College Attendance Declines, Increases

A report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center has found that college and university enrollments has increased in some states and declined in others.  The states with the largest declines:

  • New Mexico -8.3%
  • Oklahoma    – 5.5%
  • Kentucky     – 5.3%
  • Missouri      -5.0%
  • Florida         -4.2%

The states with the largest increases:

  • New Hampshire  + 19%
  • Utah                       + 4.8%
  • Connecticut           + 3.0%
  • South Dakota         + 2.0%
  • Arizona                    + 1.7%

There are a variety of possible reasons explaining the increases and decreases.  As the economy improves more people see  the need for more education and that would explain some of the increases.  At the same time, the increased costs of paying for college may explain the decreases. Other factors may be the increased aging of our society with fewer young people, the dropout rate and the narrowing of the high school to college pipe line.

The greatest declines occurred at four-year, for-profit colleges (4.9%) and at two-year public colleges (3.9%) which tend to attract larger numbers of older students.