional writing experience.

View all posts by Natalie Schwarz