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Crisis in Colleges: Where Are the Students?

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The editors at Best Colleges Online decided to research the topic of

Crisis in Colleges: Where Are the Students?

While the country’s most selective universities are becoming harder to get into, most others are struggling to fill seats.

The Crisis:

– 2.3: percentage that college enrollment dropped in spring 2013, compared to spring 2012.
– 3.4 million: number of U.S. high school graduates in 2010-2011
– 3.2 million: estimated number of graduates in 2013-2014
– 446: Nationwide, the number of colleges that still had space available in the 2012-2013 class for freshmen or transfer students, according to the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
– 20: the percentage of the students they accepted, who actually enrolled at some private colleges, down from about one-third of accepted students five years ago.

College enrollment shortfall by sector:

– Fall 2010-Spring 2011:
– All sectors: -4.2 percent
– 4 year public colleges: -4 %
– 4 year non profit colleges: -3%
– 4 year private for profit: -.5 %
– 2 year public: -4.5 %

Fall 2011-spring 2012

– All sectors: -4.6 percent
– 4 year public colleges: -5.7%
– Private for non profit: -2.2 %
– 4 year private for profit: -6.1%
– 2 year public: -4.2%

Fall 2012-spring 2013

– All sectors: -4.6 percent
– 4 year public colleges: -6%
– 4 year private for non profit: -2.1 %
– 4 year private for profit: -8 %
– 2 year public: -5 %
– 50: percentage of colleges expecting enrollment declines for full-time students. A third of the schools expected tuition revenue to decline or to grow at less than the rate of inflation.
– “It’s a buyer’s market” for all but the most select private colleges and flagship public universities.: Jim Scannell, president of Scannell & Kurz, a consulting firm in Pittsford, N.Y.

Why the decline in enrollment?

– 1. The college-age population is dropping after more than a decade of sharp growth
– 2. The number of Americans turning 18 hit its recent peak in 2009, and will continue to decline through 2016
– 3. Adults who opted out of a forbidding job market and went back to school during the recession have been drawn back to work by the economic recovery.
– 4. Cumulative effect of depressed family income
– 5. Uncertain job prospects for recent graduates
– 6. Higher tuition costs
– 7. Cuts in student aid, federal loan programs by U.S. Congress
– 8. State cutbacks in state university funding and scholarship money
– FACT: 1,120: the percentage increase in college tuition and fees since 1978, since records have been kept nationally.

Comparing: Top 5 tuition and fees increases 2006-2007 to 2012-2013

– 1. U. of Arizona, $10,500, a 110 % increase
– 2. U. of Hawaii, $9404, 108 % inc.
– 3. Arizona State U., $9704, 107 % inc.
– 4. U. of Washington-Seattle, $12,383, 107 % inc.
– 5. Georgia Tech, $10,098, 105 % inc.

Reasons for rising tuitions at colleges:

– 1. The sizes and costs of college administrations have soared in recent decades.
– 2. Inefficiency has a role in some schools
– 3. Every campus needs to have:
– a. Round-the-clock IT services
– b. On-campus luxuries such as concert venues and all-night coffee shops
– c. Risk management departments dedicated to extensive anti-terror safety measures and campus-wide training drills
– d. Diversity services with fully-staffed departments dedicated to each ethnicity on campus
– e. On-campus living amenities such as post offices, reprographic services, fitness centers, heated pools, shuttling services, on-campus banks, medical care, and personal counseling services
– f. Comprehensive career counseling and job placement services

The enrollment declines are more pronounced among:

– 1. Graduate programs
– 2. Small, lower-rated universities
– 3. Public schools in the Northeast and Midwest, where the number of high school seniors is declining.

Solutions:

– 1. A jump in 3 year bachelor degree programs
– 2. More no-frill satellite campuses
– 3. Online courses
– 4. Academic partnerships between four year private and local community colleges
– 5. Cut the price of tuition
– 6. The median sticker price at about 280 private colleges and universities rose 3.9% in 2012, the smallest increase in at least 12 years
– 7. Even at more elite 4-year public colleges and universities students are getting a break: tuition and fees for in-state students rose 4.8% in the 2012-13 academic year, the smallest increase since 2000-01. Tuition at these schools for out-of-state students rose 4.2%.
– The Good News (AT LAST): Although the most competitive colleges remain unaffected, gaining admission to middle-tier institutions will most likely get easier.

The Elites

– 7 of 8: number of Ivy League schools lowering their acceptance rate for this fall.
– 5.79: admittance rate at Harvard in 2013 of more than 30,000 applicants for fall 2013
– 5.69: admittance rate at Stanford, of more than 38,300 applicants
– 8.8: admittance rate at U. of Chicago, of more than 30,300 applicants

Sources

– http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323971204578628230654653180.html
– http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/04/15/education/thechoice-2013-acceptance-rates.html/
– http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/business/colleges-expect-lower-enrollment.html
– http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-22/five-reasons-college-enrollments-might-be-dropping.html
– http://college.lovetoknow.com/High_Cost_of_Tuition_Causing_Decreased_College_Enrollment
– http://www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2013/04/13/are-small-private-colleges-trouble/ndlYSWVGFAUjYVVWkqnjfK/story.html
– http://graphics.wsj.com/PUBPRIV1212/#SelectedCategories=University+of+New+Mexico/unv58|University+of+Florida/unv42|University+of+Central+Florida/unv37|Mississippi+State+University/unv10|University+of+South+Florida/unv64&SugCategories=lUnv