US higher education enrollment is in free fall

October 27, 2021, by Dean Hoke The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC), reports a decline of 3.2% in undergraduate enrollment this fall follows a similar drop of 3.4% the previous year, the first fall of the pandemic. National Public Radio quotes Doug Shapiro, who runs the nonprofit research center “It’s very frightening, Far from filling the hole of last year’s enrollment declines, we are still digging it deeper.” Shapiro says the last two years of undergrad decline, totaling more than 6%, would be the largest two-year decrease in at least half a century.

The drop in enrollment is much more than just a decline in international students or a reduction of first-time, full-time students; it is occurring in nearly all sectors.

My colleagues and I believe public, private, and for-profit higher education institutions need to conduct independent market enrollment evaluations and determine what’s working and what’s not. Too many institutions tend to cut expenses to balance the budget but don’t look at why enrollment is down now, will it continue, and what a higher learning organization can do to turn it around. You can’t add or eliminate programs or adjust other expenses without the facts. It is clear that while COVID added to the decline, it isn’t the only problem.

I am including a link from NSCRD so you can see what they directly reported. https://nscresearchcenter.org/stay-informed/

Edu Alliance Group, Inc. (EAG) is an higher education consulting firm founded by Dr. Senthil Nathan and Dean Hoke. It is located in Bloomington, Indiana, and Abu Dhabi. We assist higher education institutions worldwide on a variety of mission-critical projects. Our consultants are accomplished university/college leaders who share the benefit of their experience to diagnose and solve challenges. We conduct market analysis such as enrollment.   and university feasibility studies to assess program demand, student interest, employer interest, occupational projections, competitive landscape of other program providers.

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