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College Enrollment Declines Continue

MAY 30, 2019

College enrollment in the U.S. has decreased for the eighth consecutive year, according to new information released on May 23 by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.  The report covers 97 percent of enrollments at degree-granting postsecondary institutions that are eligible to  receive Title IV federal financial aid.  The overall decline this academic year compared to last year was 1.7 percent or roughly 300,000 students.  Last year's decrease was slightly higher at 1.8 percent.  

Community colleges continued their enrollment slide with a decline of 3.4 percent,  Four-year public institutions saw a drop of 0.9 percent.  Four-year private institutions bucked the trend with an increase of 3.2  percent.  However, the Center pointed out that most of the increase was due to the conversion of large for-profit institutions to not-for profit status.  States with the largest decrease in student enrollment were Florida, California, Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

The enrollment challenges are equally great for private Christian higher education which includes Bible colleges, Christian liberal arts colleges and universities, and theological seminaries.  The focus must continue to be on enrollment.

Larry J. McKinney
Higher Education Consultant
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