In 1999, 14.7% of adults 17 years old and older with 8th grade or less education participated in some type of adult education program. Participants with some education between 9th and 12th grades (without a diploma) 25.6%; and 34.8% of those with a diploma participated in an adult education program. (Digest of Education Statistics, 2001, Table 359).
Adult education programs are generally continuing education programs for those older than standard high school or college age. Most commonly this is an adult who would like to earn a GED, become.
On the literacy scale, the average score for adults age 16 to 65 in the United States on the PIAAC (2012/14) was significantly higher than the score on Adult Literacy and Lifeskills Survey (2003–08) but was not significantly different than the score on International Adult Literacy Survey (1994–98).
Adult students have a wide variety of programs to choose from if they wish to further their education. In addition to certificates, adults can also earn associate's, bachelor's, or graduate degrees.