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After a Recent Upswing, College Enrollment Declines

“According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics released today, college enrollment in fall 2012 plunged by half a million (467,000) from one year earlier. This decline, which includes both graduate and undergraduate enrollment, follows a period of substantial growth — 3.2 million — between 2006 and 2011. These statistics come from School Enrollment: 2012. As the nation’s students begin a new school year, the Census Bureau releases its annual set of tables on the characteristics of children and adults enrolled in school at all levels — from nursery to graduate school. Among the characteristics examined are age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, nativity and foreign-born parentage. This decline in college enrollment was driven by older students — that is, those 25 and older. Their enrollment fell by 419,000, while the enrollment of younger students declined by 48,000…Also released today was School Enrollment in the United States: 2011, a report that examines the characteristics of people enrolled in school at all levels using statistics from the Current Population Survey, American Community Survey and federal sources outside the Census Bureau. It covers some topics not typically covered in Census Bureau reports, such as Head Start, charter schools, home schooling and receipt of financial aid. Although most of the statistics are national-level, some state-level data from the American Community Survey are presented. Updated 2012 American Community Survey statistics on school enrollment covering states and all geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or more will be published in September.”

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