Pa. state college enrollments down 6%
- The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education faces a 6% enrollment decline to 112,315 students just three years after it hit a record number of students.
- For 14 years, enrollments increased, but officials were always braced for a decline in Pennsylvania's youth population due to changing demographics as baby boomers and their children got older. Unfortunately, that decline also happened as $90 million in state funding was cut, resulting in layoffs and program cuts.
- During that time, high school graduates also began questioning college degrees, favoring vocational programs or just going on to the workforce instead of amassing student loan debt.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is now trying everything it can to attract students, including additional focus on social media, strategic billboard placements and meeting with prospective transfer students in a more professional office setting as opposed to cafeterias. Of course, falling enrollment isn't a problem faced only by the Pennsylvania system—colleges nationwide, both public and private, are affected as well—but its plight spotlights the impact such a situation has on state schools, which are heavily dependent upon tuition dollars.
- The Morning Call Pennsylvania colleges face enrollment crisis
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