Report Looks at Reasons for Declining Enrollments in Higher Education

A new report from the Lumina Foundation and the Gallup Organization offers a glimpse of the trends in the higher education landscape. The report found that college enrollment rates were falling even before the pandemic, but numbers nosedived in 2020 and 2021. College enrollment numbers remain well below pre-pandemic levels, but even if declines stabilize, the shrinking population of 18- to 24-year-olds means enrollment will continue downward. In addition, college completions fell for the first time in a decade in the 2021-2022 academic year.

Black students are more likely than White students to say it was difficult for them to remain enrolled in their programs. Some 43 percent of Black students say they considered stopping out in the past six months — up from 37 percent in 2021. The cost of higher education is cited as the main reason for stopping out.

Some 35 percent of young Black adults who are not enrolled in higher education say the reason is because of personal or mental health reasons. A third say emotional distress or childcare needs prevent them from enrolling. And a third say the job market is favorable so they would rather be in the workforce.

Statistics show Black students are more likely than White students to take out loans to pay for their undergraduate programs: Currently enrolled Black students surveyed are the most likely of any group to be carrying student loan debt, at 59 percent.

Black adults who have stopped out are the most likely of any racial or ethnic group of former students to say they have student loan debt. The 44 percent of stopped-out Black adults who say they have loans is double the percentage of White adults who say they do. More than 80 percent of Black students who have left higher education say they would “very likely” or “somewhat likely” re-enroll if their student loan debt was forgiven.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Get the JBHE Weekly Bulletin

Receive our weekly email newsletter delivered to your inbox

Latest News

HBCUs Receive Major Funding From Blue Meridian Partners

The HBCU Transformation Project is a collaboration between the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF), and Partnership for Education Advancement. Forty HBCUs are currently working with the project and additional campuses are expected to join this year. The partnership recently received a $124 million investment from Blue Meridian Partners.

Four African American Scholars Who Are Taking on New Duties

Channon Miller is a new assistant professor at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and Quienton L. Nichols is the new associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Fayetteville State University in North Carolina. M. D. Lovett has joined Clark Atlanta University as an associate professor of psychology and associate professor Robyn Autry was named director of the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

U.S. News and World Report’s Latest Rankings of the Nation’s Top HBCUs

Spelman College in Atlanta was ranked as the best HBCU and Howard University in Washington, D.C., was second. This was the same as a year ago. This was the 17th year in a row that Spelman College has topped the U.S. News rankings for HBCUs.

University of Georgia’s J. Marshall Shepherd Honored by the Environmental Law Institute

Dr. Shepherd is a professor of geography, the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor, and the director of the atmospheric sciences program at the University of Georgia. Before joining the faculty at the University of Georgia, he was a research meteorologist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. Shepherd is an expert in the fields of weather, climate, and remote sensing.

Featured Jobs