Some of the real reasons behind college enrolment decline

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there has been a significant and steady drop across America in the proportion of high school graduates enrolling in college in the autumn after they finish high school – from a high of 70% in 2016 to 63% in 2020, the most recent year for which the figure is available, writes Jon Marcus for The Hechinger Report.

Many observers have suggested three principal explanations for the falloff: the COVID-19 pandemic, a dip in the number of Americans under 18 and a strong labour market sucking young people straight into the workforce.

Myriad focus groups and public opinion surveys, however, point to other reasons for the dramatic downward trend. These include widespread and fast-growing scepticism about the value of a degree, impatience with the time it takes to get one and costs that have finally exceeded many people’s ability or willingness to pay.
Full report on The Hechinger Report site