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U.S. Enrollment Declines Steepest in Midwest and Northeast

U.S. ENROLLMENT DECLINES STEEPEST IN MIDWEST AND NORTHEAST
MAY 23, 2018

Overall college enrollments continue to slide, according to the latest data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, a nonprofit that tracks 97 percent of students who attend degree-granting institutions that are eligible to receive federal financial aid.

This spring the Center found a decline of more than 275,000 students or 1.8 percent, compared to the previous spring.  The decrease follows six straight years where fewer students attended college in the United States.  Enrollments went down in 34 states this spring.  Seven of the 10 states with the largest declines are in the Midwest or Northeast.  In addition, the number of students who are at least 24 years old declined by 263,000.  Enrollments for the over-24 age group (sometimes called adult students) have fallen by more than 1.5 million over eight years.  Meanwhile, the number of traditional-age students increased slightly (0.4 percent), the Center said, but enrollments of younger adults remain below their level two years ago.  

The 10 states with the largest enrollment declines are New York (45,6080), Michigan (22,571), Florida (17,003), Minnesota (11)262), Missouri (9,961), Ohio (9,6230), Pennsylvania ((9,596), Colorado (9,049), West Virginia (8,755), and Oregon (7,255). 

While the demographics are not favorable for higher education institutions, particularly in the Midwest and the Northeast, I find the opportunities are greater than ever before.  Knowing the challenges that many private Christian colleges and universities face because of smaller enrollments and limited financial resources, I am focused on seeing institutions, their leaders, and their students reach their full potential.  I understand what it means to confront challenges, bring about institutional turnaround, and to effect change.  I want to help institutions develop a positive and sustainable future.

Larry J. McKinney
Higher Education Consultant

                                                            
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