A Cursory Look at College Trends

From Inside Higher Ed comes news about trends in higher education. While this isn’t really a scientifically valid survey (the information here is culled from overhearing college presidents) some of this looks very interesting:

[College presidents] noted… potentially worrisome signs. While smaller private colleges with the numbers to back it up have been boasting to anyone who will listen that their enrollments didn’t collapse with the economy, some talked about concerns over which students were enrolling. In several cases, presidents said that their total numbers were up because of adult students or those enrolled in branch campuses — while enrollments actually fell at the main, residential campus that may have historically defined the institution.

This discussion took place at a meeting of the Council of Independent Colleges, where academic administrators also discussed the relatively popularity of their programs. One president said here school was doing very well attracting applicants to specific, targeted programs but was having less success attracting undergraduate arts and sciences students. “The parents are reluctant to invest in a kid who doesn’t know where she wants to be,” this president said.

Undecided undergraduates now often gravitate toward community colleges. Traditional schools are now expecting, and investing in, transfer students from community colleges.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer