National Student Clearinghouse
national student clearinghouse

States with the largest percentage postsecondary enrollment decline, fall 2019

Jan. 7, 2020
Nationwide, postsecondary enrollment at U.S. institutions decreased 1.3% in fall 2019 compared with the previous year.

Alaska saw the greatest percentage decline in higher education enrollment from fall 2018 to fall 2019.

Student numbers in the state fell from 24,910 in fall 2018 to 22,268 in fall 2019—a 10.1% year-to-year drop.

Nationwide, postsecondary enrollment at U.S. institutions decreased 1.3% in fall 2019, or more than 231,000 students, compared with the previous fall, according to the National Student Clearinghouse.

The clearinghouse's Fall 2019 Current Term Enrollment Estimates report says fall 2019 higher education enrollment was 17.9 million students.

For the first time in the decade, the nation’s fall unduplicated enrollments fell below 18 million students, the clearinghouse found.

Here are the 10 states (including Washington, D.C.) that experienced the greatest percentage year-to-year higher education enrollment decline in fall 2019:

State                            fall 2019        fall 2018            % decline

Alaska                          22,268             24,910             -10.61%

Florida                         933,180           985,508           -5.31%

Arkansas                     143,895           151,238           -4.85%

Missouri                      323,361           338,230           -4.40%

Vermont                      38,207             39,965             -4.40%

Wyoming                    27,644             28,904             -4.36%

Washington D.C.         70,717             73,813             -4.19%

Kansas                         178,623           184,721           -3.30%

Iowa                            190,209           196,511           -3.21%

Wisconsin                   295,341           304,478           -3.00%

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