It’s pretty much inevitable that enrollment in U.S. higher education will be down for 10 consecutive years. The latest estimates from the National Student Clearinghouse show fall ’20 enrollments down 2.5% over last year. This will further the slide for spring ’21, which will end up being a decade’s worth of dropping enrollments for degree-seeking students. All told, at the peak in spring of 2011, 19,610,826 students were enrolled in U.S. higher education. By spring of 2020, that number had eroded to 17,458,306. I predict it will dip under 17 million this spring – making it a net loss of more than two and a half million students over the last decade.
This enrollment decline has taken place against the backdrop of well-intentioned and well-funded college attainment campaigns across many states and from many high-profile supporting organizations. Despite the big push