As economy rebounds, community college enrollment drops
- Enrollment in community colleges is down more than 2% nationally, according to a report from Inside Higher Ed, a trend that many attribute to the growth of jobs and the leveling off of economic recovery from the 2008 recession.
- Georgetown University's Center for Education and the Workforce Executive Director Anthony Carnevale says many Americans believe education to be too expensive an enterprise, requiring, in most cases, students to take out loans in pursuit of a higher paying job they may not get directly after graduation.
- Total enrollment at community colleges has fallen by more than 14% in the last five years, a parallel struggle with four-year enrollment, which decreased by 4% between 2010 and 2014.
Enrollment trends at both two-year and four-year institutions reflect a growing malaise about the value and impact of a college degree, despite the credential still being the single-biggest predictor of professional success in this country. With increasing coverage of student loan debt and the impact it has on families and the industry of higher education, there is no wonder people are not willing to pay the costs and invest the time necessary for higher education.
For college leaders, this means an emphasis on convenience and access to education, with a clear path towards professional development.
- Inside Higher Ed Community colleges enrollments drop