College Enrollments Continue to Slide

According to a new National Student Clearinghouse Research Center report, fall enrollments fell nationally by more than 270,000 students (1.4 percent) compared with a year earlier. Nationwide enrollments began their slide in 2012 and have now continued for the last 10 consecutive college terms, reported Inside Higher Ed

The largest declines this fall were seen in the for-profit sector, which experienced a 14.5 percent drop in enrollments. Community colleges saw a 2.6 percent decline. Enrollments at four-year private institutions decreased slightly by 0.6 percent while four-year public institutions experienced a 0.2 percent increase.

"The trends of a declining adult student enrollment and the shrinking for-profit sector are now joined by stagnating numbers of new high school graduates. These forces show no sign of slowing and will continue to challenge institutions in their planning," Doug Shapiro, executive research director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, said in a written statement.

The greatest declines occurred in the Northeast and Midwest regions, with 39 states seeing enrollment drops. The states with the largest decreases include: New York (30,695); Illinois (26,089); Michigan (25,841); Pennsylvania (18,390); and Virginia (15,613). Meanwhile, enrollments in western and southern states increased. The states with the largest gains include: New Hampshire (21,413); Utah (20,498); Florida (16,989); Georgia (10,607); and Arizona (5,655).


Related Links

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center’s Current Term Enrollment Estimates

Inside Higher Ed