More colleges face bankruptcy but record wealth at top schools

Across the United States, colleges are in crisis. According to a report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, combined with last autumn’s declines, the number of undergraduate students in college is now down 7.8% compared to two years ago – the largest two-year enrolment drop in the last 50 years, writes Jessica Dickler for CNBC.

There is, however, a wide disparity among schools, with less selective institutions – and those serving low- and middle-income students – seeing the biggest drop in enrolments. Community college enrolment experienced the steepest declines, now down 15% since 2019, while highly selective colleges notched enrolment gains – up 3.1% – to return to pre-pandemic levels.

The consequences of fewer students and less tuition revenue could be severe, according to Sam Pollack, a partner and senior member of NEPC’s Endowments and Foundations practice. In fact, 62% of higher education leaders said that is the biggest challenge they now face, according to a recent NEPC survey. Already, a number of small schools have had to shut down entirely.
Full report on the CNBC site