Higher Education Enrollment and Recessions
Education institutions in the United States rely on state funding and federal research grants, which have declined over the last ten years due to the 2008 recession. Between 2009 and 2015, the federal support for research decreased by 23%. State funding for public colleges is now 16% less per student, an equivalent of $9 billion below its 2008 level. The decrease in support from the government has resulted in increased tuition fees. Tuition fees in higher education public programs increased by 65% from the academic year 2007-08 to 2017-18, and by 49% in private colleges.
- Before 2007, higher education institutions in the United States were experiencing a decline in student enrollment. During the economic recession, most of the institutions saw an increase in student enrollment, especially in public institutions, which had a 7% increase in enrollment in 2010 and a 5% increase in 2011.
- In 2013, student enrollment in all institutions decreased by around 1.5% except for doctoral institutions. The 2008 economic recession caused an increase in tuition, which contributed to a decrease in enrollment, especially in public institutions.
- According to previous research, college enrollment rates is directly proportional to the rate of unemployment, especially for people between 16 years old to 24 years old. College attendance levels in the United States increased during the 2008 recession. Part-time students' enrollment was higher than full-time students' enrollment, which declined.
- According to a population survey from the year 1968 to 1988, covering four recessions in the United States, for every 1% increase in unemployment rates, there was a 2% increase in college enrollment.
- According to the Department of Education, community college student enrollment increased by around 10% from 2000 to 2006 after the 2000 recession. The increase in student enrollment can be attributed to new academic programs, the economy, or better-recruiting strategies, according to Inside Higher Education (IHS).
- The Department of Education and IHS reveals that over 6.2 million students enrolled for programs in the 1,045 community colleges in the United States in the academic year 2006-2007.
- There was an increase in college enrollment in the United States, especially for two-year colleges after the 2008 recession, as people went back to school to acquire new skills with the changing weakened employment market. Institutions like Yale, Harvard, and Stanford are less likely to suffer from an economic recession because of the sizable endowment funds at their disposal.
- According to Beth Akers, a senior at the Manhattan Institute, it is likely to see a drop in higher education enrollment in the wake of Coronavirus pandemic, especially for community colleges and for-profit higher learning institutions.
- Elite institutions will continue to enroll more students as people's desire to attend prestigious colleges will not wane. Enrollment in open-access institutions is likely to reduce.
- There will be increased enrollment in institutions that succeed in expanding online programs/courses over the next year. Online programs will serve more students and will increase revenue, says Akers.
- According to John Sygielski, president and CEO of HACC, to increase student enrollment in the United States' higher education institutions will have to re-examine how it delivers education to its students to serve the growing business needs.
- The number of traditional-age student enrollment to higher education programs is projected to decrease in the next ten years.
COVID-19 Effects on International Enrollment
- A third of international students in the United States originated from China in the academic year 2018-2019. About 36% of students are reluctant to study abroad as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, according to a study conducted by the Beijing Overseas Study Service Association (BOSSA) in February 2020. This will directly affect higher education enrollment in the United States.
- The United States will lose up to $40 billion if transcontinental student enrollment slows down or is stopped in the United States. Higher education institutions in Texas, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania will be most affected because these states host international students.
- Between 2015 and 2018, the number of new international student enrollment in the United States reduced by 10%, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE).
- According to enrollment officials, at least three dozen higher education institutions in the United States had pushed back their student enrollment application deadlines as of March 15.
Your research team scoured through credible databases and websites like Forbes, Inside Higher Ed, ResearchGate, and NBER to find information on the impact of an economic recession on enrollment in higher education programs. We have provided information from the effects observed after the 2000 and 2008 recession periods. We have also provided insights into the potential effect that COVID-19 could have on international enrollments in the United States. Overall, institutions offering face-to-face education are bound to experience a decline in student enrollments as the ones offering online programs will observe an increase in student enrollment.