The Ivy Coach Daily

July 9, 2022

College Enrollment Patterns

A piece in The Washington Examiner highlights declining enrollment numbers at America’s less selective universities.

We at Ivy Coach have been in the news of late discussing college enrollment patterns. You see, a number of news organizations are running stories that enrollment numbers at universities across America are dipping. And that is certainly not untrue — enrollment is down at many colleges across our nation. But, of course, America’s elite universities, the ones with low admission rates that are deemed either selective or highly selective, have proven like Ginnifer Goodwin’s character in He’s Just Not That Into You to be the exception, not the rule. At these schools, many more applicants continue to apply than there are available seats in the incoming class. But for the rest of America’s colleges, the less selective universities, why the diminishing enrollment?

There are a couple of contributing factors. With rising inflation, low unemployment, and a recession potentially looming on the horizon, it makes sense for many young people to forego college and jump straight into the workforce. And it’s not like degrees from most American universities are really worth the paper they’re written on. You see, students accumulate tremendous debt attending four-year universities and for schools that most employers have never heard of, one may wonder if it’s really worth it when the better alternative may be trade school or jumping straight into the workforce. Another contributing factor? The declining birth rate. Yes, America’s changing demographics are influencing college enrollment patterns as well.

As Jeremiah Poff reports for The Washington Examiner in a piece entitled “College enrollment drops 1.4M students, threatening long-term stability of higher education,” “New concerns are being raised about the long-term outlook of higher education as enrollment numbers continue to decline and coronavirus relief funds run out. College enrollment declined by 4.1% in the spring 2022 term compared to spring 2021, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center semesterly report. The center places the total decline of undergraduate students since the beginning of the pandemic in the spring of 2020 at 9.4%, a drop of 1.4 million students in the two-year span. ’This is a trend that the pandemic has accelerated,’ Robert Eitel, the Defense of Freedom Institute president and a former U.S. Department of Education official, told the Washington Examiner.

Do our readers think college enrollment numbers will continue to dip at America’s less selective universities in the years to come? Let us know your thoughts on the subject by posting a comment below. We look forward to hearing from you.

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