Surprise!: Universities colleges struggle with big enrolment drops

From Jon Marcus at the Hechinger Report:

How dramatic is the falloff? There were just over 18 million students enrolled in higher education nationally in the semester just ended — 2.4 million fewer than there were in the fall of 2011, the most recent peak, the National Student Clearinghouse reports.

“That’s unprecedented in the history of as long as data has been kept on higher education,” said Kevin Crockett, senior executive at the enrollment-management consulting firm Ruffalo Noel Levitz.

There’s no upswing likely until 2023, and even then the recovery will be slow, projects the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. When it comes, it will be comprised largely of low-income, first-generation-in-college racial and ethnic minorities. These are the kinds of students institutions have generally proven poor at enrolling, and who will arrive with a far greater need for financial aid and expensive support. More.

Reality check: The article provides a wealth of statistics but does not address the issue of whether the public image of universities may be suffering as well.

See also: Wait till the campus Cools are on the other side of the admin desk