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College enrollment down in Pennsylvania and across the nation |

College enrollment down in Pennsylvania and across the nation

| Wednesday, December 20, 2017 4:27 p.m

At least Pennsylvania’s state-owned universities, which saw a 2 percent decline in enrollment this fall, aren’t alone.

A new report from the National Student Clearinghouse suggests a majority of colleges and universities across the country may be facing empty desks and dorm rooms.

An analysis of fall 2017 enrollment at 97 percent of the nation’s public, nonprofit and for-profit colleges and universities found enrollment decreased to 18.8 million students this fall, a 1 percent decline from the previous year.

Four-year for-profit institutions, which make up only a small portion of the national college enrollment, saw a 7.1 percent decline in enrollment to 901,000, while two-year public institutions including community colleges saw enrollment drop 1.7 percent to 5.6 million. Enrollment at four-year public institutions declined by the smallest margin, .2 percent to 8.1 million students, while enrollment at four-year private nonprofit institutions declined by .4 percent to 3.7 million.

The 14 state-owned universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education recorded their seventh annual decline in enrollment this fall. They registered 102,300 students, or a loss of 17,213 students since peaking at 119,513 students in 2010.

Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996, or via Twitter @deberdley_trib.

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