College Enrollment Continues to Decline

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) — Overall college enrollment has fallen four point one percent since last year, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center.

Enrollment has declined the most among undergraduates, falling four point seven percent in the last year.

“Some of what may be leading into that is certainly affordability concerns. That certainly is one area we’ve really focused on out of my office. Since the pandemic, we’ve focused heavily on accessibility,” said Jason Merryman, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Southern Adventist University.

According to US News, the average price of tuition is ten thousand three hundred eighty eight dollars a semester, for public universities.

Private universities average over thirty eight thousand dollars a semester.

But some schools haven’t encountered the general decline in enrollment.

“From a college enrollment perspective, last year we actually enrolled our largest freshman class in the last ten years. And so we were extremely blessed and happy for that result, and we’re moving forward,” said Merryman.

As fewer people enroll in university, others advocate for the value of the college degree.

“A college degree affords a candidate at least an opportunity to have a chance to at least apply for a position, and allows for the opportunity to network and to meet people or professionals in the workplace who they may not have necessarily had the opportunity to had they not gone to college,” he said.

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