Are you familiar with the term 'enrollment gap'? If the answer is no, let us explain! To put it simply, it's the gap between the increase of higher education institutions in the US and the decrease in student enrollments.
As you're likely aware, the number of students enrolling in university courses is forecasted for a steady decline over the next decade. In spring 2018, US enrollments had dropped by more than 200,000 students according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Think of the equivalent dollar loss for 200,000 students... that's over $2 billion! So just imagine the total loss in 10 years time.
Reasons for the decline in student enrollments include the following:
As higher education funding has been cut, the price of attending university has risen significantly faster than what students can afford. Since 2008, tuition has risen by a huge 35%.
Birth rates are at the lowest recorded levels and continue to drop further according to the American Enterprise Institute. There are less 18-year olds leaving high school and even less attending university. One reason being the increase of student loans and debts which mean young adults can't afford to raise a child.
With President Trump's revised travel ban, less international students are enrolling in US universities. In a survey conducted by the Atlantic, it was found that four in ten universities had experienced a decline in international applicants in fall 2017.
You would be right to think that if there are fewer students, colleges should be cutting back on the number of degrees they offer, but this doesn't seem to be the case. In 2016, Statista, a leading provider of market and consumer data, reported that there were 4,360 higher education institutions in the US and this number continues to rise.
With fewer students enrolling in university, alongside the increase of higher education institutions offering degrees, it’s important that everyone is aware of the situation and actively working together to close this gap.
Want to read more about the enrollment gap and find out how your team can attribute towards a greater enrolment pipeline? Our latest eBook explores this topic in more detail.