May 14th, 2015
Econintersect: Spring enrollments at 2- and 4-year colleges continue to decline, according to the just-released Spring Current Term Enrollment Estimates from the National Student Clearinghouse® Research CenterTM. College enrollments in spring 2015 totaled just under 18.6 million, down 1.9% compared to spring 2014. As in each of the last three years, the bulk of this spring's decline is among students over the age of 24, whose numbers fell by 264,000 (-3.6 percent).
From Bill Gates' presentation, The Atlantic.
Here is a list of findings:
- Most of this spring's decline took place at two-year public institutions (-3.9 percent) and four-year for-profit institutions (-4.9 percent), compared to last spring.
- Students over the age of 24 represent 38 percent of the total spring 2015 enrollments, but account for 74 percent of the decline in total enrollments over the past year.
- Two-year public institutions lost nearly a quarter of a million enrollments this year, and are down 415,000 from spring 2013. Students over the age of 24 account for three-quarters of this decline.
- Enrollment in four-year for-profit institutions declined 7.4 percent this term, from fall 2014 to spring 2015. For the year, four-year for-profit enrollments were down 4.9 percent compared to spring 2014. Both of these numbers represent the largest declines of all the institutional sectors.
- Enrollments at four-year public institutions were essentially unchanged (+0.1 percent) at 7.5 million.
- Enrollments held relatively steady compared to last spring at private nonprofit institutions (-0.2 percent), but there was a sharper decline for the term compared to fall 2014 (-3.6 percent, the largest fall-to spring decline in several years for this sector). There was also a divergence by institution size. Smaller institutions (under 3,000 students) saw enrollments decline by 2.4 percent compared to last spring, while the largest institutions (10,000 or more students) saw enrollments increase by 2.1 percent.
- Full-time enrollment declined at a slightly higher rate than part-time enrollment (-2.0 percent compared to -1.7 percent).
- Enrollment of men declined at a slightly higher rate than women (-2.1 percent compared to -1.7 percent).
- Enrollments declined in 40 states and increased in 10 states.
For the complete report click on image below:
- College Enrollment Continues Its Slide (Press Release, National Student Clearinghouse, 14 May 2015)
- REPORT: Current Term Enrollment Report – Spring 2015 (National Student Clearinghouse, 14 May 2015)
- Our College Crisis: A PowerPoint Presentation by Bill Gates (Jordan Weissmann, The Atlantic, 15 November 2012)