College completion rises as enrollment dips

Colleges and universities awarded 5.1 percent more degrees in 2011-12, despite a 1.6 percent dip in enrollment, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Community colleges lost 250,000 students, but granted 8 percent more associate degrees. The number of bachelor’s degrees rose by 4.3 percent.

Enrollment falls at California community colleges

California’s community colleges have cut as much as 20 percent of courses since 2008, driving enrollment to its lowest point in two decades, concludes a new report.  Enrollment fell from 2.9 million students in 2008-09 to 2.4 million students in 2011-12.

Encouraging wait-listed students to take online courses is a “massively bad idea,” writes a community college professor. Poorly prepared students can’t handle MOOCs.

Retention’s up, enrollment’s down

Determined to raise retention rates, an Oregon community college mandated orientation and advising and eliminated late registration. That’s lowered enrollment by 20 percent, lowering state funding by 7 percent. However, graduation rates are likely to rise.

A “scorecard” for California community colleges will show progress and success rates for students who start in remedial classes, college-ready students, career-tech students and those in non-credit classes, such as English as a Second Language.

College enrollment is slowing

College enrollment shows signs of slowing, according to the Hechinger Report. Students and parents say they’re worried about taking on debt for a degree — or a few years of partying — that may not lead to a job.

Despite discounting tuition more heavily, more than 40 percent of private colleges reported enrollment declines. “We are seeing the beginnings of a cool-down,” said Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

While the number of students graduating from high schools has declined slightly since building to a peak of more than 3.3 million in 2009, the cause of the college enrollment drop-off is largely skyrocketing tuition and concern about debt, Nassirian and other higher-education officials said.

“I do think we’ve reached a tipping point in terms of what cost might do,” said David Hawkins, director of public policy and research at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, or NACAC. “The cost of college is really beginning to alarm families. And that creates a real threat to enrollment.”

Second- and third-tier private colleges with small endowments could fold as students become more cost conscious.

Students pay more at public colleges

Public colleges and universities are relying more on tuition as state and local funding fails to keep up with rising enrollment.

A California community college may charge premium pricing for ‘next-day’ classes. Students could pay as much as $200 a unit to avoid a wait list, more than four times the regular price.

Job training funds run low

Job training funds are running low at community colleges, but demand remains high.

After years of rapid growth, community college enrollment has plateaued.

More degrees, but not enough

More Americans — especially Latinos and women — will enroll in college and complete degrees through 2020, but not enough to meet President Obama’s college-completion goals.

Also on Community College Spotlight: Elitism and rising college costs are limiting access to higher education.

CC students do better with same-race prof

Community college students are more likely to complete a course and earn higher grades if the instructor matches their own race or ethnicity, a new study finds. The effect is greatest for blacks and recent high school graduates.

Also on Community College Spotlight:  After years of rapid growth, community college enrollments are flattening out.

Is enrollment peaking?

California community college students are competing for space in classes, but elsewhere some colleges report enrollment is stabilizing or declining after years of rapid growth.

More high school grads start at community colleges

The recession hasn’t depressed college enrollment, but more high school graduates are starting at community colleges.

Also on Community College Spotlight:  Most community college students never complete a credential because they never start a college-level program of study, a researcher says. Students need clear pathways.

Arizona is likely to approve a plan to fund public colleges and universities based on performance as well as enrollment.