Undergraduate Enrollments Down 310,000 for Fall 2016; Graduate and Professional Enrollments Up 40,000

Undergraduate Enrollments Down 310,000 for Fall 2016; Graduate and Professional Enrollments Up 40,000

by | Dec 19, 2016 | Research Services |

Fall postsecondary overall enrollments fell by more than 270,000 students, which mostly consisted of more than 256,000 students over the age of 24, according to the Fall 2016 Current Term Enrollment Estimates report from the National Student Clearinghouse® Research Center™, the nation’s most trusted source for student record data. Even though enrollments declined in 39 states and increased in 12 states and the District of Columbia, there are 19,010,459 students enrolled in all institutions.

Figure 1 CTEE Fall 16

Percent Change from Previous Year, Enrollment by Sector (Title IV, Degree-Granting Institutions)

“The trends of declining adult student enrollment and the shrinking for-profit sector are now joined by stagnating numbers of new high school graduates. These forces show no sign of slowing and will continue to challenge institutions in their planning,” stated Doug Shapiro, Executive Research Director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. “The greatest decreases in enrollment are happening in the Northeast and Midwest, while the West and South are seeing increases.”

The current cycle of declining enrollments began in spring 2012. We’ve reported declines for every fall and spring term since then, making it 10 consecutive terms (five consecutive fall terms and five consecutive spring terms).

“These forces show no sign of slowing and will continue to challenge institutions in their planning”

Doug Shapiro
Executive Research Director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center

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