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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

College enrollment just keeps falling

College enrollment continues to fall, according to a report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. The number of undergraduates is now 7 percent lower than in fall 2019, before the "pandemic rocked higher education," reports Nick Anderson in the Washington Post.


Freshmen enrollment is down this fall by about 1.5 percent.


“We don’t see a huge upsurge of first-year students, of freshmen, especially at the four-year institutions,” Doug Shapiro, the research center's executive director, said. He sees little evidence that the “lost classes” of high school graduates are getting back on the college track


Many students aren't as well-prepared for college -- and they weren't all that prepared before they lost months of in-person schooling.


In addition, high inflation may make parents more concerned about college costs -- which are likely to go up with inflation.


The college track leads to a lot of dead ends, this Brookings chart shows.



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12 Comments


Guest
Oct 22, 2022

Only 7% are graduating with a 2 year degree and not continuing on? I'd like to know what percent earned that degree simultaneously with high school grad. There's the issue...the decline of vo-tech and the insistence on pay to play for high school college prep has shifted a population to early college, apprenticeship programs, the military, and night school.

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Joanne Jacobs
Joanne Jacobs
Oct 23, 2022
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The 7 percent includes people who earned an associate degree that in "applied sciences," which means it qualifies them for a job. For example, they earned a two-year degree in nursing, passed the licensing test and can work as an RN. Of course, it also includes people who hoped to earn a bachelor's degree but didn't make it that far.

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Guest
Oct 22, 2022

I think the chart shows that colleges are doing the right thing. Colleges were never supposed to graduate 100% of students. Back in the day, it was supposed that about 25% of the population was college material. Here we see that's about right.


The problem is in all those people spending money to find out they're not in the 25%.

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Guest
Oct 22, 2022

This is why I hate when people say that every kid should go to college. If you told most teenagers "you are not college material, but here are classes that will help you for the next 70 years," most would take that. Instead they are taught Algebra in 9th grade when many don't even have 6th grade math skills or have them do 5 paragraph essays when they cannot even do one paragraph; they barely pass or do credit recovery or mastery grading with their C or B; they go off to college and realize they haven't mastered anything; then they drop out without having learned much.


Teach kids real world stuff and hold them accountable instead of the fluffy…

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Guest
Oct 24, 2022
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Probably enough for them to earn a living for a time and then learn new skills when the job market changed.

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