College Enrollment Declines Are Here to Stay

"Enrollment in colleges and universities fell across the U.S. this spring, worsening an ongoing crisis that many had thought would show signs of rebound by now," writes U.S. News & World Report.

..."The latest enrollment data also comes as a new report from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators details staffing shortages and retention challenges that are threatening to impact the ability of college and university financial aid offices to help students navigate tuition payments and remain in compliance with federal and state regulations.

'We are sounding the alarm bells that many financial aid offices are critically short staffed, which could create cascading issues for those colleges and universities, both in their ability to adequately serve students while also remaining compliant with federal and state rules,' said Justin Draeger, the association’s president, in a statement.

Of the more than 500 institutions that responded to the initial survey, nearly 80% voiced concern about their ability to be administratively capable in the future, while more than half, 56%, said they are concerned about their ability to adequately serve students with current staffing levels.

Student aid officials say the responses paint a grim picture of a once-manageable hardship that has grown into a crisis for many financial aid offices.

'College presidents have a lot on their plate, and while they are often rushing from fire to fire, this is one area that should not be overlooked,' Draeger said. 'Chronic understaffing will increase the odds of potential fines and liabilities for noncompliance with federal and state rules down the road, and even more importantly, likely means students will face reduced service.'"

NASFAA's "Notable Headlines" section highlights media coverage of financial aid to help members stay up to date with the latest news. Articles included under the notable headlines section are not written by NASFAA, but rather by external sources. Inclusion in Today's News does not imply endorsement of the material or guarantee the accuracy of information presented.


Publication Date: 5/26/2022

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