Fewer College Students

The number of students enrolled in higher-education institutions this spring was 2.3 percent less than the spring 2012 figure, according to a report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

The report says 19,105,651 students enrolled in college this spring compared with 19,550,391 a year earlier. The center found a similar trend in the fall. Fall 2012 enrollment, which was 20,195,924, declined 1.8 percent compared with the fall 2011  figure of 20,556,272.

Among other stats, the enrollment data also showed:

•Four-year for-profit institutions showed the greatest declines in spring enrollment, an 8.7 percent drop. Two-year public institutions saw enrollment drops of 3.6 percent.

•Institutions in the Midwest reported the greatest decrease in spring numbers—a 2.6 percent drop compared with spring 2012.

*The number of students older than 24 decreased by 3.6 percent—more than twice the 1.4 percent decline seen in traditional-age students. compared to -1.4 percent). 

*The rate of decrease was larger for women than for men (a 2.7 percent drop compared with a 1.7 percent for men).

*Women accounted for more than 57 percent of spring 2013 enrollments.

*Spring enrollments are typically lower than fall enrollments, but the overall difference between the two has been growing. Spring 2013 enrollment was 5.4 percent lower than the fall 2012 numbers. 

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