College Enrollment Experiences Slight Dip After Years of Increases

By Brittany Hackett, Communications Staff

College enrollment saw a slight decrease in fall 2014, dropping 4 percent since fall 2010, according to the latest Digest of Education Statistics from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). However, NCES continues to expect new records to be set for college enrollment between fall 2018 and fall 2025 (which is currently the last year for which NCES has projected enrollment numbers), as enrollments are projected to increase by 15 percent between fall 2014 and fall 2025.

According to NCES, college enrollment increased by 37 percent between fall 2000 and fall 2010, rising from 15.3 million to 21 million, before dropping 4 percent to 20.2 million from fall 2010 to fall 2014.

Total college enrollment increases 17 percent between 2004 and 2014, as well as enrollment among traditional college-age students – 18 to 24 years old – that increased 7 percent during the same time period. The number of full-time and part-time students also increased between 2004 and 2014, rising 17 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

Between 2005 and 2015, the percentage of young adults who obtained a bachelor’s degree or higher rose from 29 percent to 36 percent, according to NCES. The data also offer projections for the number of postsecondary degrees conferred during the 2015-16 academic year, which are expected to total:

  • 999,000 associate’s degrees;
  • 1,853,000 bachelor’s degrees;
  • 773,000 master’s degrees; and 
  • 179,000 doctor’s degrees.

Between 2003-04 and 2013-14, the number of associate’s degrees conferred increased 51 percent, the number of bachelor’s degrees increased 34 percent, the number of master’s degrees increased 34 percent, and the number of doctor’s degrees increased 41 percent.

In the decade between 2004-05 and 2014-15, prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board at public institutions increased 33 percent, while the prices at private non-profit institutions rose 26 percent. Prices at for-profit institutions declined by 18 percent during the same time period.

The average annual prices for undergraduate tuition, fees, room, and board for the 2014-15 academic year were estimated by NCES to be $16,188 at public institutions, $41,970 at private non-profit institutions, and $23,372 at for-profit institutions.


Publication Date: 12/9/2016

Jeanette S | 12/15/2016 12:27:32 PM

it's because the government created student loans and now are publicly complaining about the student loan debt. Running off potential students, dumb!

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