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Posts tagged with National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

Report shows college enrollments fell across country this fall

In September we learned that KU's fall enrollment had fallen for the fourth straight year, though its freshman class grew for the first time since the record-setting incoming class of 2008. Now some national numbers released this week provide a bit of context.

According to figures released Tuesday by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, college enrollments around the country fell by 1.8 percent this fall. Among four-year public schools, it fell by 0.6 percent (KU's fell by 2.7 percent).

Enrollment drops were especially steep for part-time students and students older than 24. Inside Higher Ed notes that enrollment numbers tend to go up when unemployment rises and go back down when it falls, so one might expect numbers to tumble from the heights they reached about four years ago. (KU's huge class of 2008 is a big reason its numbers continued to tumble this fall; 2011-12 was the senior year for that class, so many members graduated.)

This week's report also included national year-over-year enrollment changes from fall 2010 and 2011. KU's numbers in those years differ from the national trend in that they were solidly lower; but they're similar in that the general trend (at least with respect to the rate of change, not total numbers) was downward.

Year.........Four-year public schools............KU

2010........Up 1.6 percent ...........................Down 1.8 percent

2011........Up 1.4 percent ...........................Down 2.5 percent

2012........Down 0.6 percent.......................Down 2.7 percent

You can download a PDF of the national report if you're interested in more detailed figures.

KU is, of course, trying to reverse its enrollment slide with improved recruitment, new four-year scholarships, new programs for freshmen designed to increase retention and more. Provost Jeff Vitter said in September he hoped the number would come close to breaking even next fall, then begin to tick back up in 2014.

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