College enrollment decreases by 1.4% when adults head back to work


Despite aggressive efforts of the country to boost the number of people who study, enrollment declined this fall for the fifth consecutive year, a better chance at a job for older potential students, and a stagnant development of new high-school graduates are enhanced by the ongoing woes in the for-profit college sector.

Total fall term undergraduate and graduate enrollment slipped by 1.4% to 19.01 million students as of the beginning of this month, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, a non-profit education organization.

Enrollment peaked at nearly 20.6 million in 2011.

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The undergraduate students count fell by 1.9% to 16.3 million this period, while graduate-student enrollment increased by 1.5% to 2.71 million.

Students over the age of 24 account for almost all of the overall decline, such as adults who are considering returning to school to boost their career prospects are finding jobs in the place. That population of “older” students was about 6.63 million at the last count, in general, concentrated at community colleges and for-profit schools that are more flexible and practice-oriented courses.

Grids for the four-year, for-profit colleges decreased by 14.5% to 970,267 this fall. There were about 1.64 million people enrolled in the schools on their 2010 height.

Four-year private, non-profit schools, many of which are highly dependent on the dollar, the tuition fees for the revenue, posted a 0.6% decline, with 3.79 million students. About half of that decline was one of the smallest schools—those with less than 3,000 students, and for that of each student, the registration is of crucial importance.

“The trend of prices continue to rise faster than the rate of inflation is becoming more and more of an impact” on subscriptions, especially among low-income and first-generation students, says Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, a non-profit organization aimed at increasing college reach. He says affordability concerns are outweighed by the projections of the economic benefits of a college education.

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