College enrollment down in Pennsylvania and nationwide
New figures from the National Student Clearinghouse found fewer students enrolled in colleges in Pennsylvania and across the nation last year.
The Clearinghouse, a nonprofit research center that tracks year-to-year enrollment at 97 percent of the nation’s colleges and universities, found college enrollment nationally slipped for the seventh consecutive year. That mirrors the trend in Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities , where officials are struggling to deal with enrollment numbers that fell from 119,513 in fall of 2010 to 102,301 last fall.
The new report found the for-profit college sector, which has been rocked by financial problems in recent years, suffered the largest enrollment decline, about 6.8 percent, from the prior year. Private nonprofit colleges saw enrollment slip by .4 percent. Public college enrollment dropped by .2 percent and community colleges enrolled 2 percent fewer students.
Statewide, Pennsylvania colleges saw enrollment decline by nearly 20,000 students to 645,132 this year from 664,727 the prior year. Officials here say declines in the pool of college-age students account for much of the loss.
Debra Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 412-320-7996 or [email protected] or via Twitter @deberdley_trib