American higher ed enrollment declines, again

by VanessaVaile

Whither #highered numbers — and with them, our profession? @BryanAlexander on patterns — plus thoughtful discussion

Bryan Alexander

National Student Clearinghouse Research Center logoThe total number of students enrolled in American colleges and universities declined in fall 2016, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

I should say: declined again, because as my readers know, higher education enrollment has been sliding down without a break since 2013.

Let’s break the report down by key trends.  And I apologize for catching this story a few weeks after the publication appeared.

According to the NSCRC the total number of students taking classes in US postsecondary institutions was 19,010,459.  That’s down -1.4% from fall 2015’s 19,280,473, while that was down -1.7% from 2014’s 19,619,773.  Corrected for duplication (students enrolled in multiple institutions) last fall’s numbers shrink a little further, down to 18,663,617.

Enrollments from 2013-2016

By sector: enrollment especially declined in community colleges and for-profits.  Four year private colleges and universities saw a slight drop.  Four year public institutions alone saw growth, and that was…

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